We've tried on this page to answer the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) of kids who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. If you have had diabetes for a while, you'll find answers to questions you might still have.
Still more questions? E-mail us! We cannot give out medical advice or answer your questions in person, but we will try to answer as many as we can here.
What's it like to have diabetes?
If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you are probably up to your eyeballs in pep talks. And yes, you'll find more right here. But there's no question about it -- most people with diabetes will tell you right out that having diabetes stinks.
But every day, you have a choice: You can fight back and try to live life to the fullest, or you can let it get you down. We hope you will use this site to learn more about fighting back and doing the best you can.
Will people treat me differently now that I have diabetes?
Maybe. Maybe not. Usually, unless they are used to dealing with people who have diabetes or other diseases, the people around you will be trying to figure out how they should treat you. Should they ask about your disease, or avoid talking about it? They may be worried about making you uncomfortable, either way. They will look to you for clues. If you are honest and treat the diabetes as simply part of your life, they probably will, too.
What can I do to fight back against diabetes?
Many people with diabetes agree that an important way to take control of your life is to join the fight to cure diabetes. You can do that by getting involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. JDRF's mission is to cure diabetes and its complications through research. With the help of JDRF, you can raise money to help fund diabetes research.
Another way to fight back is to help other people with diabetes, by sharing information, supporting them, and encouraging them to do their best to stay healthy. You may have a friend or family member who has diabetes, or you may want to find a pen-pal who does.
Talking or writing to someone else who has diabetes can help both of you to learn more about diabetic treatments, products, and routines, and help motivate you to keep good control of your blood sugar. Most people say it also feels good just to know you are helping someone else.
What will happen to me when I grow up?
No one will tell you that you won't have a lot of special challenges growing into adulthood with diabetes. You may face complications of the disease. Even if you don't, you will surely have spent a lot of time and energy that most people don't have to spend, monitoring your blood sugars, and taking care of your health.
However, as some athletes and others who have accomplished great things in spite of their diabetes will tell you, that can be used as an advantage. People with diabetes may have better self-discipline, and more aware of when and how much they need to eat, exercise, and rest in order to perform at their best.
Having diabetes does not have to stop you from having an active and fulfilling life and achieving your goals, especially if you do your best to keep your blood sugar under good control year after year. In fact, diabetes has inspired many people to make their lives better.