What is the best age to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? The answer is simple. Never! Every age has its challenges. No one wants diabetes.
No matter what age you are diagnosed at, you have to live your life with needles, injections, highs and lows. There is no such thing as a good age to get diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes diagnosis as a 2-year old
My son was diagnosed when he was just 2 years old. He doesn’t remember the experience at all. In fact, at a clinic appointment a number of years ago, he drew a blank when one of the clinicians asked him when he was diagnosed. As far as he is concerned, he has lived with diabetes all of his life and he is glad he doesn’t remember being that sick.
My child has never put a piece of food in his mouth since he was two-years-old that he did not know the carbohydrate count for. I realized one day that he had learned the word “cow-bo-hydwate” before he could recite his ABCs.
It isn’t better for a tween to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes
A child in their tween years who develops diabetes has seen life before injections. They have experienced food before having to count the carbs in it. These little guys are still small enough for Mom and Dad to control their food intake and monitor their activity level, but there are still challenges as they learn to adjust.
They can fight injections and finger pokes. They may feel different from their peers. Children this young are not able to fully express their fears and concerns. Some will feel out of control and act out.
When Teens develop diabetes
Teens who develop diabetes experience a bit of a double whammy. Many are already struggling to find their way as they are no longer children but not quite adults either. This can create all sorts of conflicts and frustrations.
Young adults diagnosed can be overwhelmed and isolated
Being a young adult is also not the best age to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
These young adults must learn about life with diabetes as they find their way through post-secondary schooling or their first jobs. Many of these young people are living on their own or far away from family who can take over some of their care for them. They have the added stress of trying to figure out a way to pay for this new condition while struggling to understand it all.
Adults are often misdiagnosed
Finally, there are the adults who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. They have lived a full life without concerns about carb counting. They have lived without injections or finger pokes. These adults are often misdiagnosed and struggle to figure out what is going on in their bodies.
Like young adults, once they have a diagnosis, they may have to navigate this disease on their own without a parent to take over. Hopefully, they have a spouse or good friend who is willing to learn and support them.
Adults also have to deal with the burden of the cost of diabetes. Ideally, they have a great insurance plan at work but many don’t. They are often too old to receive any sort of government assistance and must scrape and save to find a way to pay for their diabetes supplies.
There is no good age to be diagnosed with diabetes
There is not best age to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
A diagnosis can go undetected at any age. A person can become very sick before anyone knows what is going on.
Whether you are diagnosed at 10 months or 50 years, your life changes. Insulin becomes your lifeline and something that can kill you.
You will forever worry about having enough supplies and perhaps even how to pay for them.
You will always refer to life before and after diagnosis. We can only hope that one day there will also be a life after the cure.
Make sure that you know the signs of diabetes. Download our signs of high and low blood sugar levels below.
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