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July 26, 1999

Type 2

Question from Seattle, Washington, USA:

I am a 26 year old male with type 2 diabetes. I started feeling symptoms a year and a half ago, and was diagnosed 7 months later. From what I understand, people my age with type 2 diabetes are rare. My efforts to find some kind of support or even information on dealing with type 2 diabetes as a young adult have come up dry. Most literature and information seems geared towards much older, less active people than myself and while most of it applies to me, I maintain a normal body weight and do a good job of managing my blood sugars with diet, exercise and medication. I would just like to know if there is any information out there that specifically speaks to young adults with type 2 diabetes and if there are any support groups for people like me. I feel awfully lonely in my situation and would like to talk to others like me.

Answer:

You are not completely alone, in fact more and more people are getting Type 2 at younger ages. I was diagnosed at age 31 myself, 19 years ago. Back then, my doc actually thought I had Type 1 because he wasn’t aware of type 2’s at that young age. We especially are seeing more and more young people who are Native American or Spanish ancestry.

I don’t know of any one place to contact people in your exact situation, but I don’t think that you should consider yourself so different from a young adult with type 1 diabetes. They are equally serious diseases and both require diligent attention to lifestyle and medications. You will probably find much support from others with diabetes. I think you should give them a try.

VV