Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
November 11, 2002
Question from Daly City, California, USA:
Since children with diabetes watch their diets, do they practice better nutrition and better health habits in later years? Do they do better in abstaining from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco? Have any studies been done?
So far as I can find out, there are no studies that precisely answer your question; it would indeed be a very difficult study to organise and perhaps also of questionable benefit whatever the answer. You would expect of course that good family input and personal motivation would not only make for good control, but later avoidance of alcohol, tobacco, etc. On the other side of the coin though, there is evidence that a significant, although small, number of young people with diabetes are vulnerable to depression.
Having said all this, you should expect that there will be significant advances in insulin pump technology and in islet cell transplants by the time your grandchild reaches the teen years that the impact of diabetes on lifestyle will have grown much less.
[Editor’s comment: Several years ago, there was a study done by the group at Pittsburgh which showed that teens with diabetes were less likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors (such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco) than their peers who did not have diabetes. I regret that I cannot remember the exact reference, but I think these data were presented at the IDF meeting in Washington, DC.