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Children & Teens Home: Children | Teens | Type 2 Diabetes

Other Issues Previous: Time for a Pump? Next: Pregnancy

Driving

Hypoglycemia can be dangerous if it occurs when anyone is driving a car. People with type 1 diabetes should not drive unless they have eaten or tested within 1 hour. Testing just before driving is the best practice. Parents should enforce this requirement for teens. A MedicAlert or similar identification device can help if your teen is stopped for erratic driving.

Alcohol, smoking, and drugs

Like other teenagers, your child with diabetes is facing a number of choices, such as whether or not to smoke, to drink alcohol, or to use drugs. Taking a realistic, advisory approach is more likely to succeed than an absolute ban. Itís important to educate about the dangers of such behaviors to everyone, but you must also point out the added dangers for people with diabetes:

Smoking
  • Increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 4 to 10 times.
  • Increases the risk of kidney failure.
  • Increases the chance of developing eye damage and blindness.
  • Makes it much harder to control blood glucose levels because it makes insulin absorption more erratic and unpredictable.
  • Almost all the people with diabetes who have to have limbs amputated are people who have had diabetes and also smoked.
Alcohol
  • Affects glucose metabolism.
  • Drinking may lead to delayed hypoglycemia; it is important to measure blood glucose before bed and to eat before going to sleep to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia during the night.
  • If they are going to drink, they should eat food while drinking and drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
  • Binge drinking that leads to vomiting can also cause serious problems such as diabetic ketoacidosis.

You should also point out that hypoglycemia is sometimes confused with intoxication by law enforcement and even some medical personnel. Consider a MedicAlert bracelet or other identification for young adults who are going to be drinking.

Related information: Supplies guide - Identification products

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As the world’s top supplier of commercial blood pressure monitors and health management systems, Lifeclinic is committed to helping to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals across the globe. Active monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate, weight, body fat, body mass index (BMI) and blood oxygen levels when combined with proper diet, nutrition and physical fitness can help ensure a longer, more healthy lifestyle.

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