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From California, USA:

My mother told me that my 6 year old nephew has been diagnosed with diabetes, but my brother has not told me yet. Now I am a little concerned about this because of the stories that I hear about adult diabetes. My main question is, will my nephew live a normal life? What I mean will he require any special needs and is it true that he cannot eat candy again? One last question, are there any less painful ways to control sugar in children with diabetes than shots? I really love my nephew and I really would like to know.


I never tell folks that people with diabetes live a "normal" life for two reasons:

  1. The older I get, the less I think I know what normal is!

  2. Diabetes means living life "mindfully", and I do not believe many "normal" people do that.

There will be necessary adjustments for your nephew to make. Hopefully, he has a diabetes team to assist him and his parents with the adjustments. The team, ideally,should include a dietitian, an RN, an exercise physiologist, and a counselor, all working in concert with your nephew's physician.

The best way for you to help is to wait until your brother tells you the news, and then jump in as a support person. Not only to your nephew, but to your brother, who may be struggling with the diagnosis (or would he have already informed you?).

Stay tuned into this website and learn all you can of the facts, and not the mythology around diabetes.


Additional Comments from Lois Finney, diabetes dietitian:

I do think that you can and should lead as much of a normal life as possible with diabetes. I realize that it is not always possible, but we usually find it best to tell folks that you live your life focusing first on what you want to do and then work with your diabetes team to integrate the diabetes into that. Too often folks get hung up on the diabetes taking over their life.

As far as the candy, that can be worked in to the meal plan, as can McDonald's, birthday parties, sleepovers, ski trips, whatever. I think being of support for the family is extremely important, so thanks for being there for them.


Original posting 19 Oct 1998
Additional comments added 2 November 1998
Posted to Other


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