Peers can help you manage diabetes better


Diabetes is a disease that you need to battle alone since you are the only that have it, but new study says that it would be much easier if you join a group that deals with it too. Peers can help you accept your disease and follow your treatment plans, but youth who are too attuned to what their friends think of them may neglect disease management to fit in, the authors report in Diabetes Care.

A peer is someone at your own level. If you are a 10th grader, other high school students are your peers.

“This was one of the first studies to ask adolescents and emerging adults with type 1 diabetes about their relations with peers at a certain point in time and one year later,” lead author Koen Raymaekers from the University of Leuven in Belgium told Reuters Health by email.

“We found that more general positive relations with peers at one point in time predicted less diabetes-specific distress one year later,” he said.

But, because young adults who were very oriented toward peers at the start had worse blood sugar control a year later, paying additional attention to peer relations during this time seems important, Raymaekers added.

The study was participated by more than 400 people from in Belgium, aged 14 to 25, all of which are type 1 diabetes.  It measures peer orientation, asking questions such as, “Would you ignore your diabetes management needs in order to make someone

The researchers had access to long-term blood sugar measurements and the young people answered questions about their treatment adherence as well as their diabetes-related distress levels.

The study team found that having supportive peers was associated with less diabetes-related distress over time. But, having extreme peer orientation was associated with greater treatment distress over time and poorer blood sugar control.

The treatment has something to do with lower peer-orientation scores, less treatment distress and better blood sugar control. Youth who reported having more responsive parents tended to have less food distress over time, the researchers also found.

“Our study indicates that as a parent/grandparent/caregiver it may be informative to ask about patients’ peer relations,” Raymaekers said.

He also noted that some people are having a hard time with dealing with diabetes affecting their diabetes-related distress and perhaps even on treatment adherence and blood sugar control in the long term.

It would help if he is going to talk with relatives that has the disease since they know what the patient is dealing with, thus able to give him a good suggestion on how to take action against diabetes.

Sources: Vocabulary,