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I’m a 17 year old girl and I was diagnosed with diabetes over a year ago. I had to start with insulin straight away and have been using glargine since the beginning. Everything has been fine with using the pens, I’ve been really good at doing everything myself and my control’s been dead good. The only thing is that I’ve put on loads of weight since everything happened. I don’t want to be fat – everyone seems to notice it and it’s making me sad. I try and eat the right things but nothings changing. Has this happened to anyone else? Please give me any advice you can.

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You’ve raised a really important aspect about diabetes and especially type 1 in young people. You’re right – one of the things that is really common in diabetics is gaining weight. Let’s look at it on the plus side… If you are gaining weight it generally means that your diabetes is under control because it means the insulin is present to allow you to absorb glucose… But from your point of view that probably doesn’t really make you feel any better. So there are a few important things that you can do to help you lose and then maintain weight.

You are only 17 – do you do exercise? You really must! Find something you enjoy doing, either by yourself or with friends. Exercise helps in various ways, it helps you burn calories, provides social interaction, produces endorphins which make you feel good and will generally make you feel better about yourself. Secondly, don’t skip meals – this can screw up your blood glucose and really doesn’t help. Thirdly, make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Look at what you eat and make sure you have a good variety of protein, carbs, fat and sugar (obviously limiting that). 

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