There are many reasons for a specific management plan for adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Although most new patients can be managed initially on an outpatient basis, as they reach their teenage years, blood glucose control deteriorates and insulin requirements increase. Eating disorders, missing insulin injections, excess of alcohol all contribute to poor glycaemic control. Teenagers who have had diabetes for a number of years may have developed microvascular complications and disturbances of growth can occur, more often in girls than in boys. The transition to adult care continues to be a significant problem both for paediatricians and patients. Diabetes management during adolescence requires a team effort involving nurse educator, dietitian, paediatric diabetologist and, possibly, a social worker, with referral to specialists if necessary. Organizing this type of care requires a Regional Paediatric Diabetes Centre.

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