Young Adult (Age 18-30)

In terms of the A1C, it seems that after reaching a peak in the late teens/early 20s, the A1C falls to the lower adult levels at around age 25. This can be encouraging to parents of transitioning youth—by the mid-20s, people become more capable of doing the diabetes self-management needed to have blood glucose levels in goal range.

From ages 18-25, the person may be moving away from home, attending school, learning how to support themselves, and separating from their parents emotionally. Competing academic, economic, and social priorities often detract from a focused commitment to diabetes management.

The more an adolescent can learn to do before they make the break from home, the easier the transition process.

From ages 25 to 30, the person often has a growing sense of identity and begins to enter into more stable, adult-like intimate relationships and full-time employment. During this time, people become more able to appreciate the importance of maintaining better blood glucose management to maintain health over the long term.

Life partners can be important supports. Bring new significant others to visits. The provider can answer questions and set the stage for how it is best to help—a balance between ignoring the diabetes and being the “diabetes police.” Women will want to discuss contraception and targets for preconception and pregnancy.