A Proposed Role for the Psychiatrist in the Treatment of Adolescents with Type I Diabetes

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Abstract

Type I diabetes is a chronic illness that most frequently develops during childhood. As a medical doctor with an understanding of psychology and human development, the psychiatrist is in a unique position to guide the child or adolescent with diabetes and his family through the typical lifestyle adjustments that are encountered when diagnosed with diabetes. This article presents an overview of the diagnosis and management of type I diabetes, reviews the ways in which diabetes will interact with child development, and discusses the increased rates of eating disorders and mood disorders among children with type I diabetes. There is a distinct role for the psychiatrist to be involved in the diabetes care team of children and adolescents diagnosed with type I diabetes and this role can be medically crucial.

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