Frequently asked questions

Q: Why do I have diabetes?

A: Some people have diabetes and some people don’t. Some people are born with genes that might make them more likely to get diabetes. It’s just part of what makes you ‘you’, just like having brown hair or green eyes. It is just one thing about you. There are other things about you that are important too.

Q: Can you catch diabetes from someone?

A: Diabetes is not contagious. You can’t catch diabetes from anyone like a cold or flu.

Q: What do I tell my school friends about diabetes?

A: You don’t have to talk to your classmates about diabetes if you don’t want to, but if they ask, it sometimes helps to know what to say. Try talking with your parents first about what you might say to other kids at school to help them understand diabetes.

Q: Why do I need to monitor my blood glucose levels (BGLs)?

A: To check if they are within a healthy range. If they are, most of the time, it means that you will be more likely to feel good! Monitoring your BGLs also helps you to make decisions or think about past decisions. For example, if you plan to play sport, you would check your BGL to decide if you need some food beforehand.

Q: Why do I need insulin?

A: With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas can no longer produce insulin. This means that you need to inject insulin every day or use an insulin pump so your body gets the energy it needs to work, think and play. With type 2 diabetes you may or may not need insulin.

Q: Can I have treats and snacks?

A: People with diabetes can have the same treats and healthy snacks as everybody else. What’s important for people with diabetes is to understand what different foods do to your BGLs. Your parents and health care team can help you work this out. Remember, food gives your body the energy it needs to work, think, play and grow!

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