Diagnosed as an adult

Hi- my name is Lee Anne- T1 for 3 years, diagnosed when I was 25... I was wondering if anyone else out there had this happen to them as an adult? 

I was and still am totally freaked out by it... I had a honeymoon and took 3 months off work when I first had it, then went back to a high stress job that I love very much.... at first, everything was good- A1C around 6.5 the frist two rounds... but the diabetes quickly got out of control, got on the pump and that helped a bit, but the stress and lack of sleep are finally catching up with me, and Im getting diagnosed with complications, my A1C is terrible...

In short, I'm a f*ckn mess.... and now taking medical leave from my job.... i am realizing that the lifestyle changes I have to make are way bigger than counting carbs and taking insulin.... the stress and lack of sleep that never bothered me before are now totally messing with my blood sugar and starting to cause long term problems....

was wondering if there were others out there who had to deal with this as an adult, with any advice for me... or any thoughts at all... I'm pretty scared at this point....

LeeAnne, I would encourage you to post this on the main page, so more people can hear your story.

I was diagnosed at 5, but living with diabetes as an adult is still difficult. There are lots (thousands) of people on here, and guaranteed quite a few of them have been in your position. Surround yourself with those who want to help you and are willing to take the necessary steps to help make you feel better. Sometimes, just someone to listen is all you might need :o)

If you can, find an adult support group in your area so you have access to others in your situation whom you can meet with or call when you need their help. Having t1d can be very overwhelming, especially when you think of all the things you have to do all at once and look too far into the future. I encourage you to take it slowly, one day at a time, beginning with one tiny step. Pick one goal or one small thing you would like to change and focus solely on that. Trying to change everything at once will make you feel like you're drowning. Once you've accomplished that goal you can choose to either create a new goal or push your current goal one notch higher. Pick one thing that is most important to you right now and go about trying to make it better.

You can do this! Take a deep breath and remember we are here to help you. I'm sure there are resources around you as well (your local JDRF chapter, endos, RDs, CDEs, support groups, family, friends...). Use them all if you can, they may help provide you with some relief. If feel you might need it, you can also consider some sort of counseling or therapy focusing on your diagnoses. They might be able to help you feel less scared and more ready to make a change. Diet and exercise may be the simplest changes you can make (as an almost RD, I can tell you we try to make it as easy and painless as possible to make change).

Please continue to reach out to us. We will help you where we can :o)

LeeAnnw:  C, as usual, has really good counsel to share.  In fact, there are many folks on here, mostly young, but nonetheless wise, who will share valuable thoughts and experiences with you.  I was what I will call an "in-betweener," being diagnosed at 17, not really a child and, while I thought at the time, that I had reached adulthood, still some time to go to get there.

C is right - Type 1 diabetes at any age is a tough row to hoe.  But then it can also ve viewed as a challenge.  It takes time to work into how to deal with it, and dealing with it changes constantly.  Change is constant, everything else is constantly in flux - just like our bodies generally.  You will never stop adjusting.  In a way that's good because it keeps us aware of the need to deal with a chronic disease.  It never lets you get comfortable.  It's sort of like marriage - you gotta keep working at it and never give up.

I say these things after 48+ years with diabetes and while I'm on a double organ transplant list - a scary proposition.  I've traveled all ove the world as a diabetic, mostly unaccompanied - to all of western Europe, China, Japan, Argentina, and Egypt.  I've retired after 30 years with a company and now teach at a law school.  And most of all - I'm a grandfather!!  If all of that can be had out of life as a diabetic, you should not feel so down.  Sxxx happens as they say (vulgarity omitted)!  Nonetheless, you fight through it.  It is very much worth the battles!!     

Hi LeeAnn,

I was diagnosed as an adult. A legal adult anyway (I was 19) and in my second semester of freshman year of college. While I won't say it's been easy, it's been manageable because my little sister had it many years before I got it so I got the gist of how to deal with it...also what NOT to do or how to look after myself.

It definitely causes lifestyle changes. First comes the changes to your diet. At this point, and at the behest of my trainers/coaches, I have cut my carb intake to a fraction of what it used to be. I'm also getting more rest. I've noticed that getting on a regular rhythm/pattern of diet, exercise, and rest has helped.

My job isn't stressful unless I'm traveling and under the gun as far as deadlines go, but I have noticed that F***'s with my  numbers too.

If you don't feel like you're in control of your diabetes, there are diabetic therapists out there that will work with you to sort things out and get you back on the path of kickass numbers and A1c's.

And if you don't feel like that's a good option, you have all of us here with our own stories and experiences in case you ever need people to listen or reach out.

To second what Frank said, don't give up.



I was diagnosed a little over three years ago, at the age of 32.  I was completely blindsides by the diagnosis.  I was completely uneducated on the disease and was a complete wreck when diagnosed.  After the initial shock and a day of sleeping I just started to gather as much information as possible.  It took me a while to get my blood sugar back to normal and to get an understanding on how to count carbs and such,.  But I was lucky, I had a nurse at my doctors office and she was outstanding.  She gave me her home number and her cell number.  I used to call her from the grocery store asking questions.  She was truly great in helping me.  Over the past three years I have tried to continue to educate myself on all things Diabetes and take better care of myself to avoid complications. 

I would also like to add that I have taken my diagnosis as a challenge.  I have made a true committment to becoming more physically fit.  Not only do I exercise more often but I have done a pretty good job of changing my diet.  There are a ton of resources for diabetics, both in the community and on the web.  And of course, like previously mentioned, you have the members of these forums and groups who have a ton of experience living with the disease to ask questions of.

Like they all said take a deep breath you will be OK. Listen to C she's good!!!! Don't feel alone. How about this I was dx'ed as an adult also, just a little later about 27 years later. Yep, from normal to diabetic in what seemed to me about 2-3 weeks. Next thing I knew I was in ICU with all kinds of tubes and wires. That was my first time to stay in a hospital. I know for me I'll have to change my career, can't go low when you're standing on a machine way up and I can't find safety shoes for my messed up feet (old age not diabetes) that don't have pressure points, wasn't a problem before now??  Remember the people at this site are here to help and they will!!!!!

This is my first post,  I hope appropriate.  I was diagnosed a little over a year ago, when I was 50 years old.  I suspected for about 3 months before I was dx'd, but being me, I tried to ignore it, until I was so sick, that it took 4 days in intensive care and another 3 days begging the nurses to take the IV out.  I was actually relieved that it was diabetes, and not something worse.  Before I even suspected that I had T1, I wanted to lose about 50 pounds, was planning on eating better, exercising more, quitting smoking, you know all the good stuff the doctors say you are supposed to do in order to live a long happy life. 

Well, because I ignored the symptoms, I lost 50 plus pounds, mostly fat,  but some muscle too.  So to build muscle back up,  I gotta exercise. Helps with keeping the beer belly from coming back.

I quit smoking because you're not allowed to smoke in the hospital. Forced cold turkey,  best way to go.  LOL

In an effort to keep glucose levels somewhat normal, I gotta eat better.  Which in turn is also helping me to maintain weight.

I still get depressed sometimes, but when I think about it all in all, T1 could have been the worst thing that ever happened to me, but with all of the good that has happened, it is not that bad at all.  Now all I got to do is get rid of the needles, and the finger pricks.

I know this sounds like the lemons to lemonade story, but it helps me to get through the other stuff that scares me.  Hopefully It can help someone else.

Lee Anne - My name is Rich ... i was Dx Sept 2009 at the age of 30 ...


I know the feeling of being in a High Stressful Job and how it effects your numbers..


I would say Sleep is one of the biggest factors for me .. I wake up at 4:30am to go to the gym and then I'm at work by 7am ... I find myself usually going to bed around 10pm ...if I stray from this .. i find myself feeling like a**


Take things slow and let your body get use to everything ...going on medical leave might be the best thing for you ... maybe you should try to go back to work a few days a week and try to adjust slowly ..


good luck and if you have any questions feel free to ask




I'm 28 years old and was just diagnosed with Type 1 in May of 2009. I've been doing ok for the most part. I do get frustrated because my insulin needs have been gradually changing since my diagnosis. I'm on what the endo calls my "honeymoon" phase still. I do have some unexpected glucose numbers once in awhile, but overall I've become decent with predicting whether I'm high or low. It just seems like it's always going to be a constant struggle and I'm doing my best to take it in stride. Hope you can do the same.

I was diagnosed at the age of 24, that was 7 years ago! I think the one thing that gets me to the next day is that I have friends and family that I have known for so long and I want to live and be better for them.  It was very hard for me at first too. I was living the American Corporate dream. Good money, traveling, ect. I had to change all that. There has to be something out there that you love to do, make it your job!!! I know that I have to live one day at a time and do the best that I can with what I have. It is really hard sometimes and I want to break down and cry (and I do) but I remember that at least I got to live some of my life with out this crazy disease! We can more if you want to know specifics. Best of luck!

Hi Lee Anne. I read your blog and I'm going through the same things as you are. I was dx with type 1 in November 2007 and was put on insulin. Everything was fine until I developed a spinal cyst in Oct. 2008. When I first found out I thought that this could not happen to me-I'm only 42, I'm active in church and home school my children-my life changed. I hope all will be ok with you because every one gets upset, mad, sad or po'ed when they are first dx.


Do not be scared of the changes that you are going through. At one time or another we all go through the same changes. I'll keep you in my prayers.