November 2018 Issue
Editor's Spot: Diabetes and Campus Life
By Judith Riddle
Vol. 20, No. 11, P. 4
As you acknowledge American Diabetes Month, you may want to make it a priority to tell all of your teenage clients and patients living on college campuses about the College Diabetes Network (CDN), a national nonprofit organization whose focus is to offer young adults with type 1 diabetes resources, a community of peers, and tools they desperately need to make the successful transition from living at home to living their best lives independently.
I learned about this organization at the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) annual meeting in Baltimore in August and was struck by the students' stories of how difficult it is mentally, emotionally, and physically to deal with the daily challenges of managing their diabetes in addition to adjusting to campus life and their academic studies.
Isolation, depression, anxiety, fear, and burnout were described by students who didn't have a good support system in place to help them manage their disease and connect with other students while away at college.
CDN, which was founded by a college student with type 1 diabetes in 2009, has more than 100 chapters on college campuses across the country. Students lead the chapters that forge connections and friendships with other students who have type 1 diabetes and provide a wealth of resources.
According to collegediabetesnetwork.org, the organization provides resources for college preparation (eg, scholarships, looking at schools, preparing to leave), campus life (eg, dining halls and nutrition, travel and study abroad, exercise, mental health and body image), diabetes management at work (eg, career tracks, jobs, and internships), navigating a support system (eg, parents and family, friends, roommates, relationships), and other information.
And while CDN focuses on young adults with type 1 diabetes, it does provide resources for those with type 2 diabetes. So make sure you tell your young adult clients and their parents about this invaluable resource. According to the students at AADE, CDN positively transformed their lives.
In this issue, Today's Dietitian features the article "Very Low-Carbohydrate Diets," which discusses the research on these diets in type 2 diabetes prevention and management and offers practical advice for RDs and clients. Also, don't miss the articles on the case for bread, winter vegetables, Jewish holiday food traditions, and live streaming. Please enjoy the issue!