Last time we reviewed some general information about diabetes in children and adolescents, and focused in on type 1. Today we look at type 2.
Type 2 diabetes has become much more prevalent in teens and children over the age of 10 in the last few decades. This is believed to be directly related to the increasing number of young people who are overweight, obese, and/or inactive.
This diabetes type often comes from insulin resistance, meaning that the body does not effectively use the insulin produced by the pancreas. (Insulin is the hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood.) If insulin resistance is detected early enough, type 2 diabetes may be prevented or forestalled with appropriate action.
According to this article on the National Institutes of Health website, from which we’ve drawn material for this blog, insulin resistance is tied to such things as inactivity and obesity, including belly fat in particular. Losing excess weight and increasing activity to age-appropriate levels can help to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Another NIH website article states, “A youth may feel very tired, thirsty, or nauseated and have to urinate often. Other symptoms may include weight loss, blurred vision, frequent infections, and slow healing of wounds or sores. Some youth may present with vaginal yeast infection or burning on urination due to yeast infection. Some may have extreme elevation of the blood glucose level associated with severe dehydration and coma.” Others may have no symptoms at all.
If your child has diabetes, his pediatrician will have recommendations for an exercise regimen, diet, and medication.
If you think your child is at risk for diabetes, she should be tested by the pediatrician and you should be alert for symptoms. Both types of diabetes are serious, with symptoms that can come on quickly, and possible problems that can last a lifetime. While hoping for a cure, today we rely on good management techniques. Call on us if you have questions or concerns.
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