Monthly Archives: June 2015

Diabetes overview, type 2

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.

© MBS Writing Services, 2015, all rights reserved

Diabetes overview, type 1

Diabetes is a disease that can hit at any time of life from childhood to old age.  It can be a scary diagnosis, and it’s certainly not one a parent wants to hear.  Even so, new medical advances are constantly being made that can limit the bad effects of diabetes, and early diagnosis and treatment are always important.

Diabetes is not uncommon among children and teens.  According to the National Institutes of Health (and the National Diabetes Education Program—NDEP) article from which we have drawn much of the information for today’s blog, “About 208,000 young people in the US under age 20 had diabetes in 2012.”  Those numbers are growing.

The disease is classified into two categories, called type 1 and type 2.  Both types mean there is an elevated glucose (sugar) level in the blood, which is caused by problems with insulin production in the pancreas, and/or how that insulin acts on the body.

Type 1 diabetes, though only 5% of all diabetes cases, accounts for nearly all diagnoses in children under age 10.  It’s actually an autoimmune disease, in which the child’s own immune system destroys the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin.  (Insulin is the hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, including sugars, and fats.)

Usually, symptoms of type 1 diabetes don’t appear until the disease has destroyed most of the beta cells.  According to the same article cited above, “Early symptoms, which are mainly due to hyperglycemia, include increased thirst and urination, constant hunger, weight loss, and blurred vision. Children also may feel very tired.”  If you are suspicious that your child has type 1 diabetes, seek medical attention immediately.

So far, there is no cure, but type 1 diabetes is managed through careful monitoring of blood sugar levels, and insulin administration by pump or injection.  The amount and timing of insulin doses is determined by taking into account food and beverage intake, physical activity, and the presence of any illness.  This management must be under the care of a physician who understands diabetes.

There are many ongoing studies into type 1 diabetes.  Perhaps in the not-too-distant future there will be a cure, or at least a way of pre-determining who is at risk and finding ways to treat the disease before it has destroyed the body’s ability to produce its own insulin.  The future is promising.

© MBS Writing Services, 2015, all rights reserved


Let’s say this first: anytime your infant or young child has a fever of 102°F for twenty-four hours, call the pediatrician.  The issue may be minor or serious, and the doctor should help you determine what it might be.

One possibility is roseola, usually not a series condition, which is yet another in the herpes family of viruses.  (It is not the same as the herpes strains that cause genital herpes or cold sores.)  It’s human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) and is relatively common in children aged six months to two years.

Symptoms, in addition to the fever (which may last up to a week), may include a cough and runny nose, less appetite and mild diarrhea.  Finally, after the fever is gone, generally a slightly raised red rash will appear.  It usually starts on the torso before spreading to the rest of the body.

Roseola is contagious, and a child with a fever should be kept away from other youngsters until the fever is gone.  Once roseola is at the rash stage the child is no longer contagious and can return to daycare.  The incubation period is one to two weeks.

If the pediatrician suspects roseola in your child, you might be asked to treat the fever with age-appropriate doses of acetaminophen (always be sure to check dosing instructions and note that they have changed in the last few years) and keep him hydrated.  The doctor may want to talk to you again to make sure the child isn’t sick with something more serious.

You can find out more about roseola in the two articles from which our research was drawn, here and here.  Both articles were published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

© MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved