A few years ago it was rare to hear about a child with type 2 diabetes
Previously it was thought that if diabetes has occurred in childhood, it was type 1 or juvenile diabetes. No more. Now, according to the CDC, more than 186,000 people younger than 20 years have diabetes – type 1 and type 2 diabetes, formerly known as adult-onset diabetes. How can you prevent this threat to the health of your child? What can you do if your child is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?
What is type 2 diabetes?
The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into blood sugar glucose. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin to glucose from the blood vessels used to carry energy in the cells of the body. Type 2 diabetes, the cells in a child from the effects of insulin and glucose body builds up in the bloodstream. Finally, this leads to dangerous glucose levels in the body reach. Over time, the body is increasingly less able to handle all of the glucose in the blood vessels. High blood sugar can lead to diabetes complications, such as heart disease, blindness and kidney failure.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes in children
The following risk factors are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in children in combination:
- Family history of diabetes
- Female sex
- Certain ethnic groups (American Indian, African-American, Asian, or Hispanic / Latino)
- Other problems with insulin resistance (most people with type 2 diabetes in childhood are diagnosed at the beginning of puberty, a stage of development where there is an increased resistance)
The single biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes in children is overweight. In the United States, almost one in five children is considered to be overweight. Once a child is overweight, chances are more than doubled the child to develop diabetes.
One or more of these factors can contribute to being overweight or obese:
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Lack of physical activity
- An inherited tendency
- Rarely, a hormone problem or other disease
- Furthermore, as with adults, the risk of type 2 diabetes in children appears to be associated with abdominal obesity. This pattern weight increases the likelihood of insulin resistance and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children develop slowly. Initially there may be no symptoms.
Finally, you may notice one or more of these symptoms:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Increased hunger or thirst, even after eating
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Heavy breathing
- Slow healing of sores or cuts
- Itchy skin
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
It’s time to visit your child’s doctor if you notice any of these symptoms of diabetes in your child.