Type 2 diabetes in children
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body tissues cannot use insulin properly. Overtime the pancreas cannot make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body’s cells use sugar for energy. It also helps the body store extra energy in the muscle, fat and liver cells.
Without insulin, sugar cannot get into the cells to do it’s work. Instead it stays in the blood , causing high blood sugar. If your blood sugar is high most of the time, you have diabetes.
High blood sugar can result in the following :
- eye, heart , blood vessels, nerves and kidney problems
- it makes a person more likely to get serious diseases and infections
What causes type 2 diabetes ?
The exact cause is unknown. However experts believe the main risk of children getting type 2 diabetes are
- being overweight
- not being physically active
- having a family history of the disease
How is type 2 diabetes diagnosed ?
A simple blood test can be used to diagnose diabetes. However the child’s doctor may do other tests if it is not clear whether the child has type 1 or type 2.
Your child will be tested for the disease if he/she has the risk factors.
How is it treated ?
The main aim of treatment is to keep the child’s blood sugar level within normal range. This can be done by the following :
- keeping track of your child’s blood sugar level. This will help you determine the foods and activities that elevates her blood sugar level
- teaching your child to make healthy food choices . Seek the help of your doctor, dietician or diabetes educator as to what foods are good for your child
- encourage your child to stay healthy.
- make sure your child takes any diabetes medication as prescribed
- be a role model by eating good and exercising
How can type 2 diabetes be prevented ?
Have your child stay at a healthy weight and exercise regularly to prevent diabetes .
Child type 2 diabetes. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-2-diabetes-guide/type-2-diabetes-in-children#1. Accessed August 3rd, 2017
Children and type 2 diabetes. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/parents-and-kids/children-and-type-2/. Accessed August 3rd, 2017