Kids and Type 2 Diabetes
Many moons ago when a child was diagnosed with diabetes the results were type 1. However, as with all that changes and evolves, the diagnosis of diabetes in children has changed as well. For those that are 20 years of age and younger, more and more the diagnosis is type 2. Their bodies are becoming insulin resistant and the blood sugar starts to build up in the blood stream. This, of course, is the normal process of type 2 diabetes. The risks for young children are even greater in the way of deeper medical complications without an early diagnosis.
Some of the risks for children associated with the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes are the family history, if they are overweight, being female, and their ethnic group. African-American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian have a higher risk rate. The diagnosis is generally made at the beginning of puberty since that is the stage in life when insulin resistance becomes more prominent. As with adults, one of the highest risk factors in type 2 diabetes is being overweight. In children this can come from not getting enough exercise, family history, not eating properly, or from a medical condition. Being overweight is one of the major contributors to the disease.
For children, type 2 symptoms are not going to appear overnight. They gradually start to show over time which can make it hard to diagnose. Many parents may feel that one symptom is related to another condition. Knowing what to look for can get you to the doctor for diagnosis. Some of the symptoms to watch for are heavy breathing, blurry vision, feeling itchy for no reason, tiredness, dry mouth, losing weight with no reason, or going to the bathroom more often. Of course children tend to get cuts and bruises often from play time, and if you notice they are taking longer to heal get to the doctor. You may be able to diagnose early to start treatment and prevent further complications from the diabetes.
Naturally if your child is experiencing any of the symptoms it is important to get to the doctor as quickly as possible. However, if they are showing signs of more than one symptom you need to make an emergency visit to the physician. Early detection and diagnosis is key to getting things back on track as fast as possible. If type 2 diabetes goes untreated for a long period of time it can result in heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, and even death. Because symptoms can take some time to show up in children it is possible for damage to occur before diagnosis. From the moment that you notice anything out of place getting to the doctor should be a top priority. Keeping your child healthy with a proper diet and making sure that they are getting plenty of exercise can help to keep diabetes at bay, even with a family history. Starting good habits early can go a long way to a healthy future.
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