Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to utilize glucose, the most common type of sugar in the blood. Our bodies convert the food we eat into glucose and other essential nutrients, which are subsequently absorbed into the circulation through the gastrointestinal tract.
Following a meal, the blood glucose level rises, prompting the pancreas to produce and release the hormone insulin into the bloodstream.
Type 2 Diabetes In Children
For decades, type 2 diabetes was thought to be a disease that mainly affected adults. However, what was formerly primarily an adult condition is now becoming more prevalent in children.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness that affects the body’s ability to process sugar, often known as glucose.
Type 2 Diabetes in children
The cells in your child’s body do not respond to insulin in type 2 diabetes, and glucose builds up in their circulation. Insulin resistance is the term for this. Their body’s sugar levels eventually get too high for it to handle. This could lead to problems including heart disease, blindness, and kidney failure in the future.
The onset of type 2 diabetes is frequently sluggish and gradual. As a result, symptoms can be difficult to notice, and some children may not have any symptoms.
In younger toddlers, teens, and adults, the symptoms are identical. The following symptoms are common in children with type 2 diabetes:
Fatigue: A symptom of a child’s body’s inability to adequately use blood sugar. Living with the more severe consequences of diabetes can induce continuous exhaustion on both an emotional and physical level.
Urination frequency: A youngster with type 2 diabetes may urinate more frequently than they did before the disease occurred. When the body has an overabundance of sugar in the blood, some of it is excreted in the urine, along with excess water.
Skin darkening: Insulin resistance may contribute to the development of a skin disorder known as acanthosis nigricans, which causes darkening of the skin.
Increased thirst: Children with type 2 diabetes may experience an increased desire to drink more fluids than usual. This is because increased urination can lead to dehydration and thirst.
Vision blurring: High blood sugar levels can cause fluid to be drawn from the lenses of the eyes, making it difficult to focus.
Type 2 diabetes has an uncertain ontology. However, it appears that family history and genetics play a significant impact. Inactivity and extra fat, particularly around the abdomen, appear to be key concerns as well.
What is apparent is that persons with type 2 diabetes are unable to appropriately metabolise glucose. As a result, instead of accomplishing its task of fueling the cells that make up muscles and other tissues, sugar builds up in the bloodstream.
The majority of sugar in people’s bodies comes from their diet. Sugar enters the bloodstream as food is metabolized. Insulin is required to transport sugar from the bloodstream to the body’s cells. The pancreas, a gland found behind the stomach, produces insulin. After a person eats, the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream.
Insulin permits sugar to enter cells as it circulates, reducing the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Insulin release from the pancreas decreases when blood sugar levels fall.
When the body grows resistant to insulin or the pancreas stops producing enough insulin, type 2 diabetes develops. High blood sugar symptoms might arise as a result of the sugar buildup in the bloodstream.
Getting your child to the doctor is the first step. Based on their age, weight, and height, they can determine if they are overweight. They’ll check their blood sugar levels to see if they have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes. If they do have diabetes, determining whether it is type 1 or type 2 may take a few extra procedures.
They may give them insulin until they know for sure. They’ll ask you to assist them in making lifestyle modifications once they’ve confirmed it is type 2 diabetes. They may advise them to take a drug called metformin. It and insulin are the only blood-sugar-lowering medications licensed for children under the age of 18, though other options are being investigated.
Every three months, your child should get a hemoglobin A1c test. This test determines their average blood sugar levels throughout that time.
They’ll have to monitor their blood sugar levels:
When they begin or discontinue treatment
- If they don’t achieve their therapy objectives
- If they need to take insulin
- If they’re taking a sulfonylurea
The doctor will show you how to monitor your blood sugar and how often you should do so. If they’re on insulin, most experts recommend doing it three or more times a day. If they aren’t, they should check less frequently, but only after meals. A standard finger stick test or a continuous glucose monitor can be used.
Children who are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes should be tested. Tests such as these may be used as part of the screening process:
- A1C glycated hemoglobin: This test determines how much glucose is present in red blood cells. It displays the three-month average blood glucose readings.
- Plasma glucose levels after a fast: Blood is drawn after at least 8 hours without food.
- Test for oral glucose tolerance: Blood glucose levels are measured two hours after consuming a glucose drink in this test.
To determine if your kid has type 2 diabetes, more urine and blood tests may be performed.
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by making the following lifestyle changes:
- A balanced diet
- If necessary, weight loss
- Exercise regularly
Type 2 diabetes causes long-term problems that appear gradually over time. Diabetes problems can become disabling or even life-threatening in the long run. Type 2 diabetic complications include:
- Blood pressure that is too high
- Cholesterol levels are high.
- Diseases of the heart and blood vessels
As the rate of juvenile obesity continues to rise, type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly widespread among youngsters. In children, detecting and diagnosing the illness might be difficult. The long-term repercussions of having type 2 diabetes at a young age are unknown to doctors.
Healthy lifestyle practices, such as eating a well-balanced diet and getting lots of exercises, can help youngsters avoid and cure type 2 diabetes. Caregivers must also be prepared and knowledgeable to avoid or respond rapidly to emergency circumstances.
Lacey Arlo is a wellness expert and a nutritionist who aims to help members with health and diet queries. Lacey Arlo has worked with junior, national, and Olympic-level athletes by providing them with customizing programmers, supplement strategies, and support during their travel and competition. From weight management, PCOD, thyroid-related weight loss, and nutrition for children to diets for pregnant and diets for senior citizens, She offers nutrition-aided solutions for different age groups with consideration for each person’s unique health demands.