Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition and can cause a person’s blood sugars to rise. While the disease is more common in adults, it can also affect children. It is the most common type of diabetes. Around 90-95% of people are affected by diabetes. In the US, over 30 million people have type 2 diabetes. The number of children affected by the disease is rising.
When food is eaten, the body breaks it down into sugar, and the sugar is released into the bloodstream. When blood sugar levels rise in the body, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin helps the blood sugar to enter the body’s cells. Then the cells use it to create energy. If a person has type 2 diabetes, their pancreas can’t make enough insulin, or the insulin their pancreas makes doesn’t work correctly. If too much blood sugar is in the bloodstream for an extended period, it can cause serious health issues such as kidney disease, vision loss, and heart disease.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can often take time to develop before detection can continue for an extended period. The symptoms include frequent urination, feeling thirsty, feeling hungry even if eating well, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, cuts and bruises that can be slow to heal, tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet.
To diagnose the disease, the doctor will try to find out the child’s symptoms and lifestyle. Before taking a blood sample, a physical examination can be done. This blood sample allows checking the child’s blood sugar levels. If If the blood sugar levels are over a certain amount, this disease can be diagnosed. The doctor can also recommend a urine test to check for sugar in the child’s urine.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes –
- A child who has excess weight or obesity is more likely to develop this disease. Obesity can affect the body’s ability to metabolize sugars. Children who are affected with obesity in their bloodstream have excess levels of insulin. Blood sugar level rises in such children. A child affected with obesity can also develop insulin resistance.
- If a child is physically inactive, they may have a higher risk of developing the disease. Regular exercise can help prevent or delay the development. Regular exercise can provide a child with this disease with lots of benefits.
- The progression of insulin resistance can lead to the development of the disease, and several factors can increase the chance of developing insulin resistance.
- Most of the children with this disease have a close relative who also has this.
- People with specific ancestry are at a higher risk of developing the disease. The CDC states that children with African American, Latino American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Pacific Islander have higher chances of getting the disease.
Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in children. A child should manage their blood sugar levels if this disease is detected. If a child manages diabetes well, it can reduce their risks of developing complications and increase their quality of life.