Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that was once considered an adult’s disease but is now developing more in our children. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, approximately 5,300 children under the age of 20 were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes between 2011 and 2002. An additional 18,000 were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
One of the biggest risk factors for Type 2 diabetes is obesity as this affects the way organs and tissue absorb sugar from the blood, increasing insulin resistance. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to Type 2 diabetes where the body no longer responds appropriately to insulin and complications arise. As there are nearly 14 million obese children in the United States, according to the CDC, we may see many new cases of Type 2 diabetes among our nation’s youth.
Understanding the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes in Children
Many children and adults share the same kinds of symptoms if they have Type 2 Diabetes. The difference is that Type 2 diabetes is often detected sooner in adults than in children because symptoms generally manifest very slowly. The most common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes in children include the following:
Increased Urination: Someone with increased blood sugar levels will generally need to urinate more as the kidneys absorb and filter the sugar out of the blood. This increase in urination may also lead to increased thirst as the body may be dehydrated.
Fatigue: Glucose is used by your body for energy. If the body is unable to use blood sugar properly, it could lead to fatigue.
Blurred Vision: Another common symptom of Type 2 diabetes is blurred vision. High blood sugar levels take fluid from the eyes, so they are unable to focus as well as they should.
These are just a few of the most common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes in children. If your child is acting differently and experiencing any of these symptoms, you should take them to the doctor who will screen for sugar in the urine or request a fasting blood sample.
Although there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed through lifestyle modifications and regular blood glucose monitoring, which can be done at home. You can even request diabetes supply delivery services to your home, so you are never left without the necessary supplies. Your doctor will come up with a catered treatment program that will work for your child’s needs and specific issues.