Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition characterized by the body's inability to respond correctly to insulin. This problem is known as insulin resistance. Insulin is normally utilized to transfer sugar (glucose) into cells. If there is insulin resistance, fat, liver and muscle cells do not respond adequately to insulin and the final result is absence of glucose entrance and subsequent increase in level of sugar in blood (hyperglycemia). Insulin resistance predominantly affects obese people.
Even though type 2 diabetes usually affects adults, because of severe obesity epidemic it becomes more frequent among children. Because of that parents need to be familiar with risk factors of type 2 diabetes, encourage their child to adopt healthy habits and diet and engage in regular physical activity.
Type 2 Diabetes in Children Symptoms
Type 2 diabetes in children usually develops gradually and some children do not have to complain about anything special. If there are symptoms and signs of type 2 diabetes, they generally include increased thirst and urination, increased hunger, fatigue, blurred vision etc.
Frequent infections and slow healing of wounds are two more signs of type 2 diabetes. The condition is also characterized by areas of darkened skin that predominantly form in the armpits and neck.
Consultation with a Doctor
Children with increase risk for type 2 diabetes are supposed to undergo diabetes screening. This way the disease can be diagnosed on time, treated adequately and potential complications may be successfully prevented.
Children at risk for type 2 diabetes are those with a body mass index (BMI) above 85th percentile as well as children with a sibling, parent, grandparent or other relative suffering from the same condition.
Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American as well as Pacific islander racial groups are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, hence they require proper screening, especially if they are overweight. Type 2 Diabetes in Children Prevention
Healthy lifestyles represent a great way of prevention against this type of diabetes. Even if a child develops the condition, with a healthy lifestyle he/she may not need to keep taking medications and the condition can be easily brought under control.
The child must understand and adopt healthy habits and behaviors. Food he/she consumes must be healthy, low in fat and calories but containing all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals. One should focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains and cut down on refined sugars and junk food.
Physical activity is another major factor in prevention of type 2 diabetes in children. All children are supposed to have regular physical activity. The best thing parents can do is to sign up their children for a sports team or even dance lessons.
And finally, obese children must lose excess pounds. Obesity is one of significant contributors to type 2 diabetes in children and it must be dealt with as soon as the child starts getting weight, not allowing extreme obesity to take control.