Diabetes (Type 2)

Also known as: Diabetes type 2, adult-onset diabetes

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition in which the body has higher-then-normal blood sugar levels. Normally, insulin, produced by the pancreas moves glucose into one's cell to be used for energy. In type 2 diabetes the cells in the child’s body do not respond to the insulin. This is called insulin resistance. This can lead to long term complications like heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. At risk children include those with a family history of diabetes, girls, those who are overweight, and particularly children from African-American, Asian or Hispanic backgrounds.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Being overweight is the largest contributor to the development of type 2 diabetes. Other factors include unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and occasionally a hormone problem.

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

Initially, there may be no symptoms. Over time, children may experience unexplained weight loss, increased hunger or thirst, dry mouth, more frequent urination, fatigue, blurry vision, slow healing of sores or infections, itchy skin and tingling of fingers or toes.

What are type 2 diabetes care options?

Losing weight if overweight, a healthy diet and exercise are important components of management. In addition, children with type 2 diabetes will need to have their blood sugars monitored regularly to ensure it is maintained at an appropriate level. Insulin and other diabetes medications may need to be taken.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 11/12/2019 12:11:38 PM

Pediatric Diabetes Treatment Center

Nicklaus Children's is dedicated to the treatment and management of diabetes in babies, children and adolescents.

Learn more

Related Videos

Dr. Joshua Tarkoff Explains Type 2 Diabetes

Dr. Tarkoff is a pediatric endocrinologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. For more information, please visit nicklauschildrens.org/endocrinology

Learn more about

Diabetes (Type 1)

Normally, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin which enables the sugar in the blood to move into the body’s cells to provide energy. In children with type 1 diabetes, the child’s body no longer produces insulin. Learn more

Learn more about

Continuous Insulin Infusion

Continuous insulin infusion is a diabetes treatment that helps keep blood glucose levels under control in people with diabetes. Rather than injecting insulin frequently, a person with an insulin pump gets precise doses of insulin that are delivered throughout the day. Learn more

Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Many people with diabetes have to check their blood glucose several times a day. Continuous glucose monitoring provides nearly constant blood glucose levels (measured every 5 minutes) through a device that is implanted on the body. Learn more