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: November 26, 2019 01:06 PM
January 20, 2021 – Children with diabetes are more likely to experience complications from the flu that can lead to hospitalization. They also need extra protection against pneumonia and meningitis.
Dr. Joshua Tarkoff, pediatric endocrinologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital explains type 2 diabetes in children.
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.
Growing children and adolescents normally gain weight and height each year and the path that they follow is measured by weight and height charts (growth charts) which define the normal range for each age and sex. The Body Mass Index (BMI) takes into account whether a child’s weight falls within the normal range taking into account his/her height, age and sex. While there a number of ways to define obesity, the BMI is widely used to measure obesity (a BMI greater than the normal range for age, sex and height).
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.
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.
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