Type 2 diabetes in kids

Learn about the increasing prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in children and how parents can take steps to prevent it. This article covers the risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, complications, prevention, and tips for promoting a healthy lifestyle. Join the Babynama community to consult with medical experts and get answers to your questions about your child's health and development.

Are you aware that type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in children?

While it used to be known as adult-onset diabetes, due to the obesity epidemic, children are now also at risk. Type 2 diabetes causes sugar to build up in the blood, which can lead to severe long-term risks if left untreated. As a parent, there are steps you can take to make healthy changes for your family and help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Read on to learn more about this issue and what you can do to support your child's health.

What is Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that can strike at any age, however it is more common among a child who usually starts slowly and gradually, finding it challenging to notice and diagnose in kids.

Risk factors for diabetes:

  • Certain factors increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, such as obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, family history, age, and ethnicity.

  • Identifying and addressing these risk factors can prevent the onset of the disease.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes:

  • Symptoms may be mild or unnoticed in the early stages.

  • Common symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, slow healing of cuts or bruises, and numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.

Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes:

  • Blood test measures the level of glucose in the blood for diagnosis.

  • Other tests may check for complications such as kidney or nerve damage.

Complications of type 2 diabetes:

  • If left untreated, serious complications can arise such as heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, nerve damage, and blindness.

  • Lifestyle changes and medication can prevent these complications.

Prevention of type 2 diabetes:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical activity, and a balanced diet can reduce the risk of developing the condition.

When to see a doctor:

  • If experiencing symptoms of type 2 diabetes or have risk factors for the disease, seeing a doctor is important for evaluation.

  • Early detection and management can prevent complications and improve quality of life.

Tips for parents:

  • Encouraging healthy habits from a young age can prevent children and adolescents from developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Promoting regular physical activity, limiting sugary drinks and snacks, and modeling healthy eating habits are some ways to do this.

  • Parents can also talk to their child's doctor about screening for diabetes if they have risk factors for the condition.

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