Type 2 diabetes in children

21:54 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Type 2 diabetes in children?

It is a chronic condition in which sugar accumulates in the blood because the body is unable to use and process this substance efficiently, generating a series of complications that affect the child's quality of life and can become extremely serious if not treated promptly. Although it is more common in adults, type 2 diabetes in children has been increasing in recent years due to the large number of obese children that currently exist due to poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyle. There are three main aspects that you must consider to prevent your child from developing this disease or, if they already have it, to control it:
  • Make sure they eat a healthy diet high in fiber and vegetables, low in carbohydrates, fats, and processed foods.
  • Encourage them to play sports or exercise daily.
  • Prevent them from gaining weight.
Although the origin of this condition has not been identified, it is known that genetic factors, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle play a key role.  Over the years, your child could develop serious complications if they don't get treatment or adopt a healthy lifestyle:
  • Fatty liver.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Blindness.
  • Cardiovascular diseases.
  • Stroke.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Limb amputation.

Symptoms

The onset of symptoms is slow and often goes unnoticed, but the most common symptoms are: 
  • Tiredness and weakness. 
  • Visual problems.
  • Excessive thirst and urination. 
  • Skin darkening in the armpits and neck. 
  • Weight loss for no reason. 
If your child has any of these symptoms, is overweight or obese, it is important that you see your doctor as soon as possible to detect type 2 diabetes early and start treatment as soon as possible to prevent severe complications.

Diagnosis and treatment

Once your doctor analyzes your child's symptoms and medical history, he or she will order a variety of tests to confirm the diagnosis, including:
  • Glycosylated hemoglobin test. 
  • Fasting blood sugar test. 
  • Random blood sugar test. 
  • Oral glucose tolerance test. 
Treatment for type 2 diabetes must be permanent throughout your child's life, as it is an incurable condition. The therapeutic plan includes:
  • Prescription of insulin and some drugs.
  • Bariatric surgery for weight loss.
  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Permanent glucose check and control.
As your child grows, his or her therapeutic plan will be modified to adapt to his or her needs and achieve the best results. Your doctor and nutritionist will intervene to keep a stable glucose level and minimize the risk of serious complications.  In ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • medlineplus.gov
  • mayoclinic.org
  • msdmanuals.com
  • healthline.com
  • cigna.com
  • cun.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • Mota SV, Reyes CA, Estefan JP, et al. Evaluación de una intervención educativa en el estilo de vida para prevenir prediabetes o diabetes tipo 2 en niños mexicanos. An Med Asoc Med Hosp ABC. 2021;66(1):25-35. doi:10.35366/99486. 
  • Rodríguez VN, Fernández-Britto JE, Martínez PTP, et al. Asociación de diabetes y dislipidemia en niño de 7 a 11 años con alto peso al nacer. Rev Cubana Invest Bioméd. 2018;37(3):1-15.
  • Ballesteros-Vásquez MN, García-Gámez S, Artalejo-Ochoa E, et al. Riesgo cardiovascular y de diabetes en preescolares. Acta Pediatr Mex. 2019;40(1):1-10.
The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.