Types 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition that develops once the pancreas could not produce enough insulin or the bodily tissues cannot utilize it properly. It is important to note that insulin is a hormone that helps the cells in the body utilize sugar for energy. It also helps the body store energy in fat, muscle and liver cells.
If there is lack of insulin, sugar could not enter the cells for it to do its work and remains in the blood. This leads to an increase in the blood sugar level. A child has diabetes if the blood sugar is high constantly.
In the previous years, doctors assume that type 2 diabetes only develops among adults but now more children are developing the disease. A child with the condition can be daunting for most but he/she can still live a long, healthy life with proper management.
It is believed that the main risks for children to develop type 2 diabetes includes:
- Being overweight
- Not physically active
- Family history
In addition, the hormones released during the early teenage years makes it difficult for the body to correctly utilize insulin.
What are the indications of type 2 diabetes in children?
Many children with type 2 diabetes do not have any symptoms once the disease is initially diagnosed. In case there are any symptoms, they are mild and include:
- Urinating more frequently
- Feeling more thirsty than usual
The vital points in managing diabetes is to maintain the blood sugar levels within the target range with the following:
- Monitor the blood sugar level of the child. This can help determine the foods and activities that affects his/her blood sugar.
- Encourage the child to make healthy food choices.
- The child should eat the same amount of carbohydrates at every meal. This can help maintain the blood sugar within a steady range.
- A doctor can be consulted regarding a diet plan that works for the child.
- Keep the child active such as playing outside with friends, take regular walks or participate in sports.
- If medications for diabetes are needed, it should be taken as prescribed.