The type of diabetes the majority of children are diagnosed with is type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with the disease when it is diagnosed in adults - also called adult-onset. There are cases of children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and the numbers are growing.
A big contributor to the increase in these numbers is poor lifestyle and diet choices for our children. But this is not the only cause and may not be the cause at all for some. Just because a child is overweight or eats unhealthy does not mean he or she will get type 2 diabetes. Although, these lifestyle choices are factors that can increase the chances of it happening.
Symptoms or factors that are present in children who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes include the following:
- A child who is over their healthy weight range or is considered obese
- Many members of the family have been diagnosed with diabetes (most times this will include one of the parents)
- Some of the same symptoms shown in type 1 diabetes may appear with type 2 diabetes as well - increased urination (frequency), unquenchable thirst, and feeling very lethargic
Some children will show none of the above signs and it can be hard to diagnose them with type 2 diabetes. Annual check-ups with your doctor are important. Discuss with your doctor your family’s medical history. If there is diabetes present in your family members your doctor may want to run routine tests even in the absence of additional signs or symptoms.
The treatment for this type of diabetes is sometimes the same as type 1 diabetes. In some patients, they will have to take an insulin injection every day. But, with type 2 diabetes, depending on the severity of the disease, it is also possible to control blood glucose levels with diet and exercise alone.