More and More Kids With Type 2 Diabetes – Type 2 diabetes, once exclusive to adults, is now appearing in children in rapidly increasing numbers. This increase runs parallel to the rising rate of childhood obesity.
Poor nutrition from processed foods and take-away, plus such low rates of exercise leads right to metabolic problems for more and more children.
As recently as ten years ago, if a child received a type 2 diabetes diagnosis it would be written up in a medical journal. Today at least one third of the cases of diabetes diagnosed in juveniles is type 2 diabetes! The average age is thirteen and a half, but type 2 has been found in children as young as four years.
It is also estimated that 4 per cent of adolescents, between the age of thirteen to nineteen have undiagnosed metabolic issues which is connected to type 2 diabetes.
Bigger Than You Think!
“Diabetes is not a little bit of a problem. It’s a huge problem for the people who have it,” says Dr Francine Kaufman, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist from L.A. These days her clinic is filled with children with type 2 diabetes.
What You Need to Know:
Many parents miss the obvious single risk factor… obesity, especially around the child’s middle where an “apple-shaped” figure is obvious. In other words, fat around the belly and waist.
Mostly kids with type 2 diabetes are overweight, in fact, roughly 90 per cent are. During puberty, insulin secretion increases and insulin sensitivity decreases by approximately 30 per cent.
What You Can See:
a darkened, velvety and thickened skin area in the folds of skin in the armpit, groin and neck area. Known as acanthosis nigricans; the cause is still not really known but it seems to be related to insulin resistance. These areas may cause itching
unusual thirst and excessive urination and urination during the night. This is how the child’s body copes with getting rid of excess sugar. Usually children who have been playing outside on a hot day get thirsty… they drink to replace fluids they have lost… they don’t urinate more than usual. And usually they don’t urinate during the night-time
a child with undiagnosed diabetes can have unusual hunger with no weight gain. Normally a child who eats a lot of food puts on weight!
unnatural fatigue is another sign… muscle and body cells are not able to use sugar that is eaten for energy, so the child is often tired
frequent infections and sores that take longer than normal to heal
blurred vision may be something you child mentions to you… this happens because the blood sugar level is high and affects their eye lens. The blurriness improves when the blood sugar level lowers
Do you know studies have shown children who spend large amounts of time watching TV:
do not do any physical activity, and
eat many sugary foods that are advertised during children’s TV programs at the rate of approximately twelve food advertisements per hour
One study in California showed by reducing TV watching time to eight hours per week helped kids to control their weight, compared to kids who did not change their TV watching habits.