Type 2 diabetes has been a common medical issue in adults for several decades. It has even been referred to as “adult-onset diabetes.” That is changing, as an increasing number of children are being diagnosed with the disease.
What Is Type 2 Diabetes?
The main indicator of type 2 diabetes is high blood sugar. With this disease, your body’s insulin is no longer properly processing glucose (sugar), moving it out of the bloodstream and into the cells of your body. When not diagnosed and treated properly, this high concentration of sugar in the blood can be extremely dangerous to a child’s health.
The high blood sugar levels created by type 2 diabetes in children can have a serious impact on the functions of all of the child’s major organs – kidneys, liver and heart. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and blindness are other health issues which can develop in children who have type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes in Children
One reason type 2 diabetes often goes undetected in children is the silence of the symptoms. The symptoms develop gradually and can be easily ignored by parents unaware of the connection to this disease. Watch for these symptoms in your child:
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Sores slow to heal
- Increase in thirst and urination
As you can see, these symptoms are not dramatic and can easily go unnoticed. A child may exhibit only one or several of the symptoms. If your child is demonstrating any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician.
Although the exact cause of type 2 diabetes is unknown, there are certain risk factors that may increase the chances of a child being diagnosed with the disease.
- Siblings or parents with the disease
- Non-Caucasian ethnicity
- Beginning of puberty
- Low birth weight
- Girls have a higher risk than boys
Treatment of Diabetes in Children
The treatment recommended for a child with type 2 diabetes can vary, depending on the blood sugar level established through diagnostic screening and other health factors. For all diabetes patients, monitoring blood sugar levels, healthy dietary changes and an increase in physical activity will be recommended. For some, medications or insulin may be prescribed to help bring blood sugar levels into a healthy range.
Clinical Trials for Diabetes in Children
The medical community continues to pursue a greater understanding of the causes, effects and treatment of type 2 diabetes in children. Clinical trials and studies are one of the best ways for them learn about the disease and how to best treat and prevent it. DM Clinical Research is proud to play a part in this process. Learn more about participating in current clinical trials through DM Clinical Research. Call us at 281-517-0550 for more information.