Type 2 diabetes develops when your child's body can't make enough insulin or can't use insulin very well.
Insulin is a hormone. It helps the body's cells use sugar (glucose) for energy. It also helps the body store extra sugar in muscle, fat, and liver cells. Without insulin, the sugar can't get into the cells to do its work. It stays in the blood instead. This can cause high blood sugar levels. A person has diabetes when the blood sugar stays too high too much of the time. Over time, diabetes can lead to diseases of the heart, blood vessels, nerves, kidneys, and eyes.
In the past, doctors believed that type 2 diabetes was an adult disease and that type 1 diabetes was a children's disease. Now, more and more children are getting type 2 diabetes. Children who are overweight, are not very active, or have family members with diabetes have a higher chance of getting it.
Treatment for type 2 diabetes focuses on diet and exercise. It may also include medicines. The goal is to keep blood sugar at a target level. This will help your child feel better and have more energy. It can also prevent or delay damage to the eyes, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, and nerves. If you work closely with your child's doctor, you can make a treatment plan that fits your child's needs.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if your child:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if your child:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if your child:
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Current as of: March 13, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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