For a very long time, type 2 diabetes was considered an adults-only condition. This trend has now changed. There has been a rapid rise in the number of children diagnosed with this condition. Type 2 diabetes in children is a chronic state that affects the way the child’s body processes sugar.
Why is important to manage it? This is because the long term consequences can be disabling and in many cases life threatening.
What is fueling this condition in children is primarily the obesity epidemic.
Before we jump to that let’s first understand the symptoms of this condition. Diabetic symptoms don’t start immediately in children, but is a slow and gradual change.
Some over the time signs you need to watch out for are:
- Increased thirst with frequent urination. This happens because your child’s bloodstream pulls fluid from tissues.As a result, the child can feel constantly thirsty and urinate more than usual.
- Rapid weight loss: Without energy supplied from sugar, the tissues in the muscle and fat stores can shrink leading to weight loss. Though in children with type 2 diabetes this is fairly uncommon. This is something you are likely to see more in type 1 diabetic cases.
- Excessive fatigue: The lack of sugar in the cells can make your child constantly tired and lethargic.
- Blurry vision: If blood sugar is very high, then fluid may be pulled or absorbed back from the lenses of the eye. This may cause the focus to become unclear or blurry.
- Slow healing and frequent infections: With this condition, your child’s ability to recover and resist from infections drop drastically.
When to seek help?
As soon as you notice any of these symptoms in your child, it is best to get in touch with a doctor. If left un-diagnosed it can have serious health repercussions.
Rather than waiting for signs and symptoms, start making it a practice to feed your children healthy, get plenty of physical activity to avoid weight problems and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Now getting back to the causes. Like mentioned earlier obesity is a primary contributor, while there can be other reasons like family history and genetics that can also give rise to type 2 diabetes in your child.
One thing for sure is an unhealthy lifestyle in children or adults can trigger this condition causing the body to become resistant to insulin or cause pancreas to not produce enough.
Before life threatening complication arise, it is best to tab the condition from the start. Keeping a regular check on blood sugar levels can also be helpful. Just get yourself a glucometer for the family, with which you can regularly monitor and track blood sugar levels from the comfort of wherever you are. You could get one online or just talk to your health care provider for suggestions.