Type 2 diabetes becoming a childhood epidemic | Miami Herald
Before, the only people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes were older adults. However, times have changed. In the past 20 years, new cases of Type 2 diabetes in childhood have increased from less than 5 percent to more than 20 percent of all new diagnoses. What is causing this disturbing trend? What is Type 2 diabetes, and how can we protect our children from this disease?
Type 2 diabetes is the form of diabetes in which the body is resistant to the action of insulin. Insulin levels rise, and when the body can no longer make enough insulin, blood sugars rise. This is different from Type 1 diabetes, in which the body stops making insulin.
Although Type 1 diabetes is still more common among children, Type 2 diabetes — previously called adult onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes — is becoming more common among adolescents and even younger children. Type 2 diabetes occurs in children as young as 6, and is increasing at an alarming rate, primarily due to the epidemic of obesity in children and adolescents.
Type 2 diabetes is also more common among some ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans. Another risk factor is a family history of Type 2 diabetes or if diabetes occurred in the mother during pregnancy.
Never miss a local story.
Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.
There are a number signs parents should watch for if they suspect their child has diabetes, including:
▪ Frequent urination or new bed-wetting.
▪ Increased thirst and appetite.
▪ Decreased energy.
▪ Unexplained weigh Continue reading