Juvenile diabetes type 2 is a disease that has been steadily and quickly rising. The rise in occurrence of this condition is thought to be linked to the increase in childhood obesity, as well as more and more children eating a poor diet and leading an inactive lifestyle.
The name juvenile diabetes used to be associated exclusively with type 1 diabetes; however, due to the rapid rise of type 2 diabetes in children and teens, this exclusive association can no longer be reported and the term is now used to describe juvenile diabetes type 1 and type 2.
"Some studies report that between 8% and 45% of children who've been newly diagnosed with diabetes have the form known as type 2" (1).
Unlike type 1, in type 2 diabetes the body can still produce insulin, however, the amount produces may be too little or the body may no longer respond to it normally.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may develop gradually over time making them difficult to detect.
You should consult with your doctor if any of the symptoms of juvenile diabetes become evident including: frequent feelings of fatigue, tingling or numbness in the feet, itchy skin, cuts that heal slowly, recurring infections, blurred vision or in some cases an increase in thirst, urination and/or hunger.
A child is at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if he or she is overweight, inactive, eats a low nutritional diet and has a strong family history of diabetes.
If any of the symptoms or risk factors are noticed in a child or teen your doctor can determine if diabetes is present by performing a blood test to detect the level of sugar in the blood.
Children and teens with juvenile diabetes type 2 can follow a juvenile diabetes diet, get regular exercise, lose weight and take oral diabetes medication to improve how their body responds to insulin and manage their blood sugar. Less commonly patients may need to supplement insulin via daily insulin shots or the use of an insulin pump.
Diabetes is a serious health condition in children and it is a disease that is on the rise. The good news is that with proper changes to diet and exercise and by losing excess weight, this condition can be managed and a child can go on to live a long and healthy life.
(1) Kids Health (2010). Type 2 diabetes: what is it. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/endocrine/type2.html