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Increase of Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Verified By Dr Mahesh Chavan November 16, 2020 5445 0
Increase of Type 2 Diabetes in Children
Increase of Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Type II diabetes is not juvenile diabetes and  uncommon in children. But this is changing slowly and gradually. Type II diabetes is adult-onset diabetes, which has unfortunately started to affect the children of this generation. Various factors are responsible for this, but obesity ranks among the topmost factors. It is a chronic disease, which is entirely manageable as well as preventable.

What happens to children with type II diabetes?

Your child’s body is either not producing enough insulin to meet bodily demands or is resisting the use of insulin, also known as insulin resistance. Your doctor will recommend that your child gets  enough exercise, is active, and eats healthy food. But sometimes, diet and exercise  fall short in eliminating or controlling the disease. In such cases, medical treatment is also needed . The article focuses on the rise of type II diabetes in children.

Knowing more about Type 2 diabetes in children

Nowadays, type 2 diabetes is also affecting children. It is due to the rise in obesity among them. This condition does not allow the body to use insulin. The risk of type II diabetes in children increases with obesity, family history, inactivity, etc. Diabetes comes with several complications too. However , preventive measures and a healthy lifestyle can help your child combat this ailment.

What are the symptoms of type 2  diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes might get hard to notice in children due  gradual development of symptoms . Your doctor might diagnose this disorder during a routine check-up. Some common symptoms that your child may experience are:

  • Urge to drink water and urinate frequently

Thekidneys are responsible for cleaning the sugar out of the blood. Over time, they can no longer keep up with this job because there is too much sugar for them to handle. Instead, the extra sugar and other fluids from organs are removed in the  urine. This process causes dehydration  and thirst. In turn, when the patient  drinks more fluids, it leads to even more urination.

  • Increase in fatigue and weakness.

It might develop due to a lack of glucose. Glucose gives energy to your cells that perform physiological functions for your body. Lack of glucose in cells makes your child’s body exhausted.

  • Blurry vision.

An increased concentration of sugar in blood might extract fluid from your child’s lenses. It leaves your child’s eyes with blurry vision or insufficient focusing power.

  • Pigmentation on skin.

If you witness darker spots and pigmentation around your child’s neck and armpits, it might be the progression of type II diabetes. Consult your doctor immediately.

  • Sudden weight loss.

Do not confuse a healthy weight loss with weight loss due to diabetes. Shrinking of muscles, depletion of fat, and loss of body weight is common among children with type II diabetes. It is because your child’s body cells are not getting enough energy in the form of glucose.

It is never too late to see a doctor. Being updated and alert with the right information will help you make the right decision. Get to know the right time to consult a doctor.

When to see a doctor?

See a child’s specialist if –

  • You witness the above signs and symptoms in your child.
  • Your child is overweight or obese and is ten years old.
  • You have a family history of diabetes.

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment

What causes diabetes in children?

The primary cause of type II diabetes is not known yet, but obesity ranks among the top few factors for developing type II diabetes in children. Other factors are:

  • Family history and genetic factors.
  • Inactive lifestyle and eating junk food .
  • Accumulation of fat around the belly.

Diabetes is a disease caused by higher levels of glucose (blood sugar) in our body. This can occur when the body does not produce insulin (a hormone made in the pancreas) or does not use insulin appropriately.

Insulin helps the glucose from food get into the cells of your body for energy. If your body does not produce enough insulin, or your body does not use the insulin appropriately, the glucose stays and builds up in your blood.

What are the risk factors for diabetes in children?

A risk factor, in simpler terms, is something that increases your chance of developing that particular disease. It is unknown why certain children develop type 2 diabetes and others do not, even if they have share similar risk factors. But, it is clear that some factors raise the risk, such as:

  • Weight: Being overweight is one of the strong risk factor for type 2 diabetes in children. The more fatty tissue they have, particularly around the abdomen, the more resistant the cell of their bodies become to insulin.
  • Inactivity: The less active the child is, the greater his/her risk of type 2 diabetes. Physical activity helps your child to control his/her weight, uses glucose as energy and makes the cells of the child more responsive to insulin.
  • Family history: risk of type 2 diabetes in children increases if they have a diabetic sibling or parent.
  • Race or ethnicity: Although it is unclear why, some people including American Indian, Asian American people, Black and Hispanic— are more prone to develop type 2 diabetes.
  • Age and sex: Most of the children develop type 2 diabetes in their early teens. Adolescent girls are more prone to develop type 2 diabetes than are adolescent boys.
  • Birth weight and gestational diabetes: Being born to a mother who had gestational diabetes during the pregnancy and low birth weight are both linked with a increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Pre-term birth: Infants born prematurely (before 39 – 42 weeks’ gestation) have a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.

How is Type 2 diabetes treated  in children?

  1. Monitoring blood glucose levels.

Your doctor will recommend measuring blood sugar levels three times a day or more. It is the only method to ensure that your child has his or her blood sugar levels in the normal range. Any change or fluctuation shall be taken care of by medical support.

  1. Eating healthy food.

Your doctor will recommend  that your child  stick to a balanced diet to slow down weight gain and help them tackle type II diabetes. Here are some recommendations for your child:

  • They must follow a low-calorie diet.
  • Ensure intake of fruits and vegetables for antioxidants.
  • Try limiting added sugars and sugary drinks like soft drinks. Instead, have fresh fruit and water.
  • Eat mostly home-based food than at restaurants.
  • Avoid processed and junk food
  1. Being physically active.

Being physically active will lower the excess sugar in your bloodstream. Encouraging and motivating your child to exercise for one hour a day can benefit their entire life.

  1. Taking proper medications.

The three approved drugs for treating diabetes in children are metformin, liraglutide, and insulin. Your doctor will prescribe these medications in the following manner:

  • Metformin as a pill,
  • Liraglutide as an injection, and
  • Insulin as injection
  1. Weight loss surgery.

Weight loss procedures are not an option for everyone. But, for teens who are significantly obese — a BMI above 35 — having weight loss surgery may lead to a remission in type 2 diabetes.

What are the complications of Type 2 diabetes in children?

Complications of type II diabetes in children can turn out to be life-threatening. They are:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Increased cholesterol
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Stroke and blindness
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Removal of a limb, also known as amputation

Ensure that your child’s blood sugar level is as near as possible to normal. It will reduce the risk of developing complications.

How can you prevent diabetes in children?

Following these two core principles will help .

  1. Maintain a healthy diet.

Eating healthy food with low-fat content is necessary to lose weight for an obese person. Make sure to provide your child with enough fruits and vegetables.

  1. Get sufficient physical activity.

Encourage your child to work out. You can try exercising with your child to motivate him or her towards a better lifestyle. If not possible, you can make your child join  dance classes or sports. Doing an activity will keep their bodies healthy and disease-free.


Until now, Type I diabetes was juvenile diabetes, with the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurred  more commonly in adults. In fact, it used to be called adult-onset diabetes. But type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise, fueled by the obesity epidemic.

Proper management with a healthy lifestyle can help your child control the ailment .

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment

Verified By Dr Mahesh Chavan
MBBS, MD(Medicine), DNB Endocrinology, Consultant Endocrinology, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai
8000+ Top doctors Associated and Apollo Hospitals is continuosly ranked as No1 Multispecialty Hospitals in India with best in class treatments for Cancer, Knee replacements, Liver Transplant, Heart, Diabetes, Kidney.

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