If you have been keeping a close eye on the news, it is highly likely that you have seen all the increasing cases of diabetes in children. Type II diabetes is becoming a more and more common occurrence in teens and kids all around the world, especially with children that are overweight. In fact, new studies are showing that between 8% and 45% of kids diagnosed with diabetes are diagnosed with type II.
As you probably already know, once diagnosed with diabetes, this is a lifelong condition that your child will have to battle for the rest of his or her life. In the beginning, you will be a big part of ensuring that you kid stays healthy and aware of his or her condition. Not only will you have to ensure that your kid takes his or her medication at the proper times, but you will have to plan and strategize emergency protocols with schoolteachers and friends in the event that your child has an unexpected attack. With that being said, this is why it is imperative that you completely understand everything that you possible can about type II diabetes in children and how to prevent it.
Understanding How Type II Diabetes Works
While both type I and type II diabetes cause blood sugar levels to rise above normal, they do so in completely different manners. Type II diabetes, also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, is much different than type I diabetes. For instance, when a child has type II diabetes his or her body is still able to produce insulin. The fact is the condition causes the child’s body to react differently to the insulin. Basically, this prevents the glucose from entering into the cells in the normal manner that it would. This is also known as insulin resistance, and it can trick the pancreas into thinking that it needs to produce more insulin to compensate.
Not only does this wear the pancreas out overtime, but also it can cause the body to overload with tons of unneeded insulin.
What Kinds Of Kids Can Develop Type II Diabetes?
The real truth of the matter is that doctors are not 100% for sure what can cause diabetes to develop. However, it should be noted that there seems to be a correlation with genetics. Studies and research shows that 45% to 80% of children that are diagnosed with type II diabetes have at least one parent that suffers from the condition. There are a lot of cases when the parents and children are diagnosed at the same time. There are also a lot of reported cases that overweight children are at a much greater risk of developing the condition than other children.
This is due to the fact that all that excess fat makes it much harder for the cells to properly respond to insulin. When you combine these facts with the facts that more and more children are being reported overweight, this is truly a scary situation.
Exploring The Signs And Symptoms Of Type II Diabetes
The signs and symptoms of type II diabetes in children aren’t always that obvious, because it can take a long time to develop. In fact, there are reported cases when there were no present symptoms at all. With that being said, it is still good to knowledgeable of some of the warning signs.
- More Frequent Urination – It is the job of the kidneys to flush toxins out of the system, and with high levels of glucose in the blood the kidneys will respond by rapidly flushing out the system. This is going to result in frequent urination and urination is larger volumes.
- Dehydration With More Liquid Consumption – Due to all the flushing of the kidneys, your child’s appetite for liquids will greatly grow. Your child will be consuming more and more liquids in order to try and compensate for all the frequent urinations.
- Feeling Tired And Drowsy – When the body is operating normally the cells use up glucose to produce energy that can be burned throughout the day. However, with type II diabetes glucose can’t enter the cells normally, so your child’s body cannot burn it to produce energy. This is going to leave your child feeling tired and drowsy throughout the bad.
- Blurry Vision – Blurred vision is another common sign and symptom that can be associated with type II diabetes in children. The blood sugar levels get so high that fluid is pulled from the lenses of your child’s eye. Eventually, the situation will correct itself and the vision will return to normal.
Understanding What Type II Diabetes Can Lead To
If not cared for and monitored properly, type II diabetes can lead to lots of complications. One of these conditions might be dark, thick, velvet-like skin that can develop around the neck, armpits, and groin. This is a cosmetic condition that is known as acanthosis nigricans.
School Time Changes Everything
Type II diabetes typically appears in children of all ages. This basically means that a lot of responsibility will fall back on the parent. While it will be much easier to help manage your child’s glucose levels when you are with them all day long, things will change as soon as they are enrolled in daycare, preschool or first grade. Many parents who have children with Type II diabetes will delay sending their child to school as long as possible. Simply, because they fear other people will not monitor the child’s condition as well as they do.
However, you should not fear sending your child to school, because most public, private and charter schools have a nurse on the premises most of the time. Teachers are also trained in how to handle a variety of health conditions and non-emergency situations. The nurse, teachers and staff will work together to monitor your child’s condition and blood glucose levels. If an emergency arises, you will be notified immediately.
Decreasing Hospital Visits
The best way to decrease your child’s hospital diabetes-related visits is to make sure their condition is well controlled. The only way to control your child’s blood glucose levels is to frequently check it, administer medications as recommended, follow a strict diet and make sure the child exercises routinely. If you set a good example for your child, they will replicate your behavior, as well as your eating and exercising practices.
As soon as your child is diagnosed with Type II diabetes, you should get to work researching the disease, treatment options, prevention and management. You will find a wide array of websites that offer this type of information. But, your best bet will be to stick with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK.)
Dealing With Stressors Linked To Their Condition
Children with diabetes feel like they are different than their peers, because of their condition. It is up to parents to provide them with encouragement, while telling them they are unique. Of course, the child will need to follow a different diet and lifestyle than children who do not have diabetes. However, this should not deter them from participating in sports, afterschool events and other extracurricular activities. In fact, you should encourage them to join in on these activities, as it can help to improve their self-esteem.
The key to preventing your child from being treated and feeling different is to treat them just like you would a healthy child. In most cases, it is possible to live a normal life with Type II diabetes, regardless of your age, gender or race.
Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
When it comes down to it, there is an abundance of ways to combat type 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, not all treatment options will be effective for every child. With this in mind, it is generally a good idea to consult with your medical professional, before attempting to determine which options are right for your children.
Medications for Type 2 Diabetes in Children
Below, you will find a breakdown of some of the best drugs for combating type 2 diabetes.
Metformin is a very popular diabetes medication, which is consumed orally. This specific medicine is capable of helping the user control their blood sugar levels. In many cases, Metformin will be combined with insulin. It may also be combined with other medications to provide the best results. Unfortunately, Metformin does have a few risks. For instance, it is capable of causing lactic acidosis, which can be incredibly dangerous. If you begin experiencing weakness, muscle pain or numbness, you should get emergency help immediately.
Also, make sure that you consult with your doctor, before utilizing this medication. Those that have severe kidney disease should not use metformin. Also, anyone with a history of heart disease or liver disease should steer clear of Metformin.
Glucophage is another very popular oral diabetes medication. Again, it is utilized by type 2 diabetics to help them control their blood sugar levels. This drug can be used in conjunction with insulin or other medications to help the user keep their blood sugar at a safe level. If you’re suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis or severe kidney disease, you should avoid using this specific medicine. Be sure to consult with your primary physician, so you can determine whether or not the medication is right for you.
If you’re going to have to undergo an x-ray or CT scan, you will probably need to stop using this drug for a brief period of time. Also, be cautious when consuming this drug, because it can cause lactic acidosis. Be cautious and be ready to contact emergency services, if you being to suffer from numbness, nausea, dizziness, or weakness.
Januvia or sitagliptin is another very common diabetes medicine. This medication helps by regulation the amount of insulin the body is capable of producing after the user has eaten. Again, the drug is used primarily for type 2 diabetes. It is not recommended for type 1 diabetics. If you’re suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, this medicine is not right for you. Also, be sure to tell your doctor, if you suffer from kidney disease, gallstones, alcoholism, or pancreatitis. If you do, there is a good chance that your doctor will advise against using Januvia.
It is believed that Januvia will not harm unborn babies. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor before using this medication while pregnant.
Humulin Or Humalog
There is an abundance of different insulins that can be used by people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Humulin is a combination of regular insulin and insulin isophane. It is enormously popular for controlling blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes mellitus. In fact, this is one of the most popular insulins from Canadian Insulin. The insulin contains 70 percent insulin isophane and 30 percent regular insulin. It combined an intermediate acting insulin with a short acting insulin.
In general, this insulin will begin working in just 10 to 20 minutes. Then, it’ll peak in 2 hours and continue working for a maximum of 24 hours. Just be cautious with Humulin, because it is not approved for use in people under the age of 18. Otherwise, this medication is safe for everyone else.
Levemir or Insulin Detemir is a long-acting insulin that has an onset of 1 to 2 hours. The medication can have a duration lasting up to 24 hours, so it can be used for all day maintenance of diabetes. This type of insulin will normally peak within 6o to 8 hours. It is vital to realize that this medicine should be utilized in conjunction with proper diet and exercise. Make sure that you’re following a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Utilizing Levemir to control your blood sugar levels can help to reduce the risks of nerve problems, blindness, loss of limbs, and kidney damage.
This is a man-made insulin, which is almost identical to the type of insulin produced naturally by the human body. This include will allow the blood sugar to enter your cells, so the body can utilize it for energy production purposes. In some cases, it might be essential to combine insulin detemir with a shorter-acting insulin. It can also be used with exenatide and metformin.