Diabetes is a disease that affects the body as to how the body uses glucose. This sugar is the body’s main energy source or fuel. Your body needs glucose to keep working. It is how it should work:
- You eat.
- Glucose from food enters your bloodstream.
- Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin.
- Insulin helps glucose enter your body cells.
- And so your body gets the needed energy.
We know that the pancreas is a long, flat gland in the abdomen that helps the body digest food. It also makes insulin. Insulin is just like a key that opens doors to access the body’s cells. And it allows glucose to enter inside. Thus, glucose can pass from the blood into the cells.
But when someone has diabetes, either their body doesn’t make insulin, or the insulin it makes doesn’t work the way it should. Since glucose cannot enter cells normally, blood sugar levels rise too high. And untreated high blood sugar makes people feel unwell.
What Is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes cause high blood sugar levels differently.
The pancreas cannot make insulin in type 1 diabetes. Food is the source get glucose. But the glucose cannot enter the cells which need it so much. Glucose stays in the blood. And this causes the concentration of sugar in the blood to rise very high.
Type 2 diabetes is different. The pancreas does make insulin In this type of diabetes. However, insulin doesn’t work the way it should. Glucose accumulates in blood levels. The pancreas makes even more insulin. It is to get the glucose into the cells, but eventually, the pancreas dies from overexertion. Consequently, the concentration of sugar in the blood rises very high. Type 2 diabetes occurs in most people because they are overweight.
Children with type 2 diabetes relatives are more likely to develop this disease. Children over the age of 10 are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than younger children.
Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes In Children
Type 2 diabetes can manifest itself in several different ways. Some children have symptoms, but others do not. Children with symptoms of diabetes may:
- need to urinate a lot
- being very thirsty and drinking more than usual
- being tired very often
- have blurred vision
In some children with type 2 diabetes, their skin may look different. You may notice a dark ring around your neck that doesn’t disappear when you wash. They may also have thicker, darker, velvety skin under the arms, between the legs, fingers and toes, elbows, and knees. Skin darkening usually improves over time as insulin resistance improves.
Diagnosis For The Diabetes In Children
How can you know if you have type 2 diabetes? Doctors can surely tell if a person has diabetes by doing a blood test that measures the glucose level in the blood. Even if a child doesn’t have any symptoms of type 2 diabetes, doctors may order a blood test for children who are more likely to have it, such as those who are overweight.
You may see a doctor specializing in pediatric endocrinology if you have type 2 diabetes. A pediatric endocrinologist helps children with diabetes, growth problems, and other conditions.
Treatment For Type 2 Diabetes In Children
It is to note that the goal of treating type 2 diabetes is to keep your blood sugar level within a healthy range. Treatment usually includes:
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
- Get regular physical exercise.
- Check blood sugar levels regularly.
- Lose weight, if recommended
- Take diabetes pills or insulin (either by injection or by pump). If your blood sugar is still high, your doctor may add another drug.
There is good news. That kids who eat a healthy diet, stay active, and reach a healthy weight can get their blood sugar levels in a healthy range. If they do, their doctors may decide they can stop taking diabetes medicine.
What Else Should We Know?
Although children with diabetes must do some special things, this disease does not stop them from enjoying the things they love to do. They can continue playing sports, going out with friends, and traveling.
If your friend’s child has type 2 diabetes, tell him he can count on you. Friendship is about enjoying being together, not having perfect blood sugar levels!