House Call: Type 2 Diabetes in Kids
The rate of type 2 diabetes incidence in children is increasing at an alarming rate, especially in children above the age of fourteen.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes has a strong genetic link with inheritance rates of 50 to 70 percent. The rising incidence of type 2 diabetes also has a direct correlation with the significantly rising obesity rates, even in children.
Type 2 diabetes is often a slowly developing disease, and can, in many cases, go undiagnosed for several years. Therefore it is important to become aware of the signs and symptoms, and seek proper medical evaluation for your child if you suspect type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often include a dark, thick skin that develops around the neck, known as acanthosis, and episodes of low blood sugar that may cause jittery behavior and hunger shortly after a simple carbohydrate meal or snack. Other symptoms may include urinary tract infections, yeast infections and boils on the skin.
The main focus of treating diabetes in children, both type 1 and 2, is normalizing their blood sugar levels to reduce risk of long-term complications. Blood sugar levels are monitored by the hemoglobin A1c test, which allows doctors to estimate the average blood sugar level for the past three months.
Higher hemoglobin A1c readings are associated with diabetic complications. Therefore doctors often set ideal A1c targets for their diabetic patients, as well as encourage well-balanced diets and exercise to help manage the condition.
The team of pediatric endocrinologists and medical support staff at Cone Health Pediatric Sub-Specialists of Greensboro is dedicated to educating children and families about diabetes and providing exceptional treatment for children with the condition here in our community.
Dr. Jennifer Badik is a pediatric endocrinologist at Cone Health Pediatric Sub-Specialists of Greensboro. Dr. Badik earned her Doctor of Medicine at Temple University in 2006. She completed her residency in pediatrics at University of Arizona in 2009, and completed a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at Emory University in 2012.