- usually comes on slowly
- can develop at any age, but is usually diagnosed in children over 10 years old
- is treated by maintaining a healthy weight, making healthy food choices, getting regular physical activity, and taking medications (if prescribed by a doctor)
Children may be at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes if they:
- are overweight or obese, or have a BMI over 25 (BMI Calculator)
- have someone in their family with type 2 diabetes
- are African American, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander or Native American
- are not physically active
- take certain psychiatric medications
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children:
- being very thirsty or very hungry
- going to the bathroom more often, or at night (wetting the bed)
- having trouble concentrating
- feeling tired most of the time
- patches of darkened skin in the armpits or around the neck ( acanthosis nigricans)
Many children with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. Talk to your child's doctor if you think they may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The biggest risk factor for developing diabetes is being overweight. If your child is overweight, the most important thing you can do is to make changes as a family to help your child develop lifelong healthy eating and exercise habits. Talk to your child's doctor for ideas or a referral to a nutritionist.
- Easy Eating for Busy People
- Diabetes and Your Feet
- Diabetes Can Harm Your Vision
- Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers
- Diabetes: Are You at Risk?
- Tips for Teens
- What is Diabetes?
- Do I Have Diabetes?
- I Have Diabetes. What Can I Do to Stay Healthy?
- Low Blood Sugar, High Blood Sugar, and Sick Days
- Tips to Help You Feel Better and Stay Healthy
- What is the A1C Test?
These materials are available from the Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse at www.maclearinghouse.com/category/DIAB.html.