CARING FOR YOUR CHILD WITH DIABETES MELLITUS TYPE 2
Diabetes mellitus type 2 (diabetes mellitus type 2), or type 2 diabetes, is one type of diabetes. In diabetes mellitus type 2, a problem with the action of insulin prevents body cells from using sugar (glucose) in food. Insulin helps sugar enter body cells, which use the sugar for energy. The pancreas makes the hormone insulin. Diabetes mellitus type 2 type 2 usually involves poor responses of cells to insulin (insulin resistance) resulting in too much sugar in the blood (hyperglycaemia).
Usually children with diabetes have type 1. Type 2 diabetes in children is much rarer. Obesity is important in development of type 2 diabetes in children.
In diabetes mellitus type 2, when cells don’t have or don’t respond to insulin, they can’t get the sugar they need for energy. Sugar stays in the blood until extra sugar can be removed in urine. Too much blood sugar damages blood vessels and can cause serious problems with eyes, heart, nerves, and kidneys. In addition to obesity, other risk factors are family history of diabetes mellitus type 2; being native American, African American, Hispanic, Asian, or pacific islander; and a family history of diabetes.
Most obese children with diabetes mellitus type 2 don’t have symptoms at first. Signs and symptoms, if they occur, include losing weight for no reason, having sugar in the urine, feeling more thirsty, and needing to urinate more.
The health care provider uses a medical history, physical examination, and blood sugar levels for diagnosis.
Other laboratory tests include average blood sugar levels (haemoglobin a1c [hba1c] test), glucose tolerance, and kidney and blood fat (lipid) levels. A urine test (urine microalbumin) is done to look for spillage of protein in the urine which would indicate kidney damage from the diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus type 2 in children has been rare and linked to obesity and sedentary lifestyle. Blood sugar control is critical to prevent later complications. Blood sugar levels must be tested often. Pills (metformin, meglitinides and other medications) are used initially when medications are needed. Insulin is used only when sugar control is inadequate with pills. Diet, such as avoiding high-sugar and high-fat foods, can help control diabetes mellitus type 2. Eating about the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal helps keep blood sugar levels steady. Sugar, sweets, grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, milk, and yogurt contain carbohydrate. Exercise also works to control weight and blood sugar.
The treatment team often includes a primary care health care provider, diabetes educator, dietitian, social worker, and psychologist. Children and family members should get self-care diabetes mellitus type 2 education.
DOs and DON’Ts in managing diabetes mellitus type 2:
- DO keep your child’s blood sugar level near normal.
- DO have your child exercise and eat regularly.
- DO help your child have a normal body weight.
- DO provide a healthy diet: whole-grain foods, fruit, vegetables, and high-quality proteins, not high-sugar, high-fat, and white flour food.
- DO take your child to the eye health care provider yearly and the dentist twice yearly.
- DO call your child’s health care provider if your child cannot eat or drink because of fever or vomiting.
- DO call your child’s health care provider if unexplained abnormal blood sugar levels occur.
- DO look for support groups for help dealing with diabetes mellitus type 2.
- DON’T let your child drink high-sugar sodas or juices. Give water instead.