MANAGING YOUR DIABETES MELLITUS TYPE 2: FOR ADOLESCENTS
Diabetes mellitus type 2 (diabetes mellitus type 2) , or type 2 diabetes, is one kind of diabetes. 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 involves poor responses of cells to insulin (insulin resistance), not enough insulin, and too much sugar in the blood (hyperglycaemia).
More teens today are getting diabetes mellitus type 2, probably because they eat in excess and don’t exercise enough. These lead to more insulin resistance. The only way to prevent diabetes mellitus type 2 in teens is to prevent obesity.
Obesity is the most important reason for developing diabetes mellitus type 2 in teens. In diabetes mellitus type 2, when cells don’t have or don’t respond to insulin, they can’t get sugar. Sugar stays in the blood until extra sugar can be removed in urine. High blood sugar can cause problems with eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. Other risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes are being native American, African American, Hispanic, Asian, or pacific islander, and having a family history of diabetes mellitus type 2.
Some people with mild diabetes mellitus type 2 have no symptoms. Others have symptoms that start slowly but get worse. Signs and symptoms include being thirsty and needing to urinate often. Others are tiredness, blurred vision, weight gain or loss, foot ulcers, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, sores that don’t heal, and infections. In some cases, patches of thick, dark skin that feels like velvet (acanthosis nigricans) can form on the neck or under the arms.
The health care provider uses a medical history, physical examination, and blood sugar levels for diagnosis. Weight loss, thirst, and polyuria (urinating too much) can suggest to the health care provider that diabetes mellitus type 2 may be present. Other laboratory tests include average blood sugar levels over a 3-month period (haemoglobin a1c [hba1c] test), glucose tolerance test, tests for kidney function, and urine microalbumin testing to check for kidney damage measurement of blood fat (lipid) tests.
Many teens control diabetes mellitus type 2 by just diet and exercise. Avoiding high-sugar and high-fat foods is important. Exercise helps control weight and blood sugar level, so the body uses insulin better. Medicine, usually pills (such as metformin) to help the body use sugar. Insulin shots may be needed in resistant cases.
The treatment team often includes a primary care health care provider, diabetes educator, dietitian, social worker, an endocrinologist, and an eye health care provider.
- DO keep your blood sugar level near normal.
- DO exercise and get enough sleep.
- DO keep your body weight normal.
- DO eat regular meals. Eat healthy: whole-grain foods, fruit, vegetables, and high-quality proteins. Avoid high-sugar, high-fat, and white flour foods and alcohol.
- DO have your eyes checked yearly. Visit the dentist twice yearly. Take good care of your feet.
- DO ask your parents to call your health care provider if you have a fever or vomiting and can’t eat or drink or you have blood sugar levels that you don’t understand.
- DON’T smoke.
- DON’T drink alcoholic beverages.
- DON’T eat sugar, rich foods, or foods that aren’t in your doctor’s meal plan.
- DON’T get too thirsty. Drink plenty of fluids but avoid those containing sugar.