This Issue

Type 2 diabetes: More children at risk for “adult” disease

Rising obesity rates partly to blame

Type 2 Diabetes in children: It’s a family affair

Is your child at risk for type 2 diabetes?

Q & A

A closer look

Signs and symptoms

Some children have no symptoms of type 2 diabetes, while others may experience:

• Increased thirst

• Frequent urination

• Increased hunger but loss of weight

• Blurred vision

• Fatigue

• Frequent infections or slow-healing sores

• Tingling in hands and feet

• High blood pressure or high cholesterol

• Areas of darkened skin

Signs & Symptoms

Need more information?

• Take Charge of Your Health!
A Teenager’s Guide to Better Health

• National Diabetes Education Program

• American Diabetes Association Planet D

Is it a dirty neck or a sign of diabetes?

The Disparities of Diabetes

Need More Information?

Is it a dirty neck or a sign of diabetes?

One of the signs of type 2 diabetes is increased pigmentation (acanthosis nigricans) in body folds and creases.

Common sites are armpits, groin and neck.

View the full issue

Quick Links
[x close]

[ Printable View ]
A closer look

The pancreas, a tapered seven-inch long gland situated beneath the stomach, secretes a hormone called insulin, which plays a major role in the absorption of glucose into the cells of the body.

Glucose is a simple sugar that is released into the bloodstream after we eat and digest certain foods, particularly carbohydrates. Glucose provides fuel for the body. Just as cars run on gas, our bodies run on glucose. We are able to walk and run because glucose fuels our muscles. However, glucose cannot enter the cells without the assistance of insulin.

In type 2 diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin or does not effectively use the insulin it produces. Sugar builds up in the blood, starving the cells of their much-needed energy, and causing potentially serious health complications.

Click here for a closer look at insulin

Is your child at risk for type 2 diabetes?
Ask yourself these questions

1. Is your child overweight or obese?
Go to to calculate the BMI for age and gender.

2. Is there a family history — parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle — of type 2 diabetes?

3. Did the mother have gestational diabetes during her pregnancy with the child?

4. Is your child African American, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander or Native American?

5. Are there symptoms of insulin resistance, such as dark patches of skin and high blood pressure or cholesterol?

If the BMI is at or above the 85th percentile and you answered ”yes” to at least two of questions 2 to 5, your child may be at risk. Talk to the pediatrician about screening for type 2 diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association recommends testing for type 2 diabetes in asymptomatic children beginning at age 10 or at puberty if it occurs earlier than 10. Testing should be repeated every three years.

Which tests and what do they mean?
The doctor may order one or more of the following:

Test Normal Pre-diabetes Diabetes

Fasting blood glucose (mg/dl)

Less than 100

100 to 125

126 or greater

Oral glucose tolerance (mg/dl) Less than 140 140 to 199 200 or greater
A1C (%) Less than 5.7 5.7 to 6.4 6.5 or greater

Source: American Diabetes Association

Typically, diagnosis is confirmed if test results indicate diabetes on two different days.

Not a natural progression

Pre-diabetes is not the initial phase of diabetes. It is a warning.

A 3-pronged approach to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes — at any age

1 Watch your weight 2 Eat healthy 3 Be active