Diabetes 1 & 2 | Type 2

The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in U.S. kids and teens, especially in those who are overweight. Some studies report that between 8% and 45% of children who've been newly diagnosed with diabetes have the form known as type 2, depending on geographic location and racial/ethnic group.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that needs close attention, but with some practical knowledge, you can become your child's most important ally in learning to live with the disease

What is Type 2 diabetes?

With Type 2 diabetes, the illness and symptoms tend to develop gradually (over weeks or months). This is because in Type 2 diabetes you still make insulin (unlike type 1 diabetes). However, you develop diabetes because:

  • you do not make enough insulin for your body's needs, OR
  • the cells in your body do not use insulin properly. This is called 'insulin resistance'. The cells in your body become resistant to normal levels of insulin. So, you need more insulin than you normally make to keep the blood glucose level down, OR
  • a combination of the above two reasons.

Type 2 diabetes used to be known as maturity onset, or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes. It develops mainly in people older than 40 (but sometimes occurs in younger people). In the UK about 3 in 100 people aged over 40, and about 10 in 100 people aged over 65, have Type 2 diabetes. It is more common in people who are overweight or obese. It also tends to run in families. It is also more common in South Asian and African-Caribbean people (often developing before the age of 40 in this group).

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