Type 2 Diabetes: What Is It?enparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-diabetesType2-enHD-AR1.jpgLearning what you can about type 2 diabetes will let you help your child manage and live with the disease. Here are the basics.diabetes, diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabetes, adult-onset diabetes, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, weight, overweight, obesity, obese, kids with type 2, insulin, hormones, glucose, pancrease, insulin resistance, acanthosis nigricans, polycystic ovary syndrome, pcos, heart disease, complications, long-term, diet, exercise, insulin pump, insulin injections, weight loss, diabetes health care team, developments in diabetes research, pediatric endocrinologist, CD1Diabetes04/01/200508/23/201809/02/2019Shara R. Bialo, MD08/16/2018d2e1a712-f804-4e52-b4d5-4c7266b0c39ahttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/type2.html/<h3>What Is Diabetes?</h3> <p>Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/glucose.html/">glucose</a>, the main type of sugar in the blood.<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/in-diabetes-vd.html/" target="windyWindow"><img class="right" title="What Happens in Diabetes?" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/diabetes-enBT.gif" alt="What Happens in Diabetes?" name="3326-DIABETES_ENPR.GIF" /></a></p> <h3>What Happens in Diabetes?</h3> <p>Our bodies break down the foods we eat into glucose and other nutrients we need, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. The <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/glucose-level.html/">glucose level</a> in the blood rises after a meal and triggers the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pancreas.html/">pancreas</a> to make the hormone <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/insulin.html/">insulin</a> and release it into the bloodstream. But in people with diabetes, the body either can't make or can't respond to insulin properly.</p> <p>Insulin works like a key that opens the doors to cells and lets the glucose in. Without insulin, glucose can't get into the cells (the doors are "locked" and there is no key) and so it stays in the bloodstream. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood remains higher than normal. High blood sugar levels are a problem because they can cause a number of health problems.</p> <h3>What Is Type 2 Diabetes?</h3> <p>The two types of diabetes are <strong>type 1</strong> and <strong>type 2</strong>. Both make blood sugar levels higher than normal but they do so in different ways.</p> <p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/type1.html/">Type 1 diabetes</a> happens when the immune system attacks and destroys the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. Kids with type 1 diabetes need insulin to help keep their blood sugar levels in a normal range.</p> <p>Type 2 diabetes is different. A person with type 2 diabetes still produces insulin but the body doesn't respond to it normally. Glucose is less able to enter the cells and do its job of supplying energy (a problem called <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/insulin-resistance.html/">insulin resistance</a>). This raises the blood sugar level, so the pancreas works hard to make even more insulin. Eventually, this strain can make the pancreas unable to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal.</p> <p>People with insulin resistance may or may not develop type 2 diabetes &mdash; it all depends on whether the pancreas can make enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. High blood sugar levels that happen a lot are a sign that a person has developed diabetes.</p> <h3>Who Gets Type 2 Diabetes?</h3> <p>No one knows for sure what causes type 2 diabetes. But many kids who develop it have at least one parent with diabetes and a family history of the disease, so there seems to be a genetic risk.</p> <p>Most people with type 2 diabetes are <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/overweight-obesity.html/">overweight</a>. Excess fat makes it harder for the cells to respond to insulin, and not being physically active makes this even worse. Type 2 diabetes used to mostly affect adults, but now more and more U.S. kids and teens, especially those who are overweight, are developing the disease.</p> <p>Also, kids in <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-puberty.html/">puberty</a> are more likely to have it than younger kids, probably because of normal rises in hormone levels that can cause insulin resistance during this stage of fast growth and physical development.</p> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?</h3> <p>The symptoms of type 2 diabetes aren't always obvious and they can take a long time to develop. Sometimes, there are no symptoms. It's important to remember that not everyone with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes develops these warning signs, and not everyone who has these symptoms necessarily has type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>But kids or teens who develop type 2 diabetes may:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Need to pee a lot.</strong> The <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/kidneys-urinary.html/">kidneys</a> respond to high levels of glucose in the blood by flushing out the extra glucose in urine (pee). Kids with high blood sugar levels need to pee more often and make more pee.</li> <li><strong>Drink a lot of liquids.</strong> Because they're peeing so often and losing so much fluid, they can become very thirsty and drink a lot in an attempt to keep the levels of body water normal.</li> <li><strong>Feel tired often.</strong> This is because the body can't use glucose for energy properly.</li> </ul> <h3>How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?</h3> <p>Doctors can determine if a person has type 2 diabetes by testing blood samples for glucose. Even if a child or teen doesn't have any symptoms of type 2 diabetes, doctors might test blood sugar in kids who are more likely to get it &mdash; like those who are overweight.</p> <p>Sometimes doctors may do another blood test, called the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/blood-test-hba1c.html/">glycosylated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c or HbA1c) test</a>, to check for diabetes in children at higher risk for getting type 2 diabetes. This test shows how blood sugar levels have been running over the past few months.</p> <p>If diabetes is suspected or confirmed, the doctor may refer you to a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/endocrinologist.html/">pediatric endocrinologist</a>, a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/endocrine.html/">endocrine system</a> (such as diabetes and growth disorders) in kids.</p> <h3>How Is Type 2 Diabetes Treated?</h3> <p>Kids and teens with type 2 diabetes use diet, exercise, and medicines that improve the body's response to insulin to control their blood sugar levels. Some may need to take <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/insulin-injections.html/">insulin shots</a> or use an <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/insulin-pump.html/">insulin pump</a> too.</p> <h3>What Problems Can Happen With Type 2 Diabetes?</h3> <p>Sometimes, kids and teens with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, or obesity might develop thick, dark, velvet-like skin around the neck, armpits, groin, between fingers and toes, or on elbows and knees &mdash; a cosmetic skin condition called <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/acanthosis.html/">acanthosis nigricans</a>. This skin darkening can lighten over time with improvement in insulin resistance.</p> <p>Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in girls is also often associated with insulin resistance. This hormone problem can make the ovaries become enlarged and develop cysts (fluid-filled sacs). Girls with PCOS might have irregular periods, might stop having periods, and may have excess facial and body hair growth. It also can cause fertility problems.</p> <p>People with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes are also more likely to develop <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hypertension.html/">hypertension</a> (high blood pressure) or abnormal levels of blood fats (<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cholesterol.html/">cholesterol</a> and triglycerides). When these problems cluster together, it's called <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/metabolic-syndrome.html/">metabolic syndrome</a></strong>. People with metabolic syndrome are at risk for heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.</p> <p>Diabetes also can cause heart disease and stroke, as well as other <a class="kh_anchor">long-term complications</a>, including eye problems, kidney disease, nerve damage, and gum disease. While these problems don't usually show up in kids or teens who've had type 2 diabetes for only a few years, they can affect them in adulthood, particularly if their diabetes isn't well controlled.</p> <h3>What's New in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes?</h3> <p>Doctors and researchers are developing new equipment and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/treating-type2.html/">treatments</a> to help kids deal with the special problems of growing up with diabetes.</p> <p>Some kids and teens already use new devices that make blood glucose testing and insulin injections easier and more effective. One of these is the insulin pump, a mechanical device that can be programmed to deliver insulin more like the pancreas does.</p> <p>Researchers are also testing ways to stop diabetes before it starts. For example, scientists are studying whether diabetes can be prevented in those who may have inherited an increased risk for the disease.</p> <h3>How Can I Help My Child?</h3> <p>Diabetes is a chronic condition that needs close attention. You'll be your child's most important partner in learning to live with it.</p> <p>Kids or teens with type 2 diabetes may need to:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Get to and maintain a normal body weight.</li> <li>Monitor blood sugar levels regularly.</li> <li>Eat a healthy diet, as determined by the care team.</li> <li>Get regular physical activity to achieve a healthy weight and allow insulin to work more effectively.</li> <li>Take insulin or other medicines that help the body respond to insulin more effectively.</li> <li>Work closely with their doctors and diabetes health care team to get the best possible diabetes control.</li> <li>Be watched for signs of complications and other diabetes-related health problems.</li> </ul> <p>Living with diabetes is a challenge for anyone, but kids and teens often have special issues to deal with. Young kids might not understand why they need&nbsp;<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/injections-tests.html/">blood tests</a> and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-medicines.html/">medicines</a>. They might be scared, angry, and uncooperative.</p> <p>Teens may feel different from their peers and want a more carefree lifestyle than their diabetes allows. Even when they faithfully follow their treatment schedule, they might feel frustrated if the natural body changes of puberty make their diabetes somewhat harder to control.</p> <p>Having a child with diabetes may seem overwhelming at times, but you're not alone. If you have questions or problems, reach out to the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-team.html/">diabetes health care team</a> &mdash; they can help with medical issues, and are there to support and help you and your child.</p>Diabetes tipo 2: ¿Qué es?La diabetes es una condición crónica que necesita atención cuidadosa, pero con algo de conocimiento práctico, usted puede hacer que su hijo sea su aliado más importante para aprender a vivir con la enfermedad.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/type2-esp.html/023208ca-19f9-464a-af79-0d57a464be34
Acanthosis NigricansAcanthosis nigricans (AN) is a condition that causes the skin to thicken and darken in places. AN is not harmful or contagious, but can be a sign of certain other medical conditions.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/acanthosis.html/88676454-423c-49be-9213-28f35625f45e
Can Diabetes Be Prevented?The things you do now could help prevent diabetes later, depending on the type of diabetes. Here's the scoop on diabetes prevention.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/prevention.html/d48620b8-00b0-40c2-8a36-9fedcc901b68
Diabetes CenterDiabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/center/diabetes-center.html/0767277a-98f9-4541-b2f6-f3c68f43a94c
Diabetes Control: Why It's ImportantKeeping blood sugar levels under control can help keep you healthy and prevent health problems from happening down the road. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/diabetes-control.html/5ec43be3-261e-4e07-b64b-831ea38c9fbf
Diabetes: Dealing With FeelingsDealing with diabetes can stir up a lot of different emotions. Find out more about dealing with your feelings if you're a kid with diabetes.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/feelings-diabetes.html/af532da8-3fbe-4f05-9675-17b9ca714a66
Keeping Track of Your Blood SugarChecking your blood sugar levels is a really important part of managing diabetes. Knowing those levels will help you keep your blood sugar under control - and that helps you feel good and keeps you healthy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/track-blood-sugar.html/916cc0c6-db09-4e05-a43f-46ab8e0d9f25
Medicines for DiabetesTaking medicines is a major part of staying healthy if you have diabetes because they help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/medicines-diabetes.html/bbb46625-eff9-4291-97bd-a4a9b50a4866
Metabolic SyndromeMetabolic syndrome is a group of health problems that put kids at risk for heart disease and diabetes. With lifestyle changes, many kids improve their health and reduce their risk of disease.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/metabolic-syndrome.html/94bee442-7c12-4fe0-b2cb-4f9335c5424e
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)In polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the ovaries produce higher than normal amounts of certain hormones, which can interfere with egg development and release. Learn how doctors diagnose and treat PCOS.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pcos.html/79731239-b3c8-4c57-af59-55eb6eea7eaa
School and DiabetesWhen kids with diabetes attend school, parents should discuss the condition with teachers, school staff, and coaches. Here are some tips on what to cover.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/school-diabetes.html/e4bb6492-106a-4cc6-9b35-ccfa76d54420
Treating Type 2 DiabetesKids who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will need a diabetes management plan to help them manage the condition and stay healthy and active.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/treating-type2.html/ab6e8644-fed9-4b2a-8fe6-18393da696cb
Type 2 Diabetes: How Is It Treated?Kids with type 2 diabetes have to take some important steps to feel good and stay healthy. Find out more about treating type 2 diabetes in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/treating-type2.html/9489e382-1286-4cff-bc87-d05abdb9b6f7
Type 2 Diabetes: What Is It?Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar that is the body's main source of fuel. Find out more about a kind of diabetes called type 2 diabetes in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/type2.html/2133f492-3435-442e-9b0b-e12beab5aaea
Weight and DiabetesA balanced diet and an active lifestyle are important for kids with diabetes because weight can influence diabetes, and diabetes can influence weight.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/weight-diabetes.html/39ba5f7c-ecc6-4068-96ca-72fdd7690a54
What Problems Can Diabetes Cause?Thinking about your diabetes a little bit now — and taking some steps to prevent problems — can make things easier down the road.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/complications.html/a156cd10-f4e7-4416-94c5-0182fc4e0ae5
When Blood Sugar Is Too HighFor people with diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels is important. Having a blood sugar level that's too high can make you feel lousy, and having high blood sugar levels a lot can be unhealthy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/high-blood-sugar.html/76e71f3a-c621-4474-8266-4cde74bfc4f3
Your Child's Diabetes Health Care TeamWhen you have a child with diabetes, you and your family have a lot to learn, but you don't have to go it alone. Your child's diabetes health care team can help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-team.html/0f4d2690-4665-4073-b5ca-026fae7fc768
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-endocrinologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-endocrinologyDiabetes Basicshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-center/diabetes-basics/e7c6c2d5-789f-475d-bead-54cfac997f23Endocrine Glands, Growth & Diabeteshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical/endocrine/587da900-34e2-43e7-a2a4-5a4ed4bc7781Diabetes Q&Ashttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-center/q-a/e531b03d-f466-4b32-9f52-3a0e51796e5ehttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/diabetes-enBT.gif