Type 2 diabetes, traditionally associated with adults, is now making its presence felt in children and adolescents due to lifestyle changes and rising rates of childhood obesity. Understanding the warning signs and risk factors is crucial for parents to protect their children’s health
Dr. Vahid S. Varmall, Consultant-Adult and Pediatric Endocrinologist, said, “Several factors contribute to the emergence of type 2 diabetes in the younger population. Leading among these risk factors is obesity, genetic susceptibility, history of gestational diabetes. In the mother, low birth weight, and polycystic ovary disease. . Given these factors, it becomes imperative for parents to be vigilant, especially if their child falls into the overweight or obese category.”
According to Dr. Vahid, “Approximately 40 percent of children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes show no noticeable symptoms. This underscores the importance of active screening for this condition, especially among those with identifiable risk factors.”
Parents should be aware of the essential symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children
1. Acanthosis Nigricans, a dark discoloration in areas like the armpits, neck or groin, acts as a leading indicator of insulin resistance.
2. It is important to detect this symptom early in order to identify potential problems and solve them immediately.
3. Diabetes screening is ideally recommended in adolescence or over age 10, whichever comes first.
4. Children who are obese or show signs of insulin resistance should start screening before they reach 10 years of age.
5. Early detection not only facilitates timely intervention but also contributes to more effective management of the condition.
6. Collaboration between parents and healthcare professionals is essential to assess a child’s risk factors and develop a proactive screening plan.
7. Regular check-ups and open communication about lifestyle habits play an important role in early detection and prevention of type 2 diabetes in children.
In conclusion, as the landscape of health concerns in children evolves, so should our awareness and perspective. Recognizing the warning signs of type 2 diabetes in children is an essential step for parents to ensure the well-being of their loved ones. By staying informed, actively participating in screening and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, parents can play an important role in reducing the impact of this condition on the younger generation.