Does type 2 diabetes occur during childhood?
The short answer is yes and no. The thought of type 2 diabetes can be very hard to understand. There used to be a lot of adults with type 2 diabetes in past generations. Now in the last 20 years, there are more and more children and teens with type 2 diabetes. So type 2 diabetes no longer just occurs in adults. In current times, anyone might be prone to type 2 diabetes in any stage of life.
Here are some of the most common stages of diabetes. The stages are:
- Juvenile Diabetes
- Adult-onset diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
The truth of the matter is that doctors are having a hard time determining when diabetes will occur in a person. People sometimes get diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and then end up developing type 2 diabetes. So, what causes diabetes in the first place?
The immune system
The immune system is a vital part of the human body. It protects against viruses and infections by fending off unknown cells. However, it is possible that the immune system can be corrupt and attack cells that are needed. When the immune system attacks beta cells which are insulin-secreting cells, the body releases antibodies. The antibodies are proteins that identify viruses and bacteria, and they are indicators of autoimmune disease. So when a person has high blood glucose, doctors will test for antibodies. However, not everyone with bad antibodies will develop diabetes. When certain cells do not to respond to insulin, this is type 2 diabetes.
In a type 2 diabetes patient, the body loses its ability to use its insulin and process the blood's glucose, unlike what happens in type 1 diabetes, in which the ability of the body to produce insulin is affected. Diabetes is caused by a few possible factors:
- The pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin.
- The liver, which brings about the synthesis of glucose, may be releasing it in inefficient amounts.
- The body's cells may not be able to store glucose and therefore the body cannot use glucose reserves for generation of energy.
In type 2 diabetes, glucose gets deposited in the blood stream and does not reach necessary cells and other organs. Thus, the body is deprived of vital energy. This makes the blood thick, and the patient begins to feel slowed down and weak.
In the past, type 2 diabetes was more prevalent in old-aged individuals, but due to unhealthy food habits and poor lifestyle, today it is more common in the younger generation. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle.
Age of diagnosis of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is also known as ‘Adult - Onset Diabetes’ and middle-aged and older adults are the most common victims of the disease. Among all cases of diabetes, nearly 90 to 95 percent falls under the type 2 diabetes category. Maximum cases of type 2 diabetes are noticed in individuals above the age of 40 years.
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with regular exercise, consuming a healthy diet and use of medicines in some individuals. If a strict schedule is followed by these people, then they should truly observe changes in their metabolism. One would feel healthy and energetic, moreover, the blood sugar levels would reduce to normal. Thus, to prevent or delay the complications associated with type 2 diabetes, these precautionary steps are recommended and should be firmly followed.
In some people on the other hand, the increased levels of blood sugar can only be controlled through regular intake of oral medications, or doses of insulin may be required. Lifestyle changes do not always work.
The best thing to do is to have your doctor test you for diabetes
Doctors can automatically assume the type of diabetes based on factors. However, they might not always be right.
Ethnicity is a big factor in developing diabetes. Ethnicity can determine type 1 or type 2 diabetes in a person. Having a family history including a specific type of diabetes increases your chances of developing that type. However, tests should still be done to determine which type you have for sure.
It is best to talk with your doctor about testing, as not all doctors do testing automatically. The only way to truly know if you have a certain type of diabetes is to do testing. It is also a good idea to do your own research about diabetes so that way you know yourself what is going on. Doctors can run through tests to make sure the diagnosis is properly accurate. So always talk to your doctor and try to build a good and professional relationship with him or her. It is always helpful for you to do research and ask questions.
Risk factors involved with type 2 diabetes
- Poor dietary habits
- Being overweight, obese and gaining weight
- Adults above 45 years of age
- Following a sedentary lifestyle (no physical activity)
- People with high blood pressure
- Low HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins) levels or high LDL (Low-Density Lipoproteins) levels may lead to the onset of type 2 diabetes
- Vascular disease or blood regulation disorder
- If a first degree family member is a victim of diabetes
Diabetes should always be provided with complete care and necessary precautions, since any careless approach would make the patient suffer. Blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and nerve damage are some of the complications which may arise if diabetes is not taken seriously and left untreated.
The bottom line
The truth of the matter is that it is undetermined what type of diabetes you have developed unless tested. There's no definitive answer as to whether or not you will develop type 2 diabetes in adulthood. There are plenty of things you can do to decrease your risk of developing diabetes. If the disease runs in your family, do not lose hope. It is crucial to maintain a healthy diet, and be sure to exercise frequently. After all, diabetes is caused by high blood glucose levels, so maintaining a healthy diet is crucial and very important.