Endocronologist (Pediatric) Questions Type II Diabetes

My 7 year old son is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Will it affect his growth?

My son is 7 years old and has been detected with type 2 diabetes. We thought that he was a little too young for this diagnosis, so we're worried about his overall health. Do you have any advice? And, will this also affect his growth?

3 Answers

Obesity is a medical condition were excess fat is stored in the body (in adipose tissue). Obesity is becoming a major health problem not only in the USA but also globally. In the United States over 50% of adults and over 25% of children are obese/overweight. Obesity increases risk factors such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, cardiovascular and colorectal diseases, irregular menstrual cycle and more other medical problems.
Type 2 diabetes is mostly common in obese people with insulin resistance. It is mainly characterized by high blood sugars, insulin resistance, and, eventually, inadequate insulin secretion. Type 2 diabetes is therefore mostly driven by obesity, lack of regular daily physical activity, and unhealthy diet (high carbohydrate and high intake of saturated fat). As we get more obese, Type 2 diabetes also increases proportionally to the degree of obesity. It is the commonest form of diabetes in the adults population. Currently, as children become more obese, type 2 diabetes is becoming more prevalent. Though type 1 diabetes is more common in children, type 2 diabetes is also catching up very fast. In some areas of America, type 2 diabetes in children is becoming more prevalent than type 1 diabetes due to more prevalence in obesity. In native Indians, children with type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1 diabetes. Type 2 is surpassing type 1 diabetes in Hispanic and black children in some areas of the united States. As the epidemic of obesity explodes (the tsunami of obesity), type 2 diabetes will be the most encountered metabolic disease very soon in both adults and children. To prevent type 2 diabetes, we need to prevent obesity, have regular physical activity, healthy diet, and maintain ideal weight. Once the prevalence of obesity is controlled, type 2 diabetes would be prevented better. Your son needs regular daily physical activity, weight loss, and a healthy diet. He needs to participate in regular sports activity and needs to see a nutritionist. He needs to lose weight, at least 10% of his body weight. It is important that he works closely with his diabetes educators and dietitians. The goal is weight loss, regular daily structured physical activity, and a healthy diet.
Early stage type 2 diabetes may be managed with diet and regular daily physical activity. Metformin can be used liberally (as it lowers insulin resistance) and oral hypoglycemic agents (such as glyburide and Glipizide) can be added. GLP1 agonists (such as victoza) and Dpp-4 inhibitors such as Januvia) could be considered if indicated.
Again going back to your question about your son's growth; his growth and development will progress normally like any normal child as long as you control the diabetes through healthy diet, regular daily physical activity, maintaining healthy weight and taking his medications if/as indicated. You should work with your doctor, nutritionist and diabetes educators. You should work as a team; you as the team leader in your child's care.
Good luck.
My best advise to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus is controlling his diet and physical activity. Usually, boys diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight and tall for their age because they have advanced bone maturation. Your son must be under the control of a pediatric endocrinologist.
Please take your son to a pediatric endocrinologist. Although it is possible that he has Type 2 diabetes, it is extremely rare less than 10 years of age and I would definitely get a second opinion.