Does type 2 diabetes affect children differently than adults?

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Both children and adults experience similar signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes. These include excessive thirst, more frequent urination, increased hunger, weight loss, tiredness, moodiness, and a decreased ability to fight off infection. Type 2 diabetes occurs much more frequently in adults than children. However, the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children and young adults is rising rapidly, mostly likely due to the extremely high obesity rates in children.

Children and teens may have a harder time than adults accepting diabetes emotionally. Teens may forgo their treatment in the interest of fitting in with their peers. They may turn to alcohol and substance abuse, which makes it all the more difficult to manage their blood sugar levels. Children and adolescents can benefit from support groups and counselors so that they feel less isolated.

Continue Learning about Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.