Thursday, August 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

More kids getting type 2 diabetes

By
From page A9 | August 04, 2013 |

By Richard Fleming, M.D.

When I went to medical school, way back in the 20th Century, medical students were taught there were two kinds of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes was caused by a lack of insulin (the hormone that lowers blood sugar), started in childhood and occurred in kids whose weight was normal. Type 2 diabetes was when the body did not respond well to insulin.

Even though there was plenty of insulin in the blood stream, sugar levels tended to be high because the body could not sense it. Type 2 diabetes was said to start in overweight adults. If I had answered a test question on type 2 diabetes by saying it was common among children, my answer would have been marked wrong. I may have been laughed out of school and had to pick something different to do with my life.

Well, the times have changed. The rate of type 2 diabetes among children has skyrocketed. Nowadays, half of all diabetes in kids is type 2. This is a huge change. How did it happen, and why over such a short period of time? There is one reason — the rapid increase in childhood obesity. When kids are overweight, their bodies face a lot of the same health problems as overweight adults — high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and, of course, type 2 Diabetes.

This is very scary for several reasons. One is that diabetes causes several health problems like kidney damage, eye problems and hardening of the arteries, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. These problems tend to happen after many years with diabetes. If an obese 40-year-old man comes down with diabetes, he may get complications in his 60s or 70s, depending on how well he controls his blood sugar. An overweight 10-year-old girl who develops diabetes may come down with complications when she’s 40 or 50.

To make matters worse, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that type 2 diabetes in kids is harder to treat than in adults. Adults can often lower their blood sugar with a single medicine, at least for a while, especially if they are watching their diet and getting in some exercise. As time goes by, more medicine is usually needed, but being able to get good blood sugar readings with one pill is nice. In the recent study, kids had a much harder time getting their blood pressure down from one medicine, even if they watched their diet and increased their activity. Most kids needed two medicines to treat their diabetes.

If your child comes down with type 2 diabetes, it can be treated, but it is so much better to avoid the problem in the first place. And that is where parental guidance comes in. Parents can help their kids avoid getting heavy. They need to encourage healthy eating. They need to encourage plenty of exercise. They need to keep an eye on their kids’ weight. If it starts to creep up, it is better to make changes in the home earlier, rather than later.

And remember that kids learn by example. If a child’s parents eat unhealthy food, have growing waistline, and avoid taking walks, the child will tend to learn from this example. By helping your child avoid type 2 diabetes, not only are you helping your child live a longer and healthier life, but yourself as well.

— Dr. Fleming is the regional medical director for Partnership Healthplan California in Yolo and Solano counties.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Here’s a guide to Fifth Street etiquette

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Marsh trial still scheduled to begin Monday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    The show must go on: DMTC celebrates 30 years

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Katehi will speak at Chamber’s community luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Village Feast offers a taste of Yolo County with a hint of Europe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    NAMI support group meets Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Free electronic waste recycling service offered

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Sign up soon for Sac City’s fall classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Fish-friendly river water intake takes shape

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Grandmothers support group meets weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Animal Services issues warning about rabid bats

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Peregrine School is open for tours, registration

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Museum sets brick dedication date

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Meet K9 officer Dexter at Davis Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Qigong class starts in September


    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Join the fun at the DMTC Gala on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Poets will read their original work on Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Where are the Water Police?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    I really miss cal.net, too

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Many thanks to Brooks Painting

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Will you help serve Davis’ senior citizens?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Frank Bruni: The trouble with tenure

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Aggie coaches nearer starting lineups for Stanford opener

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A’s lose to split series with Mets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    River Cats clip Redbirds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Giants cruise past Cubs in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Scoring machine propels Republic to another win

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    49ers’ Dawson still learning to kick in new stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Wineaux: A sparkling prescription for a new disease

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A7

     
    Free classical concerts set at Covell Gardens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    ‘La Cage aux Folles’: a refreshing take on a classic

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Dora Mae Clark Anderson

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, August 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6