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Type 2 Diabetes Affects Youngsters Worse Than Kids With Type 1 Diabetees

Posted Dec 18 2008 7:35pm

Note from Connie: Thank goodness I now have blog researcher/writer Jennifer Moore, because there's a lot of shocking sugar news. Too much for one person to handle unless that's all I do! So here's another entry from Jennifer.

Complications caused by type 2 diabetes -- including kidney disease, high blood pressure, eye disease, and unhealthy blood fat levels -- may progress more quickly in children and adolescents who suffer from type 2 diabetes than in youngsters with type 1 diabetes, according to an article by Drs. Orit Pinhas-Hamiel and Philip Zeitler in The Lancet.

Thanks to Steven Reinberg of Health Day for the heads-up on this study, which reveals that kids with type 2 diabetes may already have these problems at the time of their diagnosis, but they rarely show up in children who have type 1 diabetes.

I wonder: Does this mean that the long-term prognosis for children with type 2 diabetes is actually worse than that for kids with type 1 diabetes?

Dr. Pinhas-Hamiel believes that we need to attack this problem aggressively, so she says teens who have type 2 diabetes should be screened for complications as soon as they've been diagnosed. She also recommends that strong protocols for treating high blood pressure and blood fat levels must be developed.

It could be a matter of life and death for these kids, because "type 2 diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents is associated with significant morbidity and mortality," Dr. Pinhas-Hamiel says, according to Reinberg's story. 

I agree that we need to aggressively treat children with type 2 diabetes. What I'd really like to see, however, is for adults to take strong measures to keep our kids from developing type 2 diabetes in the first place.

You see, type 1 diabetes is not dependent on your diet or exercise habits. As the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, part of the National Institutes of Health, explains, a person with type 1 diabetes simply can't produce insulin because his or her immune system has destroyed the cells in the pancreas that make it.

But in the case of type 2 diabetes, health organizations like the American Diabetes Association and the federally fundedNational Diabetes Education Program point out that the disease can largely be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices -- eating nutritious foods, getting adequate exercise, and maintaining a reasonable weight.

It's pretty shocking to think that so many kids today don't do any of those things, or more to the point, that parents, school administrators, and government officials don't make sure they do them.

From Jennifer Moore for SUGAR SHOCK! Blog

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