The news of an obese 3 year old from Texas
being the youngest patient ever with type 2 diabetes is shocking indeed. She reached the weight of 5 ½ stone and developed symptoms of extreme thirst and excess urination after her parents had fed her a diet high in sugar and fat.
Type 2 diabetes was considered very rare in children but with the epidemic of childhood obesity is becoming more common with approximately 100 new cases in the under 10s being diagnosed each year in the UK. 3 in every 10 children between the age of 2 and 15 are now clinically obese.
Fortunately with weight reduction and healthy eating, the 3 year old’s blood sugars have returned to normal
In Type 1 diabetes there is a lack of circulating insulin due to pancreatic failure whereas, in Type 2 diabetes insulin levels are often high but it’s ability to stimulate cells to take up sugar is reduced, so sugar levels in the blood remain high.
Sufferers are at considerable risk of early death from cardiovascular complications but also kidney failure, blindness, impotence and recurrent infections may occur.
Studies have conclusively shown that by far the best treatment for type 2 diabetes is weight reduction which can even cure it altogether.
The NHS spends approximately 1 million pounds per hour on treatment of diabetes of which the vast majority is spent on drugs for treating type 2 diabetes. Surely this must be an alarm call to promote weight control and healthy eating and if all that money was spent in prevention, then type 2 diabetes could virtually be eliminated, saving thousands of lives every year.
For more information on your risk of diabetes, or your current treatment, please click here