This new and needless epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes did not exist in children 20 years ago. More junk foods, computer & TV time, cuts in school gym programs all add up to an environment that brings on obesity.
TYPE 2 DIABETES
Obesity is the main trigger for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and even cancer. Once called Adult Onset Diabetes, they had to change the name to Type 2 when younger people and finally children started to get it.
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It is preventable in children. Type 2 Diabetes is a genetic condition and runs in families. About 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
We all need insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, to digest the carbohydrates in the food we eat. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is overstressed by obesity or it has slowed down due to old age or disease. Then, the normal function changes. The pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not absorb the insulin efficiently, which is called insulin resistance.
There are a growing number of children and adolescents, especially among African American, Mexican American, and Native America youth who are getting Type 2 diabetes because they are overweight or do not get enough physical activity.
OTHER TYPES OF DIABETES
Gestational Diabetes happens to some women during pregnancy. It is important for you to know about because women with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of passing type 2 diabetes on to their children. Although this form of diabetes usually disappears after the birth of the baby, women who have had gestational diabetes have a 40 to 60 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes themselves within 5 to 10 years. Maintaining a reasonable body weight and being physically active may help prevent development of type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes, formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes, and often confused with type 2 diabetes in children, accounts for 5% of all diabetes. Type 1 occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin. It usually occurs before the age of 21 and people with type 1 must rely on insulin injections for the rest of their lives. Scientists do not fully understand what causes type 1 and we do not know how to prevent it at this time.
Other rare forms of diabetes can be caused by genetic disorders or disease.
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