World Diabetes Day, observed annually on November 14, gained UN recognition in 2006 after its establishment in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization. Driven by mounting concerns over diabetes’s health and economic impact, the day highlights the chronic metabolic disease’s threat. According to WHO, diabetes, characterized by elevated blood glucose levels, poses long-term risks to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
Mainly, type 2 diabetes affects adults, marked by insulin resistance or inadequate production, while type 1, once juvenile diabetes, involves little to no insulin production by the pancreas.
In conversation with Zee News English, Dr Meghna Chawla Consultant Pediatric Endocrinologist, Ruby Hall Clinic Pune shares early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children.
Recognizing Type 2 Diabetes in Children
In a concerning trend, type 2 diabetes, once thought of as an ailment predominantly affecting adults, is increasingly affecting children. To empower parents and caregivers, this article sheds light on the early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children, as shared by Dr Meghna.
– Excessive Peeing: Frequent urination is a key indicator of type 2 diabetes in children. Excess glucose in the bloodstream prompts increased urine production, leading to more trips to the bathroom. Recognizing this early sign can be crucial in catching the condition in its initial stages.
– Unquenchable Thirst: Children with type 2 diabetes may experience an unquenchable thirst due to the body’s attempt to compensate for fluid loss caused by increased urine production. Parents should be attentive to this persistent thirst, as it may be a subtle but crucial sign of an underlying health concern.
– Sudden Weight Loss: Despite maintaining a regular or increased food intake, unexplained weight loss in children might be a red flag for type 2 diabetes. Understanding the body’s struggle to utilize glucose for energy can help parents recognize this seemingly perplexing symptom.
– Battling Fatigue: Fatigue can set in due to low blood sugar levels and the body’s challenges in regulating glucose effectively. Recognizing signs of tiredness in children can be an early indicator of metabolic struggles and warrants a closer look at their overall health.
– Vision at Risk: Elevated blood sugar levels can, over time, damage blood vessels in the eyes, leading to impaired vision. Regular eye check-ups for children at risk of or living with type 2 diabetes are crucial to preventing long-term complications.
Staying informed about these early signs equips parents and caregivers with the knowledge needed for proactive healthcare, ultimately contributing to better long-term outcomes for children at risk of or living with type 2 diabetes.