What type of diabetes occurs in children?
Children and teens with diabetes generally have type 1, previously known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Overall, type 1 diabetes represents 10 per cent of all diabetes – the other 90 per cent is type 2 diabetes which prior to recent years, was seen primarily in adults over 40 years of age. However, as a result of obesity, there has now been an increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children in Canada. The prevalence of obesity among Canadian children aged 5 to 17 years is 12%.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition whereby the pancreas can no longer produce any or enough insulin. Therefore, the treatment of type 1 diabetes is the administration of insulin through daily injections or an insulin pump. The amount of insulin needed has to be balanced with the amount of food, exercise and overall health, including stress and emotional health.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas does not make enough insulin, or the cells in the body don’t respond to the insulin. The most common cause of type 2 diabetes in children is extra weight as a result of unhealthy eating and lack of physical activity. It is generally treated with oral medications, but also can be treated with insulin.
Type 2 diabetes symptoms usually develop over time. The doctor may order a blood test in order to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.