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ARTICLE Childhood Diabetes

Childhood Diabetes

According to the Center for disease Control and Prevention diabetes is one of the most common chronic disease among children under the age of 20. Although type 1 diabetes is more common among children, type 2 diabetes (which is usually diagnosed in adults aged 40 and older) has been growing in frequency among this age group. Researchers believe that obesity epidemic is partly to blame for the rise in type 2 diabetes due to poor diet and a strong lack of physical activity.

The two types of diabetes are:

Type 1 diabetes
Results from the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. It is estimated that 5-10% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes
Results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. Most Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

If your child has type 1 diabetes then they are most likely to be insulin dependent, which is administered through multiple daily shots or an insulin pump. If your child has type 2 diabetes then they will be prescribed a number of medications to help them control it.

In addition to ensuring that your child takes their prescribed medication it is imperative that you also change their lifestyle habits. The best way to control diabetes, and to prevent your child's type 2 diabetes from developing into insulin dependent diabetes, is by enforcing a healthy diet and the recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity.