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Important Issues for Your Child With Type 2 Diabetes

Not long ago, a child diagnosed with diabetes was assumed to have type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was rare in children. But now, the number of new cases has skyrocketed. Experts believe childhood obesity is primarily responsible for the increase. In most cases, healthy eating and exercise will become the focus of your child's treatment.

It often helps if the entire family makes a commitment to healthy eating and being active. By working with a registered dietitian, especially one who is a certified diabetes educator, you can develop meal plans that will help your child control his or her diabetes. Healthy eating habits and exercise are important for the whole family because type 2 diabetes runs in families. If you have additional children, they too are at risk. Adopting a healthy lifestyle for your whole family may lower the risk of your other children developing diabetes.

Having type 2 diabetes will affect your child at school. You should meet with your child's teacher to discuss possible low blood sugar episodes. Review the school's lunch program, and stress the need for your child to eat healthy meals. You should also speak to your child's gym teacher not only about possible low blood sugar episodes and their symptoms, but also about ways to get your child more involved in physical activities. Sports and exercise will make weight control much easier for your child.

Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 in that your child's life is generally not in immediate danger without treatment. But if the disease is not treated, your child's long-term health will suffer and he or she will be more likely to develop serious complications. Treatment also will help your child feel better in the short term. Achieving healthy blood sugar levels will help your child have more energy, which can lead to increased exercise and weight control.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
Last Revised July 16, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 16, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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