Many children have had no symptoms
before they are diagnosed with
type 2 diabetes. Usually, the illness is discovered
when a blood or urine test taken for another reason shows diabetes.
If a doctor suspects that your child may
have type 2 diabetes, he or she will do a
physical exam, and blood glucose testing. If
the results of these tests meet the
criteria for diagnosing diabetes established by the
American Diabetes Association (ADA), your child has diabetes.
Other possible tests
If it is hard to tell whether
your child has type 2 or
type 1 diabetes, your doctor may do a
C-peptide test or an autoantibodies test.
(Autoantibodies are produced when the body's
immune system does not work right.) For example, many people with type 1 diabetes produce the autoantibody zinc transporter 8 (ZnT8Ab). People with type 2 diabetes do not produce ZnT8Ab. These tests may
not be able to confirm the type of diabetes your child has. Getting a
definite diagnosis may take months or years. In either case, your child's sugar
levels will need to be controlled right away.
Sometimes a doctor
will do a quick
home blood sugar test or a
urine test for sugar to see whether a child may have
diabetes. Although these tests are simple and can show possible diabetes,
additional testing is needed to make sure your child actually has the
Monitoring tests if diagnosed with diabetes
Because your child is at risk for diabetes complications (eye, heart,
kidney, nerve, liver, and blood vessel problems), he or she needs to see a
doctor regularly for tests to monitor type 2 diabetes.
If your child is overweight and gets little or no exercise, he or she may be at risk for type 2 diabetes. Early detection
and treatment for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay problems from the disease.