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Diabetes Health Center

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Type 2 Diabetes in Children - Exams and Tests

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 medical history, 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 disease.

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.

Early detection

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.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 29, 2014
    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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