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.
A doctor may want to assess your child for type 2 diabetes if he or she
body mass index (BMI) or weight above the 85th
percentile for his or her age and gender or weighs more than 120% of ideal and
has any two of these risk factors:3
- Family history of type 2
- Being a Native American, African American, Latino,
Asian American, or Pacific Islander
- Signs of not being able to use
insulin properly (insulin resistance) or conditions associated with it, such
Some children have very high blood sugar levels at the time
of diagnosis. A child with very high blood sugar can become confused, sleepy,
or unconscious, and may develop
diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is an emergency.
DKA is most common in people with
type 1 diabetes and in some African-American people
who have type 2 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.
child has no diabetes symptoms, two blood tests done on separate days are
needed to confirm the diagnosis. Tests used to diagnose diabetes
- A hemoglobin A1c test. This test estimates blood sugar for the past 2 to 3 months.
blood glucose test. A fasting blood sugar test (done
after not eating or drinking for 8 hours) is preferred.
glucose tolerance test. The child has a fasting blood
sugar test and then drinks a sweet liquid with a certain amount of glucose in
it. The child's blood sugar is tested two hours later.
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.) 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