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Type 2 Diabetes in Children

People with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) have higher than normal blood glucose (sugar) levels. The pancreas, an organ located in the abdomen just behind the stomach, produces insulin. Insulin helps sugar from the bloodstream enter your body’s cells, where it’s used for energy. This process controls the amount of sugar in your blood, keeping it from getting too low or too high. T2DM occurs when the body becomes resistant to the effect of insulin and then cannot make enough so that sugar builds up to abnormally high levels in the blood.

Usually, T2DM develops in middle age or later. Although T2DM is rare in children, over the past two decades, more and more cases have been reported in the United States. Most youth with type 2 diabetes develop it when they are teenagers. If left untreated or poorly controlled, over the years, T2DM can lead to blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

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The Hormone Foundation

Dr. Lysette Iglesias M.D.

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