Is Diabetes Less Controlled in Young Children?

2wIn the month of March 2016, the journal Pediatric Diabetes reported on the results of a study carried out to learn how adequately children are treated for Type 2 diabetes and its associated complications. The research took place in several US hospitals and universities belonging to the Pediatrics Diabetes Consortium. A total of 598 Type 2 diabetics under the age of 21 were included.

Although the participants with the longest history of diabetes had been treated with the highest amount of insulin, these children had the poorest diabetic control…

  • among the children who had the condition for less than one year, the average HbA1c level was 6.7 percent,
  • while the average HbA1c for those who had the condition for at least four years, was 9.7 percent.

Of the participants with high blood pressure readings, only about a third were being treated for hypertension. Only 11 percent of those with abnormal fats in their blood were given treatment for that particular condition. The beginning of kidney malfunction and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were seen in about 5 percent of these young participants.

From the above results, it was concluded blood sugar control diminished through the course of Type 2 diabetes. And the complications of diabetes were not being treated adequately…

  • the normal HbA1c in healthy individuals is 6.0 percent or lower. Diabetics are usually advised to maintain 7.0 percent or less.
  • normal blood pressure for a child 6 to 12 years of age is 100 to 120 over 60 to 75.

Controlling blood sugar levels and blood pressure can help prevent diabetic kidney disease or diabetic nephropathy.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is just what the name describes. Liver cells fill with too much fat, which can be benign. On the other hand, if the liver becomes inflamed, the condition can lead to cirrhosis, a severe disease. It is also linked with insulin resistance, the cause of Type 2 diabetes. It is especially common in overweight or obese children, who are also at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Following…

  • a low-fat,
  • a low-glycemic diet which includes five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, plus at least,
  • an hour of physical activity per day, and
  • no more than 2 hours of television or computer time

is recommended to help prevent or control both Type 2 diabetes and NAFLD.

Some research shows the improvement of NAFLD within one year while other work suggests the effect of a healthy lifestyle can begin after a few weeks. Some children with the non-alcoholic liver disease may be treated with statins for lowering cholesterol or with metformin. Here’s to healthy children.