Banner Health: Diabetes and childhood obesity

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Banner Health: Diabetes and childhood obesity

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MESA, AZ - Many people associate obesity with Type 2 Diabetes, but it is also a risk factor for Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in the United States. It usually develops in children or young adults, but can start at any age.

The body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin allows glucose to enter the cells of the body to provide energy. When glucose cannot enter the cells, it builds up in the blood, depriving the cells of nutrition.

People with Type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections and regularly monitor their blood sugar levels. Maintaining your weight is an important part of treating diabetes, as it helps to manage blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes may include:

• high levels of sugar in the blood when tested
• high levels of sugar in the urine when tested
• unusual thirst
• frequent urination
• extreme hunger but loss of weight
• blurred vision
• nausea and vomiting
• extreme weakness and fatigue
• irritability and mood changes

Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder caused by the body’s inability to make enough insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases. Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes include family history, being overweight and not exercising regularly.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include:

• frequent infections that are not easily healed
• high levels of sugar in the blood when tested
• high levels of sugar in the urine when tested
• unusual thirst
• frequent urination
• extreme hunger but loss of weight
• blurred vision
• nausea and vomiting
• extreme weakness and fatigue
• irritability and mood changes
• dry, itchy skin
• tingling or loss of feeling in the hands or feet

If your child is diagnosed with diabetes, your best resource is education, whether it be from your caregiver, education programs like those offered at Cardon Children’s or research tools like the Internet.

Children with diabetes can live very normal and active lives.

Outcomes are best when the entire family is committed to helping with treatment and lifestyle changes to promote better health.

To learn more about the Diabetes Education Program at Cardon Children’s, including support groups, call 480-412-4557 or visit www.bannerhealth.com/cardonchildrens and click on Programs and Services to find Diabetes and Endocrinology.

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