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The Rise In Type 2 Diabetes Among Kids Prompts New Care Recommendations

2:05 PM, Jan 30, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- The dangerous and growing problem of an adult disease in kids.

Because of our nation's obesity epidemic, more children and teens are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  This form of diabetes has been more commonly seen in adults, however in the last couple of decades the number of kids with type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed.

Fran Cogen, MD, Director of the Childhood and Adolescent Diabetes Program at Children's National Medical Center says, "With the advent of fast food, less exercise in association with familial origins especially in ethnic minorities, its come to the forefront and we have to take notice."

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics published standard recommendations to assist physicans in caring for children and teens with type 2 diabetes.

Among the recommendations, beginning insulin treatment right at diagnosis in all children.  Even if it is not clear if they have type 1 or type 2.  They also say Metformin should be used as a first-line therapy, and mandatory lifestyle change programs involving nutrition and exercise are key.  Testing blood sugars at least 3 or 4 times a day is a standard that members of the AAP would like to be implemented.

Dr. Cogen says, "What they've done is standardized (the guidelines) and they based it on evidence based literature and opinons from experts.  As such many of us who practice diabetes management in academic institutions pretty much do these guidelines already."

11 percent of the children in the diabetes management program at Children' National Medical Center have type 2 diabetes and the number is increasing every year. 

With type 2 diabetes, the body cannot use the insulin that it produces.  This is due to the intake of a high amount of sugar, the insulin becomes desensitized to the sugar and does not remove it from the bloodstream.