The youngest child ever diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes may be a 3-year-old who weighed 77 pounds and had a nutritionally bankrupt diet. Doctors provided nutritional education to the family and prescribed the toddler liquid metformin.
The child increased physical activity, decreased caloric consumption, and in six months had lost 25% of her body weight. Her blood glucose levels normalized, and she didn't need diabetes medication anymore.
We hope she's been able to maintain that healthful lifestyle because when kids get Type 2 diabetes, the consequences can be swift and severe.
The TODAY2 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, tracked kids with diabetes for 15 years. The researchers found that over time, 67% developed high blood pressure, 52% had seriously elevated triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels, 55% had diabetes-related kidney disease, 51% had eye disease, and 32% had nerve disease.
After 10 to 12 years of living with diabetes, young adults in their 20s were suffering strokes, kidney failure, heart attacks, and amputations.
Don't let this happen to your kids. Find play groups and after-school teams for them to join.
Upgrade your family's nutrition — eliminate drinks with added sugars or syrups, fruit drinks, simple carbs, processed meats, and highly processed or fast foods.
Your children's future is in your hands. Reach out for help if you need a hand. And check out the American Heart Association's "Daily Tips to Help Your Family Eat Better" at www.heart.org and www.PTA.org for "Family Resources."