Rise in diabetes among youth can be prevented

Symptoms and Challenges: While type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune condition in which children are dependent on insulin for treatment.
Representative Image
Representative Image

In India, the incidence of diabetes among young people is rising. The good news is that it can now be managed and controlled with greater precision and effectiveness. Young adults who are more likely to have chronic conditions like diabetes also have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular conditions. Most youngsters with diabetes in India have type 1 diabetes, but the proportion of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is increasing of late. Some of these youth may have rare forms of diabetes like monogenic diabetes and pancreatic diabetes.

Symptoms and Challenges: While type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune condition in which children are dependent on insulin for treatment.

The symptoms are: Excessive thirst, urinary frequency (possibly bedwetting), extreme hunger (abnormal eating patterns), unintentional loss of weight, fatigue, irritability, breath that smells like fruit and urinary tract infection

At the outset, children who are experiencing any symptoms that are troubling should have a screening test done. It should be remembered that many individuals with diabetes may have no symptoms at all, especially if they have type 2 diabetes. Late diagnosis is a major obstacle to treating young diabetes. Poor management of diabetes care, especially in children or young adults, accelerates disease progression and increases health risk.

While there is little one can do at present to prevent type 1 diabetes, the situation is different for type 2 diabetes. The main factors that contribute to type 2 diabetes are obesity and overweight. In India, childhood obesity is now widespread. An imbalance between the amount of energy expended and the number of calories consumed is the main factor in childhood obesity. Obesity in children has serious effects.

Simple and effective methods for preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes, include eating more vegetables and fruits, reducing TV (and other screen) time. Encouraging and facilitating regular physical activity.

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