Type 2 Diabetes in Children - Treatment Overview
Your child's blood sugar level needs to be checked regularly. Your child
will probably have to test before breakfast and 2 hours after meals.
If your child has high blood pressure or high cholesterol, those
conditions need to be treated.
- High blood pressure is usually treated with
angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin ll receptor blockers (ARBs), because
these medicines also protect the circulatory system and the kidneys from damage
caused by diabetes. Sexually active teens should be warned that ACE inhibitors and ARBs
should not be taken during pregnancy.
- Weight loss and
well-controlled blood sugar can help lower your child's cholesterol. Your
child's doctor may recommend medicine if these lifestyle changes do not lower
cholesterol. Sexually active teens should be warned against becoming pregnant
while taking these medicines.
What to Think About
Some children have very high
blood sugar levels when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A child with a
very high blood sugar level may develop the serious chemical imbalance
diabetic ketoacidosis and need to be treated with
insulin in a hospital. After blood sugar returns to a target level, the child
usually no longer needs insulin. His or her own body may start making enough
Treating diabetes with insulin or some oral
medicines (or both) increases the risk for
low blood sugar episodes. Your doctor will determine
the target range for your child's blood sugar that will prevent damage from diabetes
while causing as few low blood sugar episodes as possible.
lifestyle changes needed to control diabetes can be especially hard for
a child or teen. Your child will have a better chance of being successful if
the whole family is involved. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular
exercise may help other family members avoid diabetes.
Healthy Eating: Helping Your Child Learn Healthy Eating Habits
Teens who have
depression or an
eating disorder may have difficulty keeping their
blood sugar at a healthy level. Also, teens who smoke or use alcohol or
other drugs have problems with blood sugar control. Support groups may help
teens deal with diabetes management issues, which can improve the teens'
perception of diabetes care and blood sugar control.