Type 2 Diabetes in Youth Causes More Health Problems Than Type 1, Research Finds

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that young patients with type 2 diabetes were more prone to developing health problems than youth with type 1 diabetes.

The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study found that young patients with type 2 diabetes developed early signs of kidney disease, nerve disease, and eye disease, as well as showed greater signs for risk factors of heart disease. The preconceived notion that children and young people don’t typically exhibit health complications from their diabetes is largely refuted by this evidence. Of the patients studied, the average age of the first sign of complication was 21 years old in 33% of type 1 patients and 75% in type 2 patients.

Type 1 diabetes is developed in infancy and occurs when the body does not naturally produce insulin, the most powerful hormone in your body that stabilizes your metabolism and feeds your body the necessary sugars its needs to survive. There is no recourse for patients with Type 1 diabetes, other than to receive lifelong injections of insulin. A balanced diet and proper exercise contribute to a type 1 patient’s overall health. Type 2 diabetes, also known as sugar disease, can develop in people of all ages and occurs when the body doesn’t use insulin efficiently or doesn’t produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is typically caused by lifestyle choices, such as being inactive and eating a nutrient-deficient diet. The fact that type 2 diabetes is affecting children more than ever is indicative of the obesity epidemic in North America and around the world.

The study illustrates the importance of learning how to delay these complications, and in a broader sense, it demonstrates the fundamental need to pre-screen children and youth who may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This disease is caused and worsened by morbid obesity, and while both health conditions are reversible, help is sometimes required in cases where losing weight is difficult or dangerous. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, please take a minute to fill out our patient questionnaire, or contact Clinique Michel Gagner today.

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