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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


July 27, 2002 - Issue 66


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Parents: Your Kids Between Ages Of 8 And 17 May be At Risk For Type 2 Diabetes ... And You May Not Know It

BBK Healthcare, Inc.

Kids between the ages of eight and 17 may be at risk for type 2 diabetes and may not even know it. Typically found in adults, type 2 diabetes is increasingly endangering children, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Parents are often unsure of the warning signs of type 2 diabetes. The symptoms may include:

  • ongoing fatigue;
  • chronic thirst;
  • inability of wounds to heal;
  • weight loss;
  • blurred vision; and
  • numbness in hands and feet.

In addition, childhood inactivity and obesity, family history and ethnicity also may be risk factors. The majority of children with the disease have a first- or second-degree relative with the condition. The disease is more common in children of African-American, Latino, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander origin. Children who have at least two of these risk factors should be screened for type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes in children is increasing, and it is estimated by the ADA that up to half of new diabetes cases in children are diagnosed as type 2. New research suggests that childhood inactivity and obesity play a major role in the early development of this disease.

Aside from diet and exercise, treatment options for kids with type 2 diabetes are limited. The Type 2 Diabetes Study For Kids, a nationwide medical research study, has been inaugurated to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an oral investigational medication to manage blood glucose levels in kids and adolescents with type 2 diabetes. Children who are already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes also may be eligible for participation. Study participants will be provided with medical evaluations; diet instruction; and attention by a medical team consisting of a physician, nurse and nutritionist. This research study may offer eligible children a preliminary screening test for type 2 diabetes at no cost. Those interested in learning more can call 1-800- 701-4925 or visit

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that stems from the body's inability to make enough insulin, which is the hormone that turns blood sugar into energy. A child may have the disease and not be aware of it. It is often without symptoms for long periods of time. If not controlled early, type 2 diabetes can increase the risk that serious complications. These complications may include blindness, kidney failure and heart disease. Early diagnosis is key to preventing serious health problems.

"Recognizing and diagnosing type 2 diabetes in children is the first step on the road to diabetes management and future health," comments Dr. Elizabeth Estrada, pediatric endocrinologist at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, in Hartford, Conn. "Parents of at-risk children should consider having children screened for the condition by a doctor. While there's no cure for diabetes, it's important to treat the disease as early as possible. Since treatment options - aside from diet and exercise - are limited for type 2 in children, continuing research into this area is essential to address the serious nature of this disease," continues Estrada.

The Type 2 Diabetes Study For Kids is taking place at multiple research locations across the United States. Overweight and obese children between the ages of eight and 17 may be eligible for participation. To find out more about the screening and the medical research study, parents can call 1-800-701-4925. More information also is available at

SOURCE: BBK Healthcare, Inc.

The Type 2 Diabetes Study For Kids
You might think type 2 diabetes is only for adults. But it’s becoming more common in children. One reason: American kids are heavier than ever because of eating habits and inactivity. But there’s good news. Type 2 diabetes is treatable.

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