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Diabetes in Children and Teens

Summary

Until recently, the common type of diabetes in children and teens was type 1. It was called juvenile diabetes. With Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose,or sugar, get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much sugar stays in the blood.

Now younger people are also getting type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes. But now it is becoming more common in children and teens, due to more obesity. With Type 2 diabetes, the body does not make or use insulin well.

Children have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes if they are overweight or have obesity, have a family history of diabetes, or are not active. Children who are African American, Hispanic, Native American/Alaska Native, Asian American, or Pacific Islander also have a higher risk. To lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in children

  • Have them maintain a healthy weight
  • Be sure they are physically active
  • Have them eat smaller portions of healthy foods
  • Limit time with the TV, computer, and video

Children and teens with type 1 diabetes may need to take insulin. Type 2 diabetes may be controlled with diet and exercise. If not, patients will need to take oral diabetes medicines or insulin. A blood test called the A1C can check on how you are managing your diabetes.

Start Here

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Symptoms

  • (American Diabetes Association) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • From the National Institutes of Health Easy-to-Read (National Diabetes Education Program) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • (Nemours Foundation)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Living With

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  • (American College of Emergency Physicians)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Related Issues

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Diabetes Education Program)

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in
  • (American Diabetes Association)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Patient Handouts

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