Type 2 Diabetes is a lifelong condition that, if unattended, can lead to serious medical conditions or death. In the past, people attributed Type 2 to adults only, but now studies are showing that children are increasingly gaining this harmful disease. Whether it is due to genetics or simply a poor lifestyle, Type 2 Diabetes is something that can severely impact the quality of your child’s life. If you are a parent who is concerned about your child’s chances of contracting Type 2 Diabetes, here are some things you should look out for.

The first thing you should watch for is diet and exercise. A child’s diet should contain a balanced mix of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and meat. This ensures that they receive the nutrients they need. However, if your children are primarily eating fried foods or food from restaurants, they are less likely to receive the nutrients and more likely to consume excess calories. This makes it more difficult to maintain a stable weight through exercise alone.

Exercise goes along with diet, as exercise is meant to expel the calories from eating. As I said, this becomes more difficult for even the most active kid when they only eat unhealthy foods. The other side is the children who rarely exercise. A sedentary lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular as children spend more time in front of screens and less time outside. As a parent, you should require your child to exercise frequently. Making it a habit or part of the daily routine is the best way to ensure your child is moving as often as they should.

Aside from diet and exercise, there are other factors you should watch for. If your child is constantly thirsty and urinating frequently, it can be a sign that they have diabetes. Children with diabetes may also be tired constantly and have sores that do not heal, or take significantly longer than they should to heal. Another symptom is blurred eyesight, but this may not necessarily be a sign of diabetes, as many healthy children need glasses.

If your child meets all of these symptoms, the next step is to take them to the doctor to ensure they do not have diabetes. From there, the doctor has the option to do one of three tests to determine whether or not your child has diabetes. Please note that your doctor may want you to monitor your child more closely for a period of time before going through with a test.

When the results come back, your doctor will contact you about next steps. If your child has diabetes, you will have a few follow-up appointments where your doctor may prescribe medication and try to work with you to develop a plan to reduce the risk of complications. You may also be referred to a nutritionist. If your child is not diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor may request a follow-up to go over better strategies to reduce the risk of diabetes, as well as to go over the results with you.

Type 2 Diabetes is terrible for anyone to develop, but it is particularly damaging to children. If your child exhibits these symptoms without any other explanation, I strongly suggest you speak to your doctor and get tested.