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Question:

From Pensacola, Florida:

I have had Type 1 diabetes for 16 years, since the age of 9. My new endocrinologist just told me the other day he feels I may have Type 2 diabetes. I have never heard of being diagnosed as Type 2 at age 9. I am highly resistant to insulin and am overweight. The doctor feels this is not typical of Type 1, however, I take a lot of insulin, I don't exercise and I don't watch my diet. A1c was 5.7 last month, so I am doing well with the sugars, but I need to know more about this childhood onset Type 2.

Answer:

Although rare, there are forms of type 2 diabetes that develop in childhood. Insulin may not be required to control the blood sugar. There is usually a very strong family history. People who are overweight may also develop true type 1 diabetes due to the inability of the body to produce insulin. If you are also overweight, you may have insulin resistance in addition as obesity of any cause interferes with insulin action. Weight loss and exercise, in any case would be good for both diabetes control and your general health regardless of which type of diabetes you have. After 16 years of diabetes, antibody testing may not be accurate to differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes as after many years of diabetes, the antibodies may become negative even if initially positive in Type 1 diabetes. Measurement of C-peptide (a byproduct of the body's own insulin production) may be helpful. In any case, you should work with your own doctor to maximize blood sugar control and minimize weight gain.

TGL

Original posting 1 Feb 98

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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