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Question:

From Fincastle, Virginia, USA:

My seven year old daughter has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and an underactive thyroid. Is type 2 more dangerous for her than it is for an adult? She does not fit the type 2 "description". She is very thin, very active, and continues to lose weight (about eight pounds in the last 2 months). I'm very concerned about the long range effects of this disease because I know two adults who have had this type of diabetes and are going blind. I have not been able to find much information on this type of diabetes and children.

Answer:

It is true that type 2 diabetes has recently been shown to be increasingly common in childhood all over the world. This change seems to be related to a lifestyle with less physical exercise and a growing dependence on a fast food style diet. In the U.S., some American Indian groups are particularly affected as are Hispanic families, but the increase has applied to all groups. There is nearly always a history of being significantly overweight as well as a family history of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The long term risks are much the same for type 1 and type 2, depending ultimately on the ability to keep blood sugars near to normal values and so forestall complications.

As you point out, however, your daughter does not seem to fit this pattern in that she is thin and losing weight. Besides this, she has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism which is an autoimmune condition that is commonly associated with type 1A diabetes. I think you should discuss with the doctor whether your daughter might not have what is now called the Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome. This is a condition in which a number of autoimmune problems occur together, and in which the most common components are type 1A diabetes and hypothyroidism. The several components do not, necessarily, develop together. In your daughters case, the glucose intolerance may have been detected on a routine urine or blood test before she actually needed supplementary insulin. An antibody test would confirm this.

DOB

DTQ-20001001225923
Original posting 8 Nov 2000
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:16
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