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Question:

From Nebraska, USA:

Our nearly 10 year old daughter (53 inches tall, weighs 81 pounds), who gained 20 pounds in five months, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a week ago. In trying to come to terms with this and understand, my husband and I are having some disagreements. My husband keeps saying all she needs to do is to lose weight, exercise, and she will beat this. He feels diabetes is a beatable disease because his mother was had borderline diabetes and took appropriate steps to "fight it off", whereas his father did not take appropriate steps and now has full-blown diabetes. I keep trying to tell him this is a life-long illness, and there is no "cure" and no "beating it", but there is control. I continue to cite various articles I have read from the American Diabetes Association and other organizations, but he still continues to fight me on this and tell me our daughter is just overweight. Can you give me some help?

Answer:

Well, maybe this is a matter of semantics, but maybe not. type 2 diabetes can often be well controlled with diet and exercise, so therefore, I am of the opinion that it is indeed "beatable", However, it is generally a constant battle that is lifelong so in that sense, perhaps it is not so beatable after all.

I might ask a more disturbing series of questions: Why did she gain weight so rapidly? At age nine years, a girl of 53 inches and 81 pounds plots just above the 50% in height and just under the 90% in weight. At age 10 years (you indicated she was nearly 10), 53 inches is near the 30% in height and 81 pounds is near the 60% in weight. So, I imagine that your daughter is stocky but not "obese." How are you sure she has type 2 diabetes and not type 1? We are seeing more type 2 diabetes in youth these days with our epidemic of obesity, but in young people, type 1 is much more common, chubby or not.

If not already done so, you might ask her physician to send some of her blood for the special pancreatic antibody tests (to a reliable lab) for measurement of GAD 65, ICA 512, and insulin autoantibodies. If she has not been seen by a pediatric endocrinologist, you may wish to ask for a referral.

DS

DTQ-20021031150742
Original posting 11 Nov 2002
Posted to Daily Care

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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