LOS ANGELES — A new study sends a firm message to obese teens: If you get diabetes, you will find it very hard to manage it.
A federally funded study, released on Sunday, tested many ways of managing blood sugar in teens who were newly diagnosed with diabetes, and discovered that almost half of the teens failed after a couple of years, and 1 in 5 experienced serious complications. The study results mean trouble for a nation coming up against increased diabetes rates – Type 2 which is brought on by obesity.
The study took the largest look done at ways of treating teens with diabetes. Prior studies, were done on adults, mostly, and the majority of drugs for the disease haven’t been approved for teens. The study message is definite – prevention is everything.
One of the study leaders, Dr. Phil Zeitler of the University of Colorado, said – “Don’t get diabetes in the first place.”
One-third of children in America are obese or overweight. As a result, they have higher risks of developing Type 2 diabetes, which makes the body incapable of making enough insulin, or it uses what insulin it does make to process sugar from food. Before the overweight epidemic, Type 2 diabetes was rarely seen in children.
The common type of diabetes for children wasType 1, also known as juvenile diabetes.
Treatment for Type 2 usually begins with a pill to lower blood sugar, called metformin and if this doesn’t work; daily insulin shots and other drugs are used as needed.
The longer the blood sugar isn’t controlled, the greater the risks of limb amputation, vision loss, kidney failure and nerve damage – even strokes and heart attacks.