In the past, type 2 diabetes was mostly diagnosed in older adults. Over the last 25 years, however, type 2 diabetes has become more prevalent in children and adolescents. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still makes insulin, but the body’s cells do not use this insulin properly. This causes the pancreas to make more and more to keep up with the body’s insulin needs. Eventually, the pancreas can’t keep up and can lose the ability to make insulin. In the early stages, type 2 diabetes may be managed effectively (or even prevented) with lifestyle changes and other interventions (like oral medication). However, many cases may require the use of insulin injections.

Why UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center?

The team at Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center provides expert consultation and ongoing care for patients with prediabetes, diabetes, diabetes in pregnancy and any diabetes-related complications and conditions.

Our center is unique in that we offer care and treatment across the lifespan. Our multidisciplinary health care team includes certified diabetes care and education specialists, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, registered dietitians, pharmacists, and social workers. We have an education center that provides first-class, cutting edge diabetes education in individual and group settings. Appointments are available both in-person and via telehealth.

Our outpatient location at UK HealthCare – Turfland provides a convenient, single location where patients can easily access many of their related health care services. UK HealthCare – Turfland, which offers abundant free parking, is home to many other expert clinical health care providers, including those from primary care, urgent care, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology/MRI, ophthalmology and more.

UK HealthCare’s state-of-the-art electronic health record uses the MyChart patient portal for communication between provider and patient.

How do providers work together to best serve their patients?

  • A multidisciplinary team of providers and diabetes care and education specialists coordinate a specific treatment plan tailored to each patient.
  • A comprehensive medical record network coordinates care among your healthcare team, as well as with local and regional health care facilities. The MyChart portal tool promotes quick and effective communication with our patients. 
  • Pediatric and adult teams housed in the same clinic offers a smooth transition of care as pediatric patients reach adulthood and transfer care to the adult team.

Type 2 diabetes in children typically causes few if any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, the signs of type 2 diabetes may include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination, particularly at night
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue, even after rest
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased number of infections (including yeast infections)
  • Significant change in weight

In most cases, type 2 diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors, including being overweight or obese, not being physically active and an unhealthy diet. Other causes include:

  • A family history of diabetes
  • A family history of being overweight or obese
  • Insulin resistance, which causes the body’s cells to not use insulin properly

Because type 2 diabetes in children is tied mainly to lifestyle habits, the condition can usually be prevented by implementing a healthy lifestyle into your family’s routines. This can include:

  • Encouraging your child to be physically active. Experts recommend that all children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, which can help your child maintain a normal weight and keep the body functioning at its best.
  • Helping your child maintain a healthy weight. Talk with your child’s medical provider about what a normal weight looks like for your child, which will be based on several factors. If your child needs to lose weight, becoming more physically active and eating a healthy diet will be two steps in the right direction.
  • Serving healthy meals and snacks. A nutritious diet can go a long way toward preventing type 2 diabetes in children. Base your family’s diet around fruits and vegetables, supplemented by chicken, fish and other lean proteins, as well as whole grains. Avoid regular sodas and fruit juices. Limit consumption of processed foods.
  • Knowing your family’s medical history. If you or other family members have diabetes, be sure your child’s pediatrician or medical provider knows the family history. You can work with the provider to plan for a healthy future for your child, keeping an eye out for elevated blood sugar and other health issues.

Complications can be avoided. Early intervention is a key element in preventing complications. However, a child may be at risk for complications if treatment plans are not followed. Long-term complications can occur if the child has high blood sugar levels over months or years. These complications can include nerve damage, eye health issues and an increased risk of other conditions like heart disease and stroke.

CALL 859-323-BBDC (2232)

Or request an appointment securely


Take our short, 6-question assessment