Youth With Type 2 Diabetes Face More Complications Than Type 1 Peers

diabetes testing for kids
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that youth with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop diabetic complications than their peers with type 1 diabetes. The study group included teenagers and young adults who had been diagnosed with diabetes during childhood or adolescence. RediClinic, your local source for diabetes testing, explains more about the findings.

Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin is an essential hormone that allows the body to turn glucose from the food you eat into energy. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, resulting in little or no insulin. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. A person with type 1 diabetes can use insulin efficiently, but must take daily insulin injections to survive.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is a condition marked by high blood sugar levels caused either by insulin deficiency or the body’s inability to use insulin efficiently. Obesity plays a significant role in the development of type 2 diabetes in both children and adults.

Complications Emerge Faster in Type 2 Patients

For the study, researchers examined 1,746 young people with type 1 diabetes and 272 with type 2 diabetes. Patients were treated in five different locations in the United States between 2002 and 2015. Study findings concluded:

  • Teens and young adults with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to show signs of complications from the blood sugar disease than those with type 1 diabetes. While almost 75% of those with type 2 diabetes had at least one health complication eight years following a diagnosis, only one-third of teens and young adults with type 1 diabetes had any complications.
  • Patients with type 2 diabetes had significantly higher rates of diabetic kidney disease, retinopathy (eye damage) and peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage).
  • In most patients, complications were in the early stages, so there is still time to reverse the damage with proper treatment.

Parents: Monitor Your Child’s Health

RediClinic reminds parents to be vigilant about the symptoms of diabetes, and to get tests for diabetes if you suspect your children may be experiencing symptoms. Blood sugar management is crucial to prevent complications in diabetes patients. Healthy eating and weight loss may also be part of a treatment plan to reduce the risk of complications in kids with type 2 diabetes.

Anyone with diabetes or who feels they are at risk can get comprehensive diabetes testing at RediClinic locations inside select Rite Aid Pharmacies and H-E-B stores. Simply schedule an online appointment or walk into your nearest RediClinic to get started!