LIVING HEALTHY Published September18, 2015 By Milafel Hope Dacanay

3-Year-Old Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes

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(Photo : Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News)

A 3-year-old girl had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but early medical interventions may reverse the problem especially among children.

A University of Texas pediatric endocrinologist Dr Michael Yafi presented the case of the young Hispanic girl in the recent European conference about diabetes in Sweden. According to the written report, the girl, whose name was not identified but lived in Houston, was brought to the hospital for childhood obesity. She was more than 75 pounds. Girls her age should be only 28 to 33 pounds. Children around this age should also be losing their rounded tummy and have got slimmer.

According to the family, the little girl had been urinating more frequently and complained of excessive thirst, which are some of the common signs and symptoms of diabetes. Although her other medical history was considered "unremarkable," she was still diagnosed with type 2 diabetes based on lab tests. They also ruled out type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, as this occurs way earlier in childhood.

Upon further analysis of the girl's habits, the doctor discovered that the family was maintaining a poor nutritional diet with emphasis on foods that are high in fat and calories. The family doesn't have any history of the disease, but both the parents are also obese.

Fortunately, the doctor and his team were able to reverse the condition by putting the child on metformin, a common drug that improves the body's response to insulin. It also controls the disease itself, lowering the risk of stroke and heart attack.

He also recommended a significant change of lifestyle, including increasing the child's physical activity and modifying eating habits like eating healthier choices and consuming them in smaller portions.

Within 6 months of treatment, the girl lost more than 70% of her body weight, and her insulin levels are now normal, which suggests she no longer has the disease. This shows that with early medical screening and intervention, correct therapies, and lifestyle modification, the condition can be effectively managed.  

Obesity is linked to type 2 diabetes, a modifiable disease caused by an increased insulin resistance. Although childhood obesity in the United States is fairly stable, the numbers are still high.  

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