Caring for Kids…at Billings Clinic

Diabetes in Kids

Diabetes is the 2nd most common chronic disease in the U.S.  It affects 1 in 2500 children by age 5 and 1 in 300 by age 18. Diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugar which accounts for all the initial symptoms in children. These include weight loss, excess urination, new bedwetting, excess thirst especially at night, and fatigue.  Many times the children have someone else in the family who also has diabetes but they can also have no family history.  If the disease goes undetected children can become extremely ill and require hospitalization.  The treatment for Type 1 diabetes is always insulin injections to keep the blood sugars in control.

Type 2 Diabetes is characterized by the child being overweight or obese and insulin resistant and thus requires the treatment of diet, exercise, oral medications and sometimes insulin injections.  It is extremely important for all family members, friends, teachers, and care givers to become involved, and to understand why blood sugar control is necessary for the diabetic child. If you have any concerns always contact your doctor.

Fred Gunville, MD

Fred Gunville, MD, is the Director of Pediatric Diabetes at Billings Clinic.

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