Children With Type 2 Diabetes Face High Risk of Eye Damage
Type 2 diabetes is on the rise. Once seen in mostly older patients, it is now being diagnosed more often in children at an alarming rate. This means that kids with type 2 diabetes are now at a higher risk of developing serious diabetic complications like permanent eye damage.Is Type 2 Diabetes Genetic?
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a serious condition where the insulin made by your pancreas isn’t functioning the way it should and your body can’t manage blood sugar (glucose) correctly. High blood sugar levels can lead to damage throughout the body so it’s important to treat T2D consistently and effectively.
Environmental and lifestyle factors are the usual cause of type 2 diabetes, but if someone in your family has it, your risk of developing it is higher. T2D is often classified as a weight related disease because people who eat a poor diet and aren’t active enough are more likely to be diagnosed.
Other risk factors of type 2 diabetes include:
- High blood pressure
- History of stroke or heart disease
- Being of African or South Asian descent
- Having PCOS
Of the people in the UK who have diabetes, up to 90% of them have type 2 diabetes. The rest have what’s called type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Type 1 is different in several ways. It happens when the cells in your pancreas are attacked, preventing your pancreas from making insulin. The condition can be present from birth and the exact cause is unknown. The symptoms come on quickly and it is managed by taking synthetic insulin. There is no cure or known way to prevent it.
The symptoms of type 2 usually come on more slowly and can potentially be prevented or put in remission with treatment (like synthetic insulin) and lifestyle changes.Diabetic Retinopathy
A serious complication of T2D is diabetic retinopathy. If your blood sugar levels are not consistently controlled, the blood vessels in the eyes become damaged and can cause vision problems or blindness. With childhood obesity and T2D on the rise, the risk to children’s vision is worrying. It is important to prevent type 2 diabetes wherever possible and to treat it effectively if it is diagnosed.