Quick Guide to Type 2 Diabetes in Youth
First Things First
Your you or your child has just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Okay, first things first. Order your free Wizdom kit from the American Diabetes Association. To order, send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) today. Then, download our Print-On-Demand ("POD"), Kids & Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the kind usually in older people. But these days, more and more kids and teens are getting it, too. If you're one of those, you're in the right spot. Read on!
Okay, I Have Diabetes. What Now?
Until someone discovers a cure for diabetes, you and your health care team will work to keep your blood sugar levels as close as possible to your target range. You’ll do this by balancing food, medicine, and activity. Read on to find out how:
What Is This Dark Skin Patch?
Lots of people who have type 2 diabetes have "insulin resistance." That means that their body is making insulin but can’t use it. So the insulin builds up and as a result, you may get a dark area of skin around your neck or in your armpit. It’s called acanthosis nigricans (AAY-can-THO-sis NIG-ruh-cans), or "A.N."
Almost 75% of kids with type 2 diabetes have AN, so you’re not alone. But it can be embarrassing. Some people call it "dirty neck" and try scrubbing it or even using bleach to get rid of it. These don’t work, though, so spare yourself the bleaching. The good news is that taking control over your diabetes—eating well, being active, losing some weight, and taking your diabetes medicine—lowers the amount of unused insulin in your body. This will help get rid of AN.
Am I the Only One?
Diabetes can make you feel very alone. You may be the only person you know who has it. But you are not alone. 18.2 million people in the United States have diabetes. And most of them have type 2. There are Olympic athletes, sports stars, famous actors, and people doing just about everything else, all with diabetes.
It may help to meet someone else your age with diabetes. Your local American Diabetes Association office can help. The folks there can tell you about different group activities. You can join a walk or bike ride that raises money to find the cure for diabetes. For many kids, the highlight of the year is getting away to a summer camp set up just for kids with diabetes. (It’s a great way to prove to your parents that you’re learning to take care of yourself.) To find your local ADA office and learn more about ADA activities in your area, click here, or call 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383).
Health Professional? Are you a diabetes care provider? You may be interested in Type 2 Diabetes: A Curriculum for Patients and Health Professionals.Click here for more information.
Click here to go to the Parent Forum and talk with other parents of children with diabetes.
Proud sponsors of the American Diabetes Association WizdomTM program:
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