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Given this forthcoming epidemic, it is important to ask, can type 2 diabetes be prevented?
The answer, clearly, is yes.
Nearly One in Three Kids Are Overweight
In a recent study, 30 percent of U.S. adolescents aged 12 to 19 were found to be overweight. Some of the associations noted in this study were:
Lifestyle Changes Are the Key
Let’s assume that your child is overweight and you have a positive family history of type 2 diabetes. What can you do to keep your high-risk child free of type 2 diabetes?
There are numerous lifestyle changes that you can help your child make that will make a difference. The NIH-sponsored type 2 diabetes prevention trial demonstrated a 58 percent reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in a high-risk group using lifestyle changes that led to increased activity and weight loss.
See below for my 10 suggested lifestyle changes for children and adolescents.
10 Ways to Keep Kids Type 2-Free
Dr. Tanenberg’s suggested lifestyle changes for children and adolescents
What about medications to prevent type 2 diabetes?
The NIH-sponsored type 2 diabetes prevention trial also demonstrated that metformin successfully prevented diabetes in 31 percent of the patients.
Unpublished data indicate that the glitazone drug used in that study (similar to Actos or Avandia) was successful in 70 percent of the cases.
All these drugs are considered “off label” when prescribed for a nondiabetic individual. It would be much easier to justify one of these medications if your child meets the diagnostic criteria for the metabolic syndrome, prediabetes or polycystic ovarian disorder. If so, you need to ask your physician if he or she is willing to prescribe them to prevent diabetes in your child.
Your doctor may agree to try medication in addition to the recommended lifestyle changes.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.