Teenage diabetes has seen a rapid increase in the UK due to an increase in child and teenage obesity, which is linked to a poor diet and a lack of exercise. Research shows that teenagers are living an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, choosing to spend time watching television, using the Internet and playing on computer games, rather than participating in sports or outdoor activities.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is not usually associated with young people; however, in recent years, rates of type 2 diabetes amongst young people have soared. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to obesity; it is a lifelong condition, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes occurs because the body does not produce sufficient amounts of insulin to control blood sugar; it can also result from the insulin not working as it should do.
Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
● Frequent urinating, especially during the night
● Weight loss
● Loss of muscle mass
Preventing type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is commonly associated with an unhealthy lifestyle and obesity; by taking a few steps, you can dramatically reduce your chances of developing the condition; these include:
● Exercising on a regular basis
● Eating healthily and cutting down on fatty, sugary and salty foods
● Giving up smoking (if applicable)
● Cutting down on drinking (if applicable)
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is much less common than type 2 diabetes; it is usually known as juvenile diabetes because it is most common amongst teenagers. Type 1 diabetes occurs as a result of the body not producing any insulin; this means that the body cannot control blood glucose levels.
Managing type 1 diabetes at school and college
Type 1 diabetes is a potentially serious, lifelong condition, which must be monitored very closely. Insulin must be pumped or injected into the body on a daily basis and this can interfere with daily life, especially when you are busy at school or college or you are going out for the day. Make sure that people around you know that you are diabetic and ensure that they know where you keep your insulin injections. When you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you will be referred to a multi-disciplinary team, which will cater for all aspects of your treatment. They will teach you how to inject insulin, which foods to eat and which to try and avoid and give you treatment to ease any symptoms you may develop. Type 1 diabetes can take some adjusting to but you will soon get used to your daily routine and there will always be people around to help you or give you information.