Type 2 Diabetes: What Every Parent Should Know
Pursuant to California Education Code Section 49452.7:
What is Type 2 Diabetes? Type 2 diabetes is a long-term disease that is caused by high blood sugar levels in the blood. In a person without diabetes, insulin is released throughout the day and after eating. The insulin opens up the cells in the body so that glucose, a type of sugar formed from the breakdown of food, can be used for energy. In type 2 diabetes, the cells do not respond to the insulin (insulin resistance) or require higher amounts to be released. Eventually, the glucose ends up in the bloodstream, not the cells, and the person develops symptoms related to the high sugar amounts in the blood. These symptoms are mild at first and often go unnoticed. High blood sugar in the blood over time causes lasting damage to many body systems.
Researchers do not completely understand why some people develop type 2 diabetes and others do not. However, the following risk factors are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in children:
- Being overweight. The single greatest risk factor for type 2 diabetes in children is excess weight. In the U.S., almost one out of every five children is overweight. The chances are more than double that an overweight child will develop diabetes.
- Family history of diabetes. Many affected children and youth have at least one parent with diabetes or have a significant family history of the disease.
- Inactivity. Being inactive further reduces the body's ability to respond to insulin.
- Specific racial/ethnic groups. Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, or Asian/Pacific Islanders are more prone than other ethnic groups to develop type 2 diabetes.
- Puberty. Young people in puberty are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than younger children, probably because of normal rises in hormone levels that can cause insulin resistance during this stage of rapid growth and physical development.
Type 2 diabetes in children is a preventable/treatable disease and the below website link provides information intended to raise awareness about this disease. Contact your student's school nurse, school administrator, or health care provider if you have questions.
The Parent Notification Letter for incoming 7th graders is located in the Forms & Files
For more information:
California Department of Education: Type 2 Diabetes Information