More than 200,000 Americans under the age of 20 are living with diabetes. Though common, without monitoring and treatment, diabetes increases the risk of more serious health problems like heart disease. At Manchester Pediatric Associates, the team of experienced pediatricians offers comprehensive care for children and teens with diabetes. To make an appointment for your child at the practice in South Windsor, or Tolland, Connecticut, call the nearest office today or schedule online.

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What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose (sugar). Everybody needs some blood sugar to survive, but if too much builds up in the bloodstream, it increases the risk of organ and nerve damage.

At Manchester Pediatric Associates, the team diagnoses and treats the two most common types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes prevents the pancreas from making insulin, a protein that helps regulate blood sugar. There’s no way to cure type 1 diabetes, but insulin therapy can reduce uncomfortable symptoms and prevent serious complications.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs due to insulin resistance. That means your child’s pancreas produces insulin, but not enough to offset the spike in blood sugar. Often, type 2 diabetes responds to healthy lifestyle changes like losing weight and eating a balanced diet.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

If your child has diabetes, they might also complain of eye problems, like blurred or double vision.

How is diabetes diagnosed?

The team at Manchester Pediatric Associates diagnoses diabetes by conducting a physical exam and asking you about your child’s symptoms. Next, they order an A1C or glycated hemoglobin test. An A1C test measures your child’s average blood sugar over the last several months. A reading of 6.5% or higher on two separate tests indicates they have diabetes.

If the results of your child’s A1C test aren’t consistent, the team might order additional screens, including a random blood sugar test, an oral glucose tolerance test, or a fasting blood sugar test.

How is diabetes treated?

Treatment of diabetes depends on the type and severity of your child’s symptoms. Usually, the team at Manchester Pediatric Associates recommends a combination of healthy lifestyle changes and prescription medication.

For example, anyone with diabetes can benefit from regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. Your child might also benefit from:

  • Insulin therapy
  • Regular blood sugar monitoring
  • Oral or injectable drugs
  • Bariatric surgery

Ultimately, the goal of treatment is to keep your child’s blood sugar levels in check while reducing the risk of more serious complications.

If you’re worried about your child’s risk of diabetes, make an appointment at Manchester Pediatric Associates by calling the nearest office today or scheduling online.