Type 2 Diabetes is more commonly associated with adults but according to the IDF (International Diabetes Federation), it is becoming increasingly prevalent amongst children and adolescents, fuelled largely by obesity.

The Mayo Clinic, a worldwide non-profit organisation committed to healthcare research and education, warns that it is important to manage a child’s diabetes because its long-term consequences can prove to be disabling and even life-threatening.

Part of managing diabetes is identifying risks and understanding preventative measures.

South Africa’s National Department of Health suggests that one looks out for the following signs and symptoms: 

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired much of the time
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • More infections than usual.

You can prevent Type 2 diabetes by:

  • Getting more physical activity
  • Eating food with plenty of fibre
  • Eating whole grain

Healthy eating, physical activity and blood glucose testing are all forms of managing Type 2 diabetes. In addition, people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes require oral medication, insulin, or both to control their blood sugar levels.

Whether it is a child, adolescent or adult, having a screening at a clinic, pharmacy or GP makes good sense.