Toddler with Type 2 Diabetes Believed to be Youngest Patient Ever Diagnosed

Toddler with Type 2 Diabetes Believed to be Youngest Patient Ever Diagnosed
General Health

A sad story has emerged out of Houston, Texas of a 3-year-old obese girl who is believed to be the youngest patient to ever be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The disease is usually associated with middle-age adults who have a poor diet, poor health, or are genetically predisposed to the condition.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says that while it is still considered rare, an increasing number of children have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Children diagnosed with diabetes usually have the Type 1 form of the disease, which is caused by the immune system attacking cells responsible for controlling blood sugar. [1]

The 77-pound toddler was diagnosed with adult-onset diabetes at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Michael Yafi, director of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Texas, presented details of the case at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm.

Due to a lack of a global registry, doctors can’t be certain that the child is the youngest person ever to develop Type 2 diabetes, but it is the youngest case they are aware of.

“I’m sure there probably are others but they are either undiagnosed or not reported yet,” Yafi told Reuters.

The child exhibited diabetes-related symptoms, such as excessive thirst and urination. At 77 pounds, the youngster’s weight and body-mass index were in the top 5% of children her age. She was given the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes after testing negative for antibodies that signal Type 1. [2]

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The child’s family was found to have “poor nutritional habits” with a diet high in calories and fat.

Fortunately, with the help of diet and some medication, Yafi was able to reverse the toddler’s diabetes. Six months after the girl started losing weight and began taking liquid Metformin, Yafi was able to halt her treatment.

Yafi is urging clinics to be more aware of the possibility of Type 2 diabetes, “even in very young obese children.”

In a statement from the EASD, Yafi said, “The incidence of type 2 diabetes [another name of adult-onset diabetes] has increased dramatically worldwide in children due to the epidemic of child obesity.”

Additional Sources:

[1] Houston Chronicle

[2] Newsmax