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Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the cells of the body are unable to use blood sugar (glucose) as a source of fuel. Diabetes can either be caused by too little insulin (type 1 diabetes) or resistance to insulin (type 2 diabetes).
Type 2 diabetes (previously referred to as adult onset diabetes) is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the body is unable to respond to or use the insulin that the pancreas produces. Insulin is needed in order for glucose to enter the cells of the body. When glucose can’t get into the cells, it starts to build up in the blood instead. Not only are cells not getting the essential source of energy they need, but the high levels of sugar in the blood are damaging to the body. This can eventually lead to serious, even life-threatening, complications.
Being overweight increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes Although commonly considered a disease of adulthood, the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents is on the rise. This is believed to be associated with the steady increase in childhood obesity rates.
Children and adolescents in our Type 2 Diabetes program are treated with a combination of diet and lifestyle changes. Your child’s doctor may also prescribe oral medication or injectible insulin to help treat your child. Our multidisciplinary team will work with your family to help keep your child healthy and living life to the fullest.
Boston Children’s Hospital is home to one of the largest pediatric diabetes centers in North America. We’re also one of the few centers that offers a multidisciplinary program focused on the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Our integrated team brings together pediatric endocrinologists, diabetes nurse educators, registered dietitians, and behavioral specialists who work with you and your child to develop an appropriate diabetes treatment or prevention plan.
Our program is part of the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program, a multidisciplinary clinic dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care and developing innovative treatments for pediatric obesity and type 2 diabetes. Here, your child will receive additional tools and resources that will allow her to manage her type 2 diabetes or the risk factors that can lead her to get diabetes.
Rest assured that each one of our specialists has the expertise and the experience to guide you and your family from diagnosis through the many challenges of managing your child’s diabetes. And if there’s an emergency, you can rest easy knowing that we’re here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”