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Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in adults

Dear Parents,

Pursuant to California Education Code Section 49452.7, this type 2 diabetes information is being provided to parents and guardians of incoming seventh grade students beginning July 1, 2010.  Please review this important information.  If you have questions or would like additional information on screening for type 2 diabetes please contact your school nurse, private physician or the District Clinic at 397-4800 ext. 3966.”


Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in adults.

  • Until a few years ago, type 2 diabetes was rare in children, but it is becoming more common, especially for overweight teens.
  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three American children born after 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes in his or her lifetime.

Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body is able to use sugar (glucose) for energy.

  • The body turns the carbohydrates in food into glucose, the basic fuel for the body’s cells.
  • The pancreas makes insulin, a hormone that moves glucose from the blood to the cells.
  • In type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells resist the effects of insulin, and blood glucose levels rise.
  • Over time, glucose reaches dangerously high levels in the blood, which is called hyperglycemia.
  • Hyperglycemia can lead to health problems like heart disease, blindness, and kidney failure.

Risk Factors Associated with Type 2 Diabetes

signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes

It is recommended that students displaying or possibly experiencing the risk factors and warning signs associated with type 2 diabetes be screened (tested) for the disease.

Risk Factors

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

Warning Signs and Symptoms Associated with Type 2 Diabetes

Warning signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children develop slowly, and initially there may be no symptoms. However, not everyone with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes develops these warning signs, and not everyone who has these symptoms necessarily has type 2 diabetes.

  • Increased hunger, even after eating
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Increased thirst, dry mouth, and frequent urination
  • Feeling very tired
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing of sores or cuts
  • Dark velvety or ridged patches of skin, especially on the back of the neck or under the arms
  • Irregular periods, no periods, and/or excess facial and body hair growth in girls
  • High blood pressure or abnormal blood fats levels

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