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Type 2 Diabetes: What Is It?

The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in U.S. kids and teens, especially in those who are overweight. Some studies report that between 8% and 45% of children who’ve been newly diagnosed with diabetes have the form known as type 2, depending on geographic location and racial/ethnic group.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that needs close attention, but with some practical knowledge, you can become your child’s most important ally in learning to live with the disease.

Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose , the main type of sugar in the blood. Glucose comes from the foods we eat and is the major source of energy needed to fuel the body’s functions.

After you eat a meal, your body breaks down the foods you eat into glucose and other nutrients, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. The glucose level in the blood rises after a meal and triggers the pancreas to make the hormone insulin and release it into the bloodstream. But in people with diabetes, the body either can’t make or respond to insulin properly.

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