How to Beat the Odds Against: Prediabetes

Youth doesn't necessarily protect kids from serious conditions and diseases. Find out if your child is at risk and strive for prevention

How to Beat the Odds Against: PrediabetesDr. Morrison says that one in four kids who visit her clinic have prediabetes, blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes won’t always turn into type 2 diabetes (when the body makes insulin but cannot use it properly), but when it does, it has the same complications as in adults: an increased risk of eye, kidney and heart disease and poor blood supply to the limbs, possibly resulting in amputation, for example.

Obesity is a major cause of prediabetes. “Reversing prediabetes is possible in adults, and we think it will also be possible in children,” adds Dr. Morrison. “One of the biggest ways to prevent it is to avoid obesity in the first place.”

what you can do:

  • If your child is overweight and has one of the high risk factors (including a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol), speak to your doctor about regular screenings.
  • Experts recommend developing healthy lifestyles rather than putting kids on “diets,” which could restrict nutrients needed to grow. Visit a registered dietitian to help construct a healthy meal plan and focus on Canada’s Food Guide. “Some kids will outgrow obesity if the right lifestyle interventions occur,” says Dr. Morrison.

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