Symptoms and Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes in Children


Lt Col Phillips
For years, type 2 diabetes was not often found in children. In fact, type 2 diabetes was sometimes referred to as adult-onset diabetes.

Lt Col Reynolds
That’s right, Dr. Phillips. But as childhood obesity has become more common, more kids are developing the insulin resistance that characterizes type 2 diabetes. Dr. Bethea, what can you tell us about the symptoms and diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in children?

Dr. Bethea
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes aren’t always obvious, or they can take a long time to develop. In some cases, there are no symptoms. However, there are some symptoms that do tend to show up in most kids and teens with type 2 diabetes. These can include:

  • Urinating frequently
  • Drinking a lot of liquids, and
  • Feeling tired often

Healthcare providers can diagnose type 2 diabetes by testing blood glucose levels. Even if a child doesn’t display any symptoms of type 2 diabetes, a provider may test blood glucose if the child has a family history of the disease or if the child is overweight or obese.