3-year-old girl with Type 2 diabetes recovers from condition

STOCKHOLM - A 3-year-old girl with Type 2 diabetes, one of the youngest people to have developed the disease, recovered after six months of treatment, offering hope that the rising numbers of children suffering from the condition can be reversed.

Dr. Michael Yafi, who presented the case study at the annual European Association for the Study of Diabetes conference in Stockholm on Thursday, said it shows the importance of testing for Type 2 diabetes regardless of age as early detection and lifestyle modifications are key to reversing the disease.

The unidentified girl, who is now five, was seen by doctors at the University of Texas two years ago and presented a number of symptoms corresponding with diabetes, including excessive urination and thirst. She weighed a little over 77 pounds (35 kilogram), placing her in the heaviest 5 per cent of children in her age group. She scored high in diabetic blood sugar tests but tested negative for Type 1 diabetes, the most common form of the condition in children.

Dr. Yafi, who works at the university's pediatric endocrinology clinic, said the girl's diet consisted mainly of fast food, candy and sugary drinks, and she hardly ever played outdoors. The parents were also obese but had no previous family history of diabetes, he said.

The case underscores how a poor diet and a lack of exercise at an early age can trigger potentially life-threatening diseases like Type 2 diabetes, even in very young children.

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