Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can a person get diabetes at any age?"
Hello. How young is too young to get diabetes?
Diabetes Mellitus is a condition in which glucose is not metabolized correctly and results in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). There are two main types of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) - Type 1 and Type 2. Diabetes can be diagnosed at any age, even in infants and toddlers. Both a primary care physician and an endocrinologist can help manage and treat diabetes. Type 1 DM is due to destruction of pancreatic cells that produce insulin. This is most commonly autoimmune in nature and testing for autoantibodies may be helpful in diagnosis. Insulin supplementation is required manage sugar levels and prevent diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Type 1 DM is usually diagnosed in childhood, but there is an adult onset Type 1 DM as well. Type 2 DM is the most common form of diabetes and is due to a combination of both insulin deficiency and insulin resistance. It is highly related to excess weight and obesity. Type 2 DM can be managed with both oral hypoglycemics and insulin. Thre are many different types of oral medications and insulin regimens and you can discuss these with your physician. There is a significant amount of ongoing research about Diabetes Mellitus and new treatments. You should follow up with your primary care physician and discuss diabetes management and possible complications.
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