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Signs of type 2 diabetes may be seen in kids as young as 8: Beware of the risk factors

Type 2 diabetes develops when your body is unable to use insulin the way it is supposed to.

Early signs of type 2 diabetes can appear decades before it is likely to be diagnosed, says a new study.

Do you have type 2 diabetes? When did you come to know about it? This kind of diabetes are mostly diagnosed in middle-aged or older people, and so it also called adult-onset diabetes. But it doesn't develop overnight, it may have started unfolding when you were a child.

A new study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, has revealed that early signs of type 2 diabetes can appear decades before it is likely to be diagnosed. According to the study, risk of adult diabetes can be seen in children as young as eight.

For the study, the research team from the University of Bristol in the UK reviewed blood samples taken from the participants when they were aged eight, 16, 18, and 25 years. They looked at the effects of a genetic risk score for developing type 2 diabetes as an adult on metabolism measured from blood samples. And they found subtle differences in the metabolism of young people who were more prone to developing adult diabetes later in life. In particular, they found reduction in certain types of HDL cholesterol at an age eight before other types of cholesterol including LDL were raised. Inflammation and amino acids also increased when they were 16 and 18 years old. These differences widened as they grow older.

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These findings help understand how diabetes unfolds and what steps can be taken to prevent the onset of disease and its complications.

Type 2 diabetes: Why it occurs?

This type of diabetes develops when your body is unable to use insulin the way it is supposed to. This leads to high levels of sugar in your blood stream. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and it helps your cells to convert glucose from the food you eat into energy. It is different from type 1 diabetes, where your body does not produce insulin. Though type of diabetes is usually seen in older individuals, even teenagers and children are becoming susceptible to it nowadays.

Factors that can up your risk of this disease

Although genes play a role in this disease, obesity is seen as a major risk factor. A report from the University of Glasgow identified obesity as the main cause of type 2 diabetes in the UK. According to the report published February this year, diabetes affects almost four million people in Britain alone. It raised concern that obesity could lead to another two million people becoming diabetic in the next five years in the United Kingdom.

The problem is prevalent everywhere across the globe and India is no exception. In fact, most diabetes cases in country are said to be a direct result of obesity. But there are also other health related conditions that may put you in the risk group. These include, hypertension, a high cholesterol level, family history of diabetes, bad eating habits, and a sedentary lifestyle.

(With inputs from IANS)

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