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Dec 11, 2012 9:09 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

TMC fights rise of diabetes among children

TUCSON- Brody Warwick seems like your typical seven-year-old.

"I like to play baseball, golf and tennis," Brody says.

But for him, life isn't all fun and games. At age four, doctors diagnosed Warwick with Type 1 Diabetes. "It was a shock," says Brody's mother, Mimi Coomler.

It's an alarming diagnosis that is becoming more common among children. Doctors don't have a clear reason yet as to why. "There was no diabetes in our family," Coomler says.

It's a different story for Type 2 Diabetes, which is typically caused by obesity.

It used to mostly impact adults age 40 or over. Now Type 2 is also becoming more common among children.

The CDC reports that if current trends continue, one in three adults will have Type 2 diabetes by 2050. "There is a hereditary factor with Type 2 and also, we have had a rise in obesity among children," says TMC Diabetes Educator Nancy Klug.

Klug works with families of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. "We have to teach them how to monitor their carbohydrate intake and we have to teach them about their medication," Klug says. "If they're on insulin, we have to show them how to give insulin and how to determine how much to take with meals."

Klug says even though obesity is only a proven cause of Type 2 diabetes, the best thing children can do to prevent any form of the disease is stay active and eat healthy. "Don't eat out so much, learn what foods are carbohydrates and try to lower those in meal plans and don't let children have all the soda and juice they want," Klug says.

It's advice Brody and his family have taken to heart. They have had some scares and they don't want that to happen again. "It was probably one of the scariest days of my life, watching my baby go unconscious," Coomler says.

If you or someone you know has diabetes and wishes to speak to a diabetes educator at TMC, call (520) 324-3526 or (520)324-1265.

You can also visit TMC's Diabetes Education website at:

www.tmcaz.com/TucsonMedicalCenter/Diabetes_Education

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