A three-and-a-half-year-old Hispanic girl was diagnosed in Houston with type 2 diabetes, making the toddler possibly the youngest person to ever have the disease.
Dr. Michael Yafi, Director of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Texas, diagnosed the child, who weighed about 77 pounds.
Yafi's made the disclosure during the European Association for the Study of Diabetes conference in Stockholm, Sweden, which took place on Sept.14-18.
Yafi recalled how the girl was originally brought to him because of her obesity, and was excessively thirsty and often had to urinate, two symptoms of diabetes, reports The Telegraph.
Her parents were also obese, had no history of type 2 diabetes, but practiced “poor nutritional habits" that included high calorie and fatty foods.
“Based on symptoms, physical findings of obesity and laboratory results, the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes was made,” Yafi told the conference, notes The Guardian.
The girl was placed on metformin, a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, and her parents were told to change her diet, reduce food portions and encourage her to increase her physical activity.
After a period of six months, the girl lost 75 percent of her weight, her blood glucose levels tested normal and her type 2 diabetes was reversed, according to Yafi.
“Reversal of type 2 diabetes in children is possible by early screening of obese children, early diagnosis, appropriate therapy and lifestyle modification,” he stated.
However, Yafi warned that "type 2 diabetes has increased dramatically worldwide in children due to the epidemic of child obesity."
He also warned medical professionals that type 2 diabetes can happen to very young children, who are normally diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (if they have the disease).
Sources: The Telegraph, The Guardian, European Association for the Study of Diabetes / Photo Credit: Haggstrom, Mikael. "Medical gallery of Mikael Haggstrom 2014". Wikiversity Journal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.008. ISSN 20018762