Unlike in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) the body still makes insulin but the cells in the body can no longer appropriately utilize the produced insulin—insulin resistance. T2DM is associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Sadly, T2DM is increasing in children and adolescents at a rapid rate associated with rising rates of obesity.
Children, adolescents, and young adults treated with atypical antipsychotic medications with associated weight gain and abdominal girth increase are at greater risk for metabolic syndrome and subsequent T2DM. Careful screening for weight gain and increasing abdominal girth, measuring fasting glucose levels, and obtaining lipid profiles are recommended for all young people treated with atypical antipsychotic medications.
Metabolic syndrome and T2DM may be reversed with diet and exercise, although such lifestyle modifications, which must include both the child and other members of the family, can prove challenging.
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