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Diabetic teens have more trouble managing disease, Bariatric surgeon's advice
By April MacIntyre Apr 30, 2012, 13:17 GMT
Chinese obesity an issue too. Changchun, northeast China. The hospital has 120 patients who receive a range of traditional smack treatments as well as gym sessions to help them lose weight. Dr. Liu encourages parents to consider bariatric surgery for the extreme cases.EPA/SHERWIN
The New England Journal of Medicine revealed the news of a disturbing trend with American teens.
The obesity epidemic sees more heavy and diseased teens with Type 2 diabetes, and half of the NEJM study subjects were not able to control their blood sugar.
More than ever, fat teens who develop diabetes are destined for a shortened life span and chronic health issues that have never been seen in the numbers doctors are now witnessing, and that has alarmed noted bariatric surgeon and frequent Monsters and Critics contributor Dr. Carson D. Liu, MD, FACS, FASMBS.
"If you have Type-2 diabetes as a young adult, or even pre-teens, you'll have a very tough time controlling it during your life," says Dr. Liu.
The NEJM study released Sunday tested several ways to manage blood sugar in teens newly diagnosed with diabetes and found that nearly half of the teens failed to control their blood sugar within a few years and that 1 in 5 suffered serious complications.
"Prevention is key, and parents must help their kids get well, or risk having a generation face a shorter life expectancy than their parents and grandparents," says Dr. Liu. "Diet and exercise work, and elimination of all sugars and processed foods is essential to shock their systems back to health and wellness."
The coming HBO series "Weight of the nation" reveals graphically that a third of American children and teens are overweight or obese. They are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
"Doctors rarely saw children with Type 2 diabetes," says Dr. Liu. "But now it's frighteningly common."
"More drastic measures including reversible surgeries for weight loss needs to be considered for adolescents 10-17 years old," says Dr. Liu. "The Lap Band, I + Band, or the NO Band are good options to consider for the worst cases. The longer blood sugar goes unchecked, the greater the risk of vision loss, nerve damage, kidney failure, limb amputation, even heart attacks and strokes. The bottom line for parents and teens is that if you develop diabetes this young, you'll have a very tough time controlling it."
"I encourage families who are concerned about their teens to contact me directly for options and counseling for an exit strategy to manage their health," says Dr. Liu.
The results were published online Sunday by the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at a pediatric meeting in Boston. The National Institutes of Health funded the study and drug companies donated the medications.
Dr. Liu can be reached here
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