According to a medical leader, hundreds of fat children should be offered NHS weight loss surgery to reverse their diabetes.
More and more young people in England – some as young as six – are suffering from type 2 diabetes. The condition occurs when the body loses its ability to process sugar and is often triggered by obesity.
It is most common in those over 40 who have gained weight over decades, but the rising obesity rate among those under 18 has more than doubled in young adults in five years.
Now a surgeon has warned operations like gastric bypass surgery of up to £ 8,000 and ligaments could be the only way to prevent long-term harm to diabetic children.
Dr. Andrew Beamish, an expert on adolescent obesity at Swansea University, said children should ideally be offered surgery soon after diagnosis.
“We have to get diabetes [in young people] early and we have to treat it with surgery, ”he told the Virtual Diabetes UK Professional Conference.
‘This is a much more aggressive disease that progresses much faster than it does in adults. We have to make sure we close the gates before the horse locks. ‘
According to a medical leader, hundreds of fat children should be offered NHS-funded weight loss surgery to reverse their diabetes. (Warehouse)
Andrew Beamish, an expert on obesity, said fat children should be offered NHS surgery
WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to get too high.
It is believed that more than 4 million people in the UK have some form of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is linked to being overweight and you are more likely to get it if it runs through the family.
The condition means that the body is not responding properly to insulin – the hormone that controls the absorption of sugar in the blood – and cannot properly regulate the level of sugar glucose in the blood.
Excess fat in the liver increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as the build-up makes it difficult to control glucose levels and makes the body more resistant to insulin.
Weight loss is key to reducing liver fat and controlling symptoms.
Symptoms include tiredness, thirst, and frequent urination.
This can lead to more serious problems with your nerves, eyesight, and heart.
Treatment usually involves changing your diet and lifestyle. However, medication may be required in more severe cases.
Source: NHS Choices; Diabetes.co.uk
According to the latest information from the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), 790 children under 18 were treated for type 2 diabetes by a pediatrician in England and Wales in 2018/19, up from 340 in 2013/14.
Children aged six were diagnosed, and the number of 13- and 14-year-olds with the condition rose 39 percent between 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Untreated or poorly treated diabetes can lead to serious health problems, including heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness, and amputations.
Treating type 2 diabetes costs the NHS about £ 10 billion each year.
Dr. However, Beamish cautioned that common treatments for type 2 diabetes like medications and insulin therapies in children aren’t as effective at preventing damage from the condition as they are in adults.
Studies suggest that these “first-line” treatments stopped working in one in five obese teenagers within a year and in more than half within five years.
Weight loss operations, such as Diabetes such as gastric bands can reverse diabetes in up to nine out of ten people. However, research has shown that this works best when they only have the disease for a short period of time.
A Swedish study found that 90 percent of diabetic adults who had weight loss surgery within a year of diagnosis were free of the condition two years later, compared to just 40 percent who had surgery four or more years after diagnosis.
Dr. Beamish added that there is ample evidence that surgery is the “most effective treatment” for type 2 diabetes, but that doctors have to “fight” to get it for their patients.
Only a handful of under 18s in England undergo weight loss surgery each year, with 18 cases in 2017 and 11 the previous year.
Half of those under 18 with type 2 diabetes instead managed to lower their blood sugar through diet and medication, RCPCH figures show.
Dr. Lucy Chambers of Diabetes UK said, “Type 2 diabetes is a serious, long-term condition that can be aggressive, especially in children and adolescents who are more likely to develop complications and poorly respond to treatment.
Some studies have shown that bariatric surgery is a potential option for adolescents for whom other treatments have not been successful.
“The clear link between rising obesity rates and the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in younger people shows, however, that changes in our environment are of vital importance in making healthier lives possible for all.
“The proposals in the government’s recent obesity strategy would be a start and we need to see them happen now.”
Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas to convert the sugars in foods into energy, either doesn’t work properly or the pancreas doesn’t make enough of it.
This leads to abnormally high blood sugar levels which, if left untreated, can damage organs and tissues.
Eating sugary foods increases blood sugar levels, as does carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, potatoes, and cereals, as they break down into sugar after digestion.
However, weight loss, even with the help of a low-carb diet, can help reverse type 2 diabetes.