17/09/2015 07:39 BST | Updated 17/09/2015 07:59 BST

Three-Year-Old Toddler Becomes 'Youngest' Child To Be Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes

A three-year-old girl diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after reaching five and a half stone is reported to be the "youngest" on record.

The girl from Texas, America, who has not been named, was reportedly admitted to an obesity clinic after suffering from common symptoms such as thirst and urination.

According to the Telegraph, both the girl's parents are obese and it was revealed she had been "consistently fed foods that were high in fat and sugar".

Douglas Twenefour, clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, told HuffPost Parents: "This is clearly a sad case, but we are pleased to hear this girl’s blood glucose level has now returned to normal.

"It is important to emphasise that type 2 diabetes is very rare in young children, with most children with diabetes having type 1, which is not related to weight or lifestyle in any way."

child obesity

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level. It usually occurs in people over 40 or those who are overweight states the NHS.

Dr Michael Yafi at the University of Texas Health Science Center, one of the first specialists to see the toddler, told the BBC: "I'm very vigilant and screen all obese children I see for signs of the disease but I was surprised to find it in someone so young.

"The case is probably the youngest reported but with no global register it is hard to be sure."

Twenefour added: "There are a small number – probably less than 100 – children aged under 10 in the UK who have type 2 diabetes.

"This highlights how important it is that children get a healthy start to life, which includes a healthy diet and regular exercise, both to prevent ill-health in childhood but also to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other serious health conditions much later in life."

The three-year-old girl was put on a liquid version of the diabetes drug metformin and a calorie-controlled diet. Her parents were also advised to increase her physical activity levels.

Within just six months she weighed just over four stone and, as Twenefour stated, her blood glucose levels had returned to safe levels.

Dr Michael Yafi added: "Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of type 2 diabetes even in very young obese children."

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