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From Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada:

I am a 25 year old and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 23. I can find research about children with diabetes, teens and late teens and on 40-100 year olds with diabetes, but what about the small number of 20 year olds? Where is the research on us? Why can I find why a child gets diabetes and not a 20 year old? I am very frustrated, and am in need of answers, as to how and why I got diabetes at 23 and not at 15-18 or 5-7 or later in my life.


It's easy to explain, so don't feel frustrated. Until quite recently, diabetes was thought primarily to be divided into Type I or insulin dependent (IDDM) which occurred mainly in young people and Type II or non-insulin dependent (NIDDM) which began to be significant in middle age. Nowadays, many forms of diabetes have been recognised in children and teenagers.

The most common by far is type 1Aor autoimmune diabetes in which there is a slow destruction of  beta cells by a person's own lymphocytes. The incidence is much diminished after age 18, but has still been reported as late in life as the sixth decade and is then known as Late-onset Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood (LADA)

type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is again a variety of conditions, but is mostly a disorder of the insulin receptor causing insulin resistance and ultimately beta cell fatigue. It is now being seen with increasing frequency at all ages including children, and again, there are a number of basic pathologies, but being overweight and not getting enough exercise seem to be common disposing factors.

Both kinds of diabetes are seen in the early twenties so you need to get your doctor to tell you which kind you have and then you can set about doing more research in PubMed. Search by type of diabetes, not according to age.


Original posting 15 Nov 2000
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:16
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