How Do Doctors Diagnose Type 2 Diabetes?

Doctors diagnose Type 2 diabetes through a blood test. Doctors also look at your child’s symptoms and sugar levels in their urine.

How Do Doctors Treat Type 2 Diabetes?

The most important treatment for Type 2 diabetes are lifestyle changes. This can include learning how to make healthier eating choices, eating the appropriate number of calories and exercising more.

Other treatments can include:

  • Metformin, a medication taken with food to help manage blood sugar levels
  • Insulin, either through an injection or an infusion pump that gives insulin through a small needle under the skin. Children with Type 2 diabetes usually need both short-acting and long-acting insulin. Some people can come off insulin after a while and some cannot.
  • Frequent blood sugar checks during the day. This is done by putting a drop of blood into a blood glucose meter or through a continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM). A CGM device is a monitor that automatically checks blood sugars through the day without having to prick your child’s finger multiple times.
  • Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. These are medications, mostly injected, which help the pancreas put out more insulin after eating. The only GLP-1 analog currently approved in children is called liraglutide.

What are other medical conditions that can happen with Type 2 diabetes?

Children with type 2 diabetes may have other disorders. There are many doctors, nurses, and other providers who can help care for your child. Other medical conditions can include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Liver disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in girls
  • Other conditions

Rev. 4/2015. Mass General for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.