Q. Can a young adult get type 2 diabetes?

Answered by
Dr. Prabhakar Laxman Jathar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 19, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am 20 years old, type 2 diabetes patient. Please give me information about diabetes. Every morning, I do running around 2 to 3 km.

Dr. Prabhakar Laxman Jathar

Diabetology General Practitioner


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have seen your attached details (attachment removed to protect patient identity), which show you are on multiple drugs to control blood glucose and your blood glucose levels seem to be in very good control. However, if levels drop too low that is less than 70 mg or so, there is a possibility of developing hypoglycemia. So please take care not to have too low levels.

Regarding what is diabetes and details about it, it is very difficult to explain here. However, some points are being given:

1. Diabetes is a hormone (insulin) deficiency disease, plus there may be resistance to its action, mainly in fat or overweight person. In some persons both these situations are responsible. Excess weight and physical inactivity are major culprits.

2. Once diabetes develops, there is a derangement of metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. But the major visible problem is high glucose levels and HbA1c.

3. This leads to an effect on microvasculature (small blood vessels) supplying retina, kidney, and nerves. Secondly, damage to macrovasculature (large vessels) like coronary arteries supplying the heart and large vessels supplying lower limbs. These actions lead to retinal damage (retinopathy, kidney damage and neuropathy and sexual problems in male). Large vessel damage causes heart-related issues, damage to the blood supply to lower limbs and ulceration at times leading to loss of limbs.

Type 2 diabetes was earlier seen in persons above 40 years. However, nowadays it is seen more often in much younger age group, even in teen age. Strict blood glucose control with fasting less than 100 mg, PP (postprandial) 150 to 160 mg and HbA1c less than 6.8 should be maintained. Apart from taking specific medications, it is essential to take properly planned restricted diet, no sweets, no deep fried foods, no bakery items, no foods made of maida and avoid colas. Increase the intake of green leafy vegetables and salads. Plus regular exercise of over one hour and maintaining a near normal weight are important aspects of the treatment.

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