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Type 2 Diabetes More Likely to Affect Pacific & Maori Children
Thursday 28 June 2018, 2:53PM
By Beckie Wright
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Wellington-based Orange Clinic of Natural Medicine has treatments available for treating weight and diabetes. New research shows Māori and Pacific Island children are 18 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes as compared to European children.

The study, 21 years in the making, is based off findings of Auckland children under 15 from Starship Paediatric Diabetes Service and was led by Dr Craig Jefferies. Jefferies said he had seen children as young as 10 diagnosed with the condition. The study showed that in a 10-year period, 104 young people were treated for type 2 diabetes, with 3.6 in every 100,000 Pacific Island youth and 3.3 in every 100,000 Māori youth having the condition. Almost no cases occurred in European children, at a rate of 0.2 in every 100,000.

"The ethnic differences are striking and are partly related to differences in the rates of overweight and obesity – although, as the differences in weight problems between ethnic groups is smaller than the differences in type 2 diabetes rates, weight is not the whole picture," Jefferies said. "Some families are shocked by the diagnosis – they don't see diabetes as a childhood disease.

"In other families, where lots of other family members already have it, there's almost a sense of fatalism. But if you pick it up early, you can manage it through diet, exercise and medication." Jefferies said Type 2 diabetes was linked to lifestyle factors and usually developed in adulthood. It had been extremely rare to see a young person with the condition until recently. He said the findings were a reminder for parents, schools and healthcare professionals to look out for symptoms of diabetes in children. Symptoms included feeling tired and a lack of energy, losing weight, feeling thirsty, needing to use the toilet frequently, and getting infections frequently that are hard to heal.

Orange Clinic can treat children with remedies for their specific needs. By consulting a specialist naturopath for children they can address their health concerns in a way that is customised and easy to follow. Orange Clinic can also provide consultancy by phone and email.

Email info@orangehealth.co.nz or phone (04) 801 7520 to book. For more information visit www.orangehealth.co.nz



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