5 Surprising Facts About Diabetes

Fact: Kids with Diabetes Won't Necessarily Need Insulin Shots

Many children who have type 2 diabetes can get their blood sugar levels under control just by eating better, losing weight, and exercising regularly, which can help insulin work more effectively. If these lifestyle changes aren't enough, they can also take oral medications like metformin. But even kids who need to take insulin -- all children with type 1 and half of those with type 2 -- don't need to face shots every day. "About half the kids in our clinic use a pump," says Dr. Abuzzahab. This pager-like device, which is clipped to a waistband or strapped to the torso, is programmed to administer a steady trickle of insulin through a port in the skin. After a meal or snack, when rising blood-sugar levels create demand for more insulin, a child can get an extra dose by just pushing a button.

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