One parent of a 7-year old girl with type 1 diabetes reports that the diabetes started in her child after a bitter divorce and custody battle. The mother went back to nursing school, the father beat up the mother in front of the child, and the diabetes developed soon after that. (The mother remarried within 2 years). But what seemed to cause the diabetes—the stress, the environment, or a lowered immunity from depression?
These are some of the problems researchers have to consider when trying to find out what in the environment contributed to the genetic predisposition for type 1 diabetes –the stress of pregnancy or fighting the polio virus in childhood in the early 1950s in the case of the woman getting type 1 diabetes at age 19 or 20 with her second pregnancy? The cause still is unknown. The goal right now is to involve the public in education about diabetes.
Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Eating too many calories or large portion sizes from sugar and fat, can contribute to weight gain. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, eating a healthy meal plan and regular exercise are recommended to manage your weight, according to
According to another recent article published in USA Today magazine, “More kids have diabetes, fewer schools have nurses,” many schools are falling short of the full-time school nurse. As the number of full-time school nurses decline, the number of children being diagnosed with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are increasing.
Can schools successfully adapt to the needs of these kids, which the federal Americans with Disabilities Act requires they do? Most schools are adapting, but some schools are feeling pressured and not prepared, or are falling short. See the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
The incidence of among very young children will double from 2005 levels in a little over a decade if present trends continue, a new study shows. Just when you were worried about the causes of type 2 diabetes in children due to nutrition and environment, scientists find that type 1 diabetes also in increasing in children, but why? See the WebMD article, ” Type 1 Diabetes May Double in Young Kids.”
Environmental influences are driving the trend. The recent British medical journal, The Lancet looked at new cases of type 1 diabetes in European children, which is increasing at about 4% annually, with higher rates of increase for children under age 4. The type 1 diabetes rates for girls are higher than for boys.
The problem is that by 2020, scientists predict that the rates of type 1 diabetes in children will double. And the trend is similar for the USA. Why is the rate of type 1 diabetes in children increasing faster now than just a few years ago?
All evidence points to environmental causes. Which changes or environmental triggers are causing the increase? And can researchers separate causes of type 2 diabetes from type 1 in children? Juvenile diabetes, called type 1 results when the body makes little or no insulin.
Children have to take insulin life-long, manage their blood sugars, and test their blood glucose levels frequently throughout the day, at school or anywhere else. Type 2 diabetes in children is usually the result of a diet and weight problem combined with lack of exercise, and stress or genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes exacerbated by a type of nutrition.
For more information, check out the site for SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study, which is following children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in different areas in the U.S. in an effort to better understand diabetes trends in non-adults.
SEARCH is a multi-center study funded by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases). The study focuses on children and youth in the U.S. who have diabetes, according to its webiste.
It is expected that the six clinical centers located in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington will invite approximately 9000 children and youth who have been diagnosed with diabetes to participate in this study. Data from these children and youth will provide more information and help us better understand diabetes.
According to its website, the study goals are to (1) identify the number of children and youth under age 20 who have diabetes, (2) study how type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes differ, including how they differ by age and race/ethnicity, (3) learn more about the complications of diabetes in children and youth, (4) investigate the different types of care and medical treatment that these children and youth receive, and (5) learn more about how diabetes affects the everyday lives of children and youth who have diabetes.
The SEARCH study will provide valuable information to researchers and health care providers in an attempt to find ways to treat and increase knowledge about diabetes in children and youth. See the SEARCH article in PDF format, ” Who Has Diabetes?” Can a school nurse handle any medical problem that arises during school hours? According to 2007 National Center for Education Statistics, 30% of schools have a part-time nurse, and 25% have no nurse.
What’s type 2 diabetes in children about? Those with fatty liver and higher triglycerides are more likely to be resistant to the action of their own insulin. This means that their bodies don’t regulate blood sugar properly, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. See: Arterial damage found in teens and young adults with obesity or type 2 diabetes.
Over time, high sugar levels damage large and small blood vessels, leading to heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, amputations, blindness and kidney disease. See the article, ” Fat liver, not belly, may be the best indicator of health problems.” In contrast type 1 diabetes, called insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (type 1) diabetes starts in childhood or young adulthood, is sometimes called juvenile diabetes, and is an inflammatory autoimmune disease of the pancreas, resulting in a lack of insulin.
See Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Autoimmune Disease Research Center. People under the age of 40 usually are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, although children and people under 40 can also have type 2 diabetes, but not both together.
Type 2 diabetes can be helped by a first line approach of nutrition change and exercise or weight loss if the person is obese. Type 1 diabetes can occur in those who are not necessarily obese because it has that autoimmune, inflammation-related origin. Also helpful is the book, How Nutrigenomics Fights Childhood Type 2 Diabetes & Weight Issues (2009).
With Type 1 diabetes, the disease often starts in childhood and affects more Caucasians than African-Americans. The male-to-female ratio is 1:1. The big question for scientists is why is type 1 diabetes predicted to double in children over the next decade? And what’s the environmental causes of it–prenatally or in early childhood? At what stage in life between infancy and age 40 will type 1 diabetes most often begin?
Facts About Diabetes
• Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes.
• Of those, the number diagnosed: about 18 million.
• Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes: 5% to 10%.
• People with pre-diabetes: about 56 million.
• The cost of diabetes: $174 billion a year.
• Diabetes is a group of serious diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to make or use insulin.
• A leading cause of death in the USA, diabetes can lead to debilitating or fatal complications, including heart disease, stroke, blindness and kidney disease.
• More than 65% of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
• Diabetes can cause heart attacks earlier in life.
Source: American Diabetes Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Diabetes Month Fact Sheet (PDF)
Template newsletter (doc)
American Diabetes Fact Sheet (Spanish, PDF)
Template newsletter (Spanish, doc)
These publications were sources for the CDC’s frequently answered questions website.
National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2007
Preventing Diabetes and Its Complications
For more info: browse my books, Neurotechnology with Culinary Memoirs from the Daily Nutrition & Health Reporter (2009). Or browse: How Nutrigenomics Fights Childhood Type 2 Diabetes & Weight Issues (2009) or Predictive Medicine for Rookies (2005). Or see my books, How to Safely Tailor Your Foods, Medicines, & Cosmetics to Your Genes (2003) or How to Interpret Family History & Ancestry DNA Test Results for Beginners (2004) or How to Open DNA-driven Genealogy Reporting & Interpreting Businesses. (2007). Check out my free audio lecture on Internet Archive, How nutrigenomics fights childhood type 2 diabetes.