Diabetes in Children - Part 1 Diabetes Upswing No Longer a Mystery


Diabetes in children is now getting more common. The trouble is some do not know how to diagnose it and some say that is because there is no drug treatment for it that works well. It is unfortunate that this happens more often than we care to admit. In fact, nearly all the millions of pre-diabetic Americans are undiagnosed.

For example there was a boy with mildly high blood sugar who when asked what the doctor said when he has seen one replied that they were going to wait until the sugar level is higher for he will then be treated with diabetes medication. This watching and waiting until something worse happens could be deadly.

In fact, diabetes in children has shown us that it starts early. There is now an epidemic of this occurring as early as eight years old. Specialists in pediatric diabetes who used to care for children with type 1 diabetes only now have to deal also with cases of children with type 2 diabetes.

Experts say that diabesity and insulin resistance often come with the following signs:

  • Tiredness after meals
  • Belly fat
  • Cravings for sugar
  • Low HDL
  • High triglycerides
  • High Blood pressure
  • Blood clotting problems
  • Increased inflammation

What are the Reasons Behind the Increase?

Lancet conducted a study on the reasons behind the increase and found disturbing statistics showing that the number of type 1 diabetes kids could double in the next ten years. They found five possible explanations to the rising statistics. Here they are:

  • The kids are exposed to too little sun. They came up with this trigger because they found that the closer the kids live to the equator, the type 1 diabetes cases are less.
  • The children are growing too big too fast. The ones who grow more quickly are likely to get type 1 diabetes.
  • Exposing infants to infant formula during their first six months damages the immune systems that can then lead to autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes.
  • The children are reared in too clean an environment which makes them less exposed to some parasites and germs. Exposure to these could help them be less susceptible to diseases like diabetes.
  • There is too much pollution that increases the risk to develop diabetes.

Let us delve deeper into one of the aforementioned triggers which is that the children are growing too big too fast. The New England Journal of Medicine had a new research where they reported what people have long suspected. The report is that children who are obese are more likely to die young.

Obesity, one can easily understand, is the result of eating super sized meals, drinking sweetened drinks and being less physically active. This goes to show that prevention should begin with these young children. It is clear that targeting this age group will prove beneficial.

The main problem in targeting this age group is the lack of reward for the effort since there is less diabetes risk among this age group than that of the adult group. The recommendation therefore is to do the intervention with the adults especially since the structured lifestyle intervention works better with this group.

While it is true that the risk to develop diabetes is higher among the grown-ups and that the lifestyle intervention works well and therefore the cost is justified, I still feel that targeting the youth will also justify the cost. Think of the long term ramifications when we wait too long before we do something for our youth.

Thank goodness there are on-going studies that support my stand on the advantage of childhood intervention. A study will follow 6000 children to find out if an intervention will work. Probably what they want to know is if it is going to be cost-effective in solving the problem caused by diabetes in children.

Alert: This is from a trusted website for children with diabetes but may be relevant to adults as well. Question: Most antidepressants seem to cause low blood sugars. Is there a safer medication or treatment for those with type 1 who are suffering from mild depression and anxiety?Answer:“I do not know if I would characterize all medications taken for depression as causing low blood sugars. Some of the medications can induce appetite, and they result in higher sugars. There is an ongoing discussion as to whether the biology of diabetes causes more depression or whether it is the chronic stress of dealing with a chronic disease that causes more depression.

Either way, it is very important to be able to provide patients support for this condition that clearly occurs more often in people with diabetes than in those without diabetes.Most specialists who deal in this area look at a multidisciplinary approach using exercise, medication, group counseling or support, as well as methods to maintain good glucose control.

In addition, there are a variety of medications from a variety of drug classes that might be used to treat depression in a person with diabetes. If you find yourself battling this problem, you may want to talk with a mental health professional that has special interest in patients with diabetes.”

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