We have kind of grown used to the idea that the kind of diabetes connected to obesity, Type 2, has become an epidemic, even in children – really young children.
But a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes for Health found an enormous jump in the number of Type 1 diabetes cases among American kids in the eight years observed in the analysis. Researchers are trying to explain why Type 1 cases are on the rise.
Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is considered a genetic disease. It causes the body to lose the ability to produce insulin, which is needed to regulate blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is when a body becomes insulin resistant. This is the diabetes often related to obesity.
Both types of diabetes diagnoses are increasing, but it’s the increase in Type 1 that has stumped researchers, though one hypothesis also goes back to rapid weight-gain at younger and younger ages, which some think may trigger the disease.
Another hypothesis blames our overly clean environments, which are also thought to be causing an increase in the number of and severity of allergies among kids.
Whatever is causing it, diabetes will continue to be a prevalent healthcare concern in our and our children’s lifetimes. Some studies have concluded that by 2050, one-third of all Americans will have one form of the insulin-related disease.