The "New Epidemic" Childhood Diabetes

Topics: Obesity, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2 Pages: 7 (2693 words) Published: October 8, 2008
Childhood Diabetes the "New Epidemic"

Childhood Diabetes is becoming the "New Epidemic", by children living sedentary lifestyles and poor diets, parents and healthcare providers need to be proactive with identifying those children at risk for getting Diabetes. There has been a growing concern about the recent sharp increase in reported cases of type II diabetes in children and adolescents. Several studies have documented this epidemic. In light of that little is known about type 2 diabetes in children, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) developed a panel of experts to review current trends and to develop consensus about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Type 2 diabetes in young people. The consensus statement, Type 2 Diabetes in children and adolescents (American Diabetes Association, 2000) is extremely complex, while genetic background is important; the alarming increase in new cases of children with type 2 diabetes underscores the role of environmental factors. Puberty has been identified as important in the development of type 2 diabetes in children. Changes in hormone levels during this period cause insulin resistance and decreased insulin action. Therefore, it is understandable that type 2 diabetes in children almost often occurs during mid-puberty although cases as young as four years of age have been reported. Obesity is another factor. It is well understood that obese children produce too much insulin that when the need for more insulin arises, they are likely to be unable to produce enough. In addition, the presence of too much fatty tissue leads to insulin resistance.

Let me first tell you about what Type 2 Diabetes is. This type of diabetes normally takes decades to develop and is almost preventable form of diabetes. Overtime individuals become less sensitive to their own insulin. The body compensates for this situation by actually making more and more insulin to compensate for this insensitivity. As the blood insulin levels rise, the body is able to still control blood sugar levels.

As soon as these blood insulin levels begin to rise even though your blood sugars remain normal and you do not show any signs of diabetes. The moment you develop insulin resistance, your arteries begin to age much faster than they should. As long as you are able to keep producing these abnormally high levels of insulin, your blood sugars will remain normal. Nevertheless, over the years, in the overwhelming majority of cases, your body simply cannot keep making all of this insulin. In the majority of individuals with this problem, the insulin levels finally begin to drop. As these insulin levels begin to drop, your blood sugars will then begin to rise and you become diabetic. You do not wake up one day and developing type 2 diabetes. There are all kinds of early warning signs that you are becoming insulin resistant and at high risk of developing diabetes in the near future. If signs are looked for early some physicians would be able to accurately predict who will almost likely become diabetic 10 to 15 years before they actually become diabetic. It is during this time that you have the best chance of reversing their underlying insulin resistance, slowing down the aging process, and preventing the development of type 2 diabetes. If you knew, you may possibly prevent your child getting diabetes would you pay more attention to what they eat and how active they are. Is it worth the effort? I will let you decide. Some pediatricians believe that only children who have risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes need to be screen. The American Diabetes Association consensus panel suggests the following: I.If age or weight match one of these criteria:

a.Children older than 10 years of age
b.At the onset of puberty if puberty occurs early.
a.Children whose body mass index (BMI) is greater than 120 percentile of ideal height. II.Plus any two of the...
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