Diabetes in Children On the Rise

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

More and more children are developing diabetes at an alarming rate.

"Type II Diabetes is becoming a very common problem and we're starting to notice it a lot in kids," Encronologist Dr. Doug Crumpler, Jr. said. "Generally, we see it in older adults, 40, 50, 60 years of age though we can see it at anytime at this point."

A child's risk of developing diabetes can begin as early as in the womb. High blood sugar levels in mothers -to- be can cause gestational diabetes, a resistance to insulin, causing their sugars not to metabolize.

"That can lead to the baby metabolizing the mothers sugar for her," Dr. Jane Nelson Bolin with the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health said. "Their pancreas is putting out an enormous amount of insulin to metabolize the mom's sugars, and so they tend to be bigger babies, and then later on in life they have a propensity to have their own diabetes."

Doctors say higher numbers of children are developing Type II diabetes because of obesity, and more sedentary lifestyles.

"Less physical activity, got a lot more kids playing a lot more video games, a lot more time at the computer at home," Crumpler said. "And they need to get out and be a lot more physically active, being outside, playing more sports, and we're just not seeing that as much as we did before."

Health experts say children should avoid extra carbohydrates, sugars, sweets, and sugary drinks. Developing healthy lifestyles early on in life can also make a difference.

"Focusing, of course, on nutrition and exercise and helping the children to realize that their own management of their own nutrition and secondarily their weight will help them in controlling diabetes," Bolin said.


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