For many years, public health authorities in the United States — and worldwide — have been concerned about increasing rates of Type 2 diabetes. While the causes of Type 2 diabetes are intricate, increasing rates of the disease have actually generally mirrored increasing rates of obesity over the last couple of decades. But earlier this month, scientists reported a landmark discovery: For the very first time in decades, the rate of brand-new cases of Type 2 diabetes has been verified as falling, not rising.
While this is great news, it didn’t take long for problem about diabetes rates to come along. Although Type 2 diabetes is obviously on the decline, Type 1 diabetes is on the rise — and researchers have no simple explanations for what may be triggering this trend.
Type 1 Diabetes on the increase
For a research study released previously this month in the journal Diabetes Care, scientists evaluated a big database of U.S. business insurance declares to look for proof of Type 1 diabetes in children and teens. As kept in mind in a HealthDay article on the study, they found that the rate of Type 1 diabetes in this population has actually risen from 1.5 cases per 1,000 people in 2002 to 2.3 cases per 1,000 individuals in 2013 — an increase of nearly 60%.
As the short article notes, this increase in Type 1 diabetes in the United States becomes part of a bigger worldwide pattern. The scientists also found a large boost in kidney damage amongst children and teenagers with Type 1 diabetes, but some or most of this boost can most likely be explained by more widespread testing of kidney function at a more youthful age. Total rates of Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, are extremely not likely to be described by better detection since the disease is so noticeable — and lethal — if it’s left without treatment. Preliminary symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include excessive thirst and urination, tiredness and weakness, extreme cravings, inexplicable weight reduction, and blurred vision.
Also read: Juvenile (or Type 1) Diabetes Symptoms
One specialist quoted in the HealthDay article speculates that a factor for the boost in Type 1 diabetes might depend on our guts: The microbiome, or the collection of bacteria that naturally lives in our digestion systems, can end up being less robust and varied due to use of antibiotics, eating processed foods, and being born by C-section (because the birth canal passes healthy bacteria to a baby). These modifications in gut bacteria may alter how the immune system functions, resulting in an attack on the beta cells of the pancreas and causing Type 1 diabetes in some individuals.
Another explanation might depend on the level of toxins we’re exposed to in the environment. As we noted here at Diabetes Flashpoints several years earlier in an interview with a noted author, countless brand-new chemicals are developed each year in the United States — for numerous uses — without long-term testing to verify their safety. A particular level of direct exposure to a few of these chemicals might, in time, cause the immune system to end up being overactive and wrongly attack the body’s own cells — triggering Type 1 diabetes and a range of other autoimmune diseases.
What’s your reaction to the finding that Type 1 diabetes is very much rising — should the federal government, or personal research organizations, supply more financing for research on the causes of Type 1 diabetes? Or should research focus instead on discovering a cure or advancement treatments for the condition, to remove the risks associated with taking insulin and the long-term complications of the disease? Do you think more can be done to make sure than people have a healthy microbiome, or to decrease our exposure to toxins that may lead to autoimmune illness? Leave a comment below!