Kids Diabetes Rates Skyrocket

In news that should alarm parents and pediatricians everywhere, researchers in one American city found that the incidence of Type 1 (or juvenile) diabetes has skyrocketed in a short period of time, leading experts to believe environmental factors are to blame.

Overall, the rate of diabetes in children younger than 14 climbed by 30 percent in children in the city of Philadelphia between the years 1984 and 2005.

The study was featured recently in the journal Diabetes Care. Researchers says their finding are part of a growing body of evidence that suggests that some kind of environmental factor may be to blame for the spike, especially as the disease rates skyrocket in cities and countries (such as Eastern Europe) experiencing high rates of urbanization.

Type 1 diabetes, is considered vastly different than Type 2 diabetes, which is often blamed on lifestyle factors such as obesity, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. The Type 1 syndrome is believed to result from an auto-immune response that diminishes the body’s ability regulate blood-sugar levels by destroying insulin producing cells in the pancreas.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Type 1 diabetes is currently on trend to skyrocket by 23 percent by the year 2050.

Some warning signs of this insulin-dependent form of diabetes include insatiable thirst, hunger (in spite of hearty eating), frequent urination,  weight loss. and fruity smelling breath.  The syndrome can be extremely dangerous if not monitored or treated and diagnostic testing is relatively simple.