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Increase incidence of Tyoe 1

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Artgirl, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Artgirl

    Artgirl Approved members

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    Is it just me or is Type 1 diabetes on the rise? When I grew up there was 1 girl in my entire years of being in school that had Type1 diabetes. Now on our street alone there are 4 cases of Type 1 and at my daughters high school there are at least 8 cases that we know of. I find that to be a lot. Is this disease on the rise? What can we blame it on? I've wondered myself, diet, immunizations, more additives to our foods etc. Seems sad to me that so many youth have to live with this disease! There has to be something contributing to the rise!
     
  2. Snowflake

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    It's not just you. There's a well-documented rise of Type 1 diabetes, as well as other autoimmune diseases, occurring worldwide. Some studies show it increasing at a rate of 3% a year in children in the developed world. The "why" is a hot area of scientific research right now.

    Here are a few articles providing quick summaries of the stats and possible explanations (although both articles are already a little dated), http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-diabetes-cliffhanger/ and http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20141217/type-1-diabetes-rising-children

    For a longer discussion of the numbers and the research into causes, check out the books "Diabetes Rising" and "Cheating Destiny," both written by science journalists who have T1D themselves.
     
  3. Christopher

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    While it does seem like there are more cases of Type 1 diabetes, I think it's important to look behind the statistics and understand how the studies were run, what factors were taken into account etc. Things can be misleading sometimes. As for the "blame", since no one knows what causes Type 1 diabetes, there is no way to know why there may be more cases now than 10-20-30 years ago. If someone says they can point to a specific reason (food, sunlight, dairy) I usually take it with a grain of salt, if not dismiss it totally out of hand. It's a natural feeling to want to know why this is happening to our kids as well as all the others but right now we just don't know. It's frustrating but that is where we are right now.
     
  4. rgcainmd

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    IMO, the (relatively slight) increasing incidence of Type 1 has nothing to do with immunizations. Immunizations have been (unjustly) blamed for causing many things, including but not limited to autism. There is no sound research supporting these claims that immunizing your child causes them to develop autism, diabetes, etc.

    However, the more people that believe this nonsense and the more children that do not get their immunizations as a result of these falsehoods, the more herd immunity goes down the drain and the risk of epidemics or pandemics due to diseases many of us consider all but eradicated will increase.

    This clearly is a pet peeve of mine: the false belief that immunizing your children puts them in more danger than not immunizing them does...
     
  5. Snowflake

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    Thanks, rgcainmd, for pointing this out. This is a robustly established finding; here's a roundup posted on CWD, updated last November: http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/d_0j_112.htm

    I'm often alarmed by how many parents in the DOC second-guess vaccinations that their T1D kids received, or question whether they should vaccinate siblings of T1 kids. Vaccines are one of the greatest gifts we've received from modern medicine!

    I do think the research into other causes for the T1D trendline -- which is slight year over year but ballooning over decades -- is both worthwhile and a little maddening, because the evidence doesn't stack up very clearly for any of the hypotheses.
     
  6. joshualevy

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    Yes. Most studies show a rise of about 3% - 4%, as others have noted. That's not counting the fact that type-1 carries less of a stigma now, than in the past, so people are more open about it. Plus 504s and pumps make it more public as well.

    There is: it's called genetics. Just 100 years ago, type-1 diabetes was almost always fatal. Now (in developed countries) it very rarely is fatal. The result is more type-1 diabetes. No surprize there; and no controversy, either. Now, there might also be an environmental factor as well. That's hard to tell because the genetics of type-1 are complex: lots of different genes interacting to raise or lower the chances. So we can't calculate if genetics causes all the growth in type-1 diabetes, or just some of it.

    It is an open area of reasearch, and I've read papers supporting the "it's all genetic" argument and papers supporting the "there is some environmental cause" argument. We just don't know.

    Many things have been tested to cause type-1 diabetes (both in people and in mice), none have panned out. Think about it: if there was something that caused type-1 diabetes every doctor in the country would be telling their patients not to do that thing!

    Joshua Levy
     
  7. Christopher

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    This was my point when I said above that you need to look behind the numbers. Just because there are more people with Type 1 diabetes today, does not necessarily mean that Type 1 is "on the rise". What bothers me is when authors try and use this as scaremonger tactics to push their own agenda.
     

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