Home Type 2 More children are being diagnosed with diabetes in Tarrant County. why?

More children are being diagnosed with diabetes in Tarrant County. why?

by David Moreno| Fort Worth Report
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As a mother, Gloria Moncrief is always concerned about her children’s health.

Moncrief knew something was wrong when her daughter Monty started drinking a lot of water and constantly asking for more.

“[Monty]kept drinking several bottles of water in the middle of the night several nights in a row. To me, that was strange,” she said.

Moncrief made an appointment with her daughter’s pediatrician, Dr. Mark Jones, to express her concerns. Dr. Jones ordered Monty to undergo blood and urine tests.

Lab results arrived within minutes. Concerned, Dr. Jones advised Moncrief to take Monty immediately to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.

In January 2023, 11-year-old Monty was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Although her results were frightening and shocking, Moncrief knew it was best to seek medical attention as soon as possible to protect her daughter’s health.

“It’s devastating, but I’m very lucky and lucky that Dr. Jones tested me right away before it got too serious,” Moncrief said.

Monty now has to wear an insulin pump and blood sugar monitor in each arm to check her blood sugar levels, and she’s not the only one doing so.

According to Children Health’s, an increasing number of children are being diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in Tarrant County. 2023 Beyond ABC Report.

In Tarrant County, 2,369 children were diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in 2022, a 45% increase from 1,633 in 2020. Over the past five years, the number of children with diabetes in Tarrant County has increased by 143%.

Diabetes prevalence among children (under 18 years old) in Tarrant County over the past 5 years:

  • 2018: 973
  • 2019: 1,323 people
  • 2020: 1,633 people
  • 2021: 2,268
  • 2022: 2,369

(Source | Children’s Health)

What is the cause of the increase in diabetes in children? The exact reason is still unknown, but several factors may be contributing to the increase, said pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Soumya Adhikari. children’s health In Dallas.

Types of diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how a person’s body converts sugar into energy. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction It stops a person’s body from making insulin. This type of diabetes can develop at any age, but it is more likely to occur in children, teens, and young adults. Adhikari said Type 1 affects more white people than any other race or ethnicity and is usually diagnosed at ages 4 or 5 or 10 or 11.

and type 2 diabetes, the human body does not use insulin well and cannot keep blood sugar levels at normal levels. This type of diabetes tends to develop over many years. Type 2 most commonly occurs in adults, but children and teens are increasingly developing it.

People with diabetes may experience blurred vision, frequent dry mouth, frequent urination, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, slow wound healing, and unintentional weight loss.

Nationally, the prevalence of type 1 diabetes in children 19 and under increased from 1.48 diagnosed to 2.15 per 1,000 children from 2001 to 2017, according to the report. 2021 Report from JAMA Network.

Over the same period, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among 10- to 19-year-olds increased from 0.34 to 0.67 per 1,000 children.

What is causing the epidemic of diabetes in children?

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown. The increase in diagnoses among adolescents may be related to genetic and environmental factors. According to the Youth Diabetes Research Foundation, although a family history of type 1 is often present, the majority of diagnoses occur in people who have no family members with the disease.

“The first thing you think when you hear diabetes is ‘I’m not healthy.’ That’s not true. Type 1 has nothing to do with whether you’ve ever been healthy or not. You can’t control it. ” Moncrief said.

The prevalence of type 2 diagnosis may be related to the increase in childhood obesity. In Texas, more than 21.5% of children between the ages of 10 and 17 are overweight or obese, which is higher than the national average. According to the status of childhood obesity.

Type 2 diabetes also disproportionately impacts more children in North Texas who live below the poverty line. These children tend to be predominantly black or Hispanic, making it more difficult for them to receive proper medical care, healthy food and nutrition, Adhikari said.

“These children experience more widespread socio-economic disparities and greater hardship,” he says. “The reality is that there are high-calorie, inexpensive and easily available foods being sold to children that can contribute to these risks.”

Professor Adhikari said changes in children’s lifestyles due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be causing an increase in Type 2 diagnoses. She thinks it’s important to consider how much physical activity children have gotten while continuing their schooling at home.

Evidence also shows that children Infection with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may increase your risk It may influence the development of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but there is insufficient research to make this conclusion firm.

“These findings of an increased risk of being diagnosed with diabetes after COVID-19 are worthy of further study,” Adhikari said. said before In the Children’s Health Statement. “Further research is needed to understand how much of this risk is due to COVID-19 and how much is due to other factors.”

Although there is no cure, diabetes in children can be managed with medication, a healthy diet, and exercise.

“Families should assess their medical risks, work with a dietitian, and develop an individualized strategy that incorporates healthy eating and physical activity decisions at home,” Adhikari said. “The number of treatments available for both children and adults with type 2 diabetes has also increased almost exponentially over the past few years.”

Resources for children with type 1 or type 2 diabetes:

  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation North Texas and Oklahoma Chapter (Type 1 Diabetes), 214-373-9808
  • Cook Pediatric Endocrine Nutritionist (Type 1 and Type 2), 682-885-7960
  • Cook Pediatric Diabetes Program (Type 1 and Type 2), 682-885-7960
  • Tarrant Area Food Bank’s Ready to Learn Food Program, 817-857-7125

Moncrief says Monty, now 12, has adapted to living with type 1 diabetes and is able to “function like a normal little child” thanks to available technology. he said. However, some challenges still exist.

She said Moncrief and her husband have to closely monitor Monty’s carbohydrate intake to make sure his blood sugar doesn’t get too high or too low.

“If you’ve never counted carbs, it’s a very difficult aspect,” says Moncrief. “There’s a lot of speculation and estimation, but (insulin) pumps can help a lot.”

Still, Moncrief remains hopeful that research into type 1 diabetes will lead to breakthrough treatments and the development of new technologies for children like her daughter.

“Embracing technology is truly life-changing. …The more you learn, the easier it becomes to manage,” Moncrief said. “We just hope these really smart doctors and researchers can figure this all out soon. The sooner the better.”

David Moreno is a health reporter for The Fort Worth Report. His position is supported by a grant from Texas Health Resources. Please contact david.moreno@fortworthreport.org or @davidmreports X, formerly known as Twitter.

At The Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independent of board members and financial supporters.Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

this article It first appeared fort worth report Republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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