Teens and Adults
These risk factors really seem to pertain to certain types of diabetes. These risk factors are environmentally related. The genetic risk factors of these certain forms of diabetes are related to mutations in the different genes that help code for the production and secretion of insulin.
The specific causes of certain forms of diabetes are not completely understood but it is known that this epidemic is a result of a variety of factors such as obesity. Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes as well as type 1 diabetes. Approximately ¼ to 1/3 of today’s adolescents are now overweight-this is an increase of 2- to 3-fold over the past 2 to 3 decades. 90% of people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Certain experts believe the high-carb, low-fiber diets are part of the problem. Many adults lack good nutritional education about the foods they or their children are eating. It is believed that parents receive most of their dietary information from various forms of media (T.V, radio, and print advertising). In a typical household, it is well-known that over 10,000 food advertisements are viewed each year. All these food commercials are tempting food messages that give inadequate balanced dietary information that are meant to increase sales and spending. Will- power seems to also be another reason for obesity, when people see certain foods, they seem to eat it without asking themselves “Didn’t I just finish eating lunch?” or “Should I really eat this, I know it looks good, but…?” Some people don’t question themselves because they act as if this is the last time you will ever eat that item. Another cause of this obesity is schools. Nutrition education is not taught in elementary, middle or high school and is often not addressed in certain medical schools. Also, school lunch menus are disgracefully high in fat and intense sugars. It is known that many schools are facing financial problem, so they are unable to provide proper physical activity programs or healthy food, but at the same time, they offer calorie enriched foods for lunch. Parental expectations of academic performance are also contributing to the rise of obesity in children. Many children spend extra time studying and reading in order to meet up with their parents exceptions, so they don’t have time for themselves to exercise and work out. Dr. Robert Schwartz, former Chair of Pediatric Endocrinology Subsection of the American Academy of Pediatrics, believes that prevention of obesity should start as early as an infant. He believes that pediatricians need to counsel parents about appropriate types and amounts that should be fed to their children before it gets too late. So as the child grows older, and the academic expectations came into play, the child can be able to stay healthy and maintain a proper BMI.BMI (body mass index) is a number calculated from the weight and height of a person. It is used to obtain the amount of body fat inside a person. The BMI is usually plotted on charts to recognize the patterns of excessive weight gain. The person who is underweight to normal weight usually has a BMI of less than 18.5 to 25 percent body fat. However a person who is overweight to obese would have a BMI of 25.2 to 30 or more. Obesity is a huge epidemic in the American Society, and it is highly recommended for people to watch what they eat.
With all genetic factors aside, obesity is due to the change in the environment. As a result of exercising makes the muscles cells sensitive to insulin, it is shown that lifestyle is a risk factor. For example, if a child rarely plays outside or exercises, then, he or she is at a greater risk of the disease. It was illustrated in a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which showed that a typical child spends more then 38 hours a week using electronic media outside of school. Physical activity in children and adults has been on a steady decline. It is shown that people are entertained electronically by television and/or types of media. In the U.S approximately 53% of children from 2 to 18 years of age have a television in their bedroom. Most children come home from school and spend the rest of their day snacking and watching television or on the computer. One may ask about after programs however after-school programs that encourage physical activity and exercise are difficult to find and or too expensive for parents, it is also believed the fewer children walk or ride a bike to school, yet they get a car ride. For adults, their inactivity depends on their occupation; some jobs include sitting down on a desk and answering the telephone and not moving unless you’re eating your lunch. These jobs decrease your activity level, making it harder for the person to even think of getting up and exercising on their free time. It is highly recommend for people to start exercising and being active because one can’t be a couch potato forever.
Age was once factor in the development of diabetes, now diabetes can occur at any time, and any age. Some forms of diabetes occur as young as 3 weeks of age, making diabetes unpredictable.
This is a high blood pressure of 140/90mm Hg or higher. People with insulin resistance are likely to develop hypertension or abnormal blood levels. This is then called metabolic syndrome, which gives the patient a greater risk of developing heart disease, stroke and other health problems. A careful control of hypertension is critical for one’s well being. Another trigger for hypertension is stress. Stress may really cause the rise of one’s blood pressure. It is suggested that people relax and control their blood pressure to prevent the many illness that comes with high blood pressure, such as type 2 diabetes.
Ethnicity plays a very important role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Ethnicity doesn’t seem to play a role in the other type of diabetes. It is believed that people of predominantly Native American, African American, Pacific Islanders, and Latino background are highly at risk of developing this disease. Researchers at Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati found that African American people are 3.5 and 6.1 times more at risk of certain types of diabetes compared to people of European decent. Doctors at a Southern Californian diabetes clinic reported that, compared to 3% of White American, 31% of young Mexican American patients had a greater diabetes assortment. Despite the greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes among minorities, a rise in the prevalence of diabetes also has been observed in White Americans. There has been about 25% newly diagnosed cases of diabetes in white people, Dr. Lynne Levitsky,MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, pointed out during presentation at the 2002 Annual Meeting of American Academy of Pediatrics.
It is also shown that type 2 diabetes and other types of diabetes are prevalent in females more than males. This is true in both adult and children. Polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS) ,which is found in girls has often been associated with insulin resistance. PCOS is a hormone issue that can cause the ovaries to become enlarges and develop cysts. Girls who develop this condition are likely to get excess facial and body hair growth, as well as irregular or may stop menstruation. There has been data that there may be a significant number of obese children with undiagnosed impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes. 55 children were then evaluated and all the adolescents had a BMI greater than the 95th percentile for age and sex, and 40% of the females had a clinical or biochemical evidence of PCOS.
There are many other environmental factors that can put a person at risk, such as heredity. For example, if a close family member has the disease or if a mother develops it during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), the child is significantly more likely to develop the disease. It is proven that family history is found in a first and second degree relative in 75% to 100% of the cases.