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Diabetes is a big problem in the Latino community, with rates higher than any other ethnic group. As parents, we don’t realize that the every day problems that affect our family can bring on stress to our children. In a recent study in Sweden, they found that stressful events in childhood, such as divorce, death, or illness could increase their risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
The study analyzed over 10,000 families with healthy children between the ages of 2 and 14. Their goal was to observe if the family had conflicts, money problems, and changes in the family structure, and they found that 58 of those children developed type 1 diabetes.
With type 1 diabetes the immune system attacks the pancreas and destroys the cells that help make insulin. When glucose can’t get into the cells normally, this causes a rise in blood sugar levels. Unfortunately type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented.
The study found that children experiencing a serious life event where there is psychological stress during their first 14 years of age can put them at risk for developing type 1 diabetes.
Other contributing factors can also include, genetic predisposition. Type 1 diabetes is highly complex and there are many factors that can contribute to getting the disease. Sometimes it’s inherited genes and environmental factors like diet, or problems at home that can affect a child’s chances of getting it.
Parents should be aware that things that affect their children at home can negatively affect their child, especially if there is a history of type 1 diabetes in the family because that puts them at a higher risk.