Childhood Trauma May Increase Type 1 Diabetes Risk
A new study done in Sweden has indicated that traumatic childhood experiences, such as divorce, illness or a death in the family can raise the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes by up to three times. The research was done by questioning over 10,000 families. The study was lead by Dr. Johnny Luvigsson at Linkoping University.
Type 1 diabetes is a autoimmune disease that results in the inability of the pancreas to make insulin. As the immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas, diabetes develops. The majority of patients with Type 1 diabetes are diagnosed during childhood.
The link does not indicate whether the trauma actually causes the diabetes. However, it does raise questions as to whether mental health care or stress reduction activities could help to prevent the onset of the disease.
While more research needs to be done, the researchers stress that parents should make sure that they work to reduce the amount of stress in children’s lives. In addition, the children should also be encouraged to eat healthy foods and exercise regular. This may not actually stop the development of Type 1 diabetes but can help to prevent obesity.