Timing of First Solid Food May Affect Type 1 Diabetes Risk

Scientists get closer and closer to understanding the development of Type One Diabetes every year; as those with the disease can attest, sometimes the research takes turns that are unexpected. While there is little controversy on what is required for basic maintenance treatment of the disease—including monitoring blood glucose levels with the help of products such as the freestyle diabetes test, prodigy test strips, and accuchek lancets, nor the fact that, at current technological levels, the best options for taking insulin medication are via vial and syringes like the easytouch insulin syringe, insulin pen needles, or insulin pumps that require pump supplies and insulin pump cases, there is not one single, clear answer to the question of why some individuals develop type one diabetes and some do not, even with all that is known. A new piece of research has added another wrinkle to the question; Jill M. Norris, MPH, PhD and Professor and Chair of Epidemiology for the Colorado School of Public Health, has released research suggesting that the timing of a child’s introduction to solid food can have a large impact on their risk for developing Type One Diabetes.


Type One Diabetes was formerly called Juvenile Diabetes, due to the fact that its symptoms typically manifested in children; it is, of course, a very serious illness, requiring a lifetime of monitoring and medications. Over 11 million individuals worldwide—and potentially up to 22 million worldwide—deal with the illness, which causes an estimated 5-10% of all diabetes cases. Doctors and researchers have moved away from the name Juvenile Diabetes because in recent years the majority of new-onset type one diabetes cases have been seen in adults. The disease carries with it a lifetime need for administering insulin through injection, using products such as the easytouch insulin syringe, paired with a vial of insulin medicine, or insulin pen needles, which attach to convenient insulin “pens,” along with insulin pumps which bear the additional expense of insulin pump cases and other pump supplies. The disease also requires monitoring via products like the freestyle diabetes test, accuchek lancets, and prodigy test strips.


Dr. Norris’ research into risk factors for Type 1 diabetes development have borne interesting fruit; she says that her findings demonstrate that introducing solid foods to infants plays a vital role in the risk that those children have for the disease; according to Dr. Norris, “If you introduce solid foods after six months, in other words if the first time you introduce them is after six months, you have a three-fold increased risk of type 1 diabetes.” Norris added that if solid food is introduced prior to the fourth month, there’s a two-fold increase in risk for diabetes. In a culture where many mothers are opting to breastfeed for their child’s entire first year, such news comes as a shock. For those women with family histories of type one diabetes, Norris counsels to stick with the small window of time that is demonstrated to reduce risk; while diabetes can certainly be managed well in the 21st century, anything that reduces your child’s risk of the disease and its complications—including but not limited to the need to buy products such as the easytouch insulin syringe, a freestyle diabetes test, insulin pen needles, accuchek lancets, prodigy test strips, and insulin pump supplies—is an important precaution to take.


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