COVID19 may raise the risk of Diabetes in children, C.D.C. researchers report – here’s what you need to know
~ Co-authored by Dr Asmita Mahajan, Consultant Neonatologist & Pediatrician, SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim & Dr Gurudutt Bhat, Consultant-Paediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan ~ Did you know that COVID19 may up the risk of Diabetes in children?
~ Co-authored by Dr Asmita Mahajan, Consultant Neonatologist & Pediatrician, SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim & Dr Gurudutt Bhat, Consultant-Paediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan ~
Did you know that COVID19 may up the risk of Diabetes in children? Recently, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers reported that children younger than 18yrs who have recovered from COVID19 appear to be at significantly increased risk of developing Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. The CDC study examined large insurance claim databases in the United States to estimate the prevalence of new Diabetes diagnoses in children who had COVID19, or were known to be infected with the Coronavirus. The researchers found a 2.6-fold increase in new Diabetes cases among children in one study.
During the pandemic, a rising incidence of Diabetes among children in the age group of 13-15 years was noticed. Whenever a child with past infection of covid presents with any new onset symptoms like excess thirst, new-onset bedwetting, sudden weight loss, etc. they should be evaluated. Sedentary lifestyles brought on by lockdowns and heavily curtailed physical activity could be playing a critical role in this rising prevalence.
FACTORS CAUSING DIABETES IN CHILDREN: There has been an exceptional increase in the rates of Diabetes in India in the last few years. One of the striking features is an increase in the prevalence of type 2 Diabetes among individuals younger than 18yrs of age. From the start of the pandemic, many young children have been diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes, which is a lifestyle-related disease. The most important contributing factor for this is an enormous lifestyle change. Depression and stress is also seen as a cause for increased risk. The compulsion of staying indoors, using electronic gadgets to attend online classes or, for entertainment purposes amid the pandemic since the past two years has affected children’s lives substantially. Kids have developed unhealthy eating habits, disturbed sleep patterns, and attention deficit, amongst other issues. These factors have also made the situation even worse by accelerating the problem of Obesity in children, considering zero to no physical activities. Exposure to environmental chemicals and pollutants is also one of the proposed reasons for the rise in Diabetes among children and the youth.
HERE ARE A FEW SOLUTIONS TO AVOID EARLY ONSET DIABETES IN CHILDREN:
• Engaging children in regular physical activity
• Reduce screen time
• Have a balanced diet and drink adequate water
• Avoid consumption of junk food
• Ensure 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night
• Aim to achieve & maintain healthy weight amongst kids
Early screening and lifestyle changes are recommended for kids. Now all parents must look at the positive side and start following a regimen of intensive lifestyle modification with their children. The past two years have been uncalled for, the situation has taken a toll on the mental & emotional health of children as well. Now it is time to help and encourage kids in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. When kids are missing interaction with peers, the parents should start a healthy lifestyle in terms of activity, food and serve as role models to the children. Type 2 Diabetes in children can be managed well with diet alone or a basic medication called Metformin with diet modulation. Parents should engage in regular monitoring of the blood glucose levels of the kids for stricter control of Diabetes, as these children are at higher risk of long-term cardiovascular disease. Along with these