Diabetes on the rise in Canterbury
Sat, 02 Feb 2013 6:16p.m.
By Annabelle Tukia
Experts say rates of type 1 diabetes have reached epidemic levels amongst Canterbury school children.
And they say, despite extensive research, they still don't know why a child a fortnight is being diagnosed with the condition.
At a camp for children with type 1 diabetes, children are able to play and laugh, forgetting for a moment they all have a serious medical condition.
But it is a condition that means their young lives are ruled by injections and blood tests.
“I have to test my blood sugars at breakfast, dinner, supper and lunch usually,” says diabetes sufferer Danielle Hooper.
Clinical nurse Neil Owens says type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune deficiency that can affect anyone – young, old, fit or not. He says current rates of the disease in Canterbury are at epidemic levels, with one child a fortnight being diagnosed with the condition.
“We don't know why but we average between 25 to 30 each year,” he says. “We've had five in the last month.”
Since records began in Canterbury 40 years ago, the number of children being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes has increased three-fold.
“If you put a line through there, its clearly going up over time,” says diabetes researcher Jinny Willis.
But researchers still don't know why.
“There's a lot of effort going into collecting data and seeing trends and environmental factors, but at the moment we don't know what the cause is,” says Ms Willis.
She says a national diabetes register will be set up in the next couple of months to compare Canterbury’s figures with rest of the country.
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4/02/2013 11:11:57 p.m.
Alison Deaker wrote:
Thank you TV 3 for posting my comment and also presenting the article. At present as at the 1 March 2013, all diabetics will be placed on a sole supply testing meter and strips called CareSens from South Korea, due to a MOH and Pharmac decision in August last year. These new meters have a lot of issues that are causing considerable concern in the diabetic community, mainly their issue with not working cold environments, ie under 10 degrees, their lack of accuracy, which type 1's need to meet their insulin levels they inject and to attend to a hypo, with out falling into the diabetic coma. To be honest the done deal with South Korea is disgusting and whilst we have expressed these concerns with the MOH Minister, Pharmac and Pharmaco frequently, it always results on falling on deaf ears.
3/02/2013 10:26:04 p.m.
As the mother of a type 1 diabetic child, diagnosed when she was 18 months old. It amazes me how there seems to be a large dominance of European children diagnosed. I often wonder why this is and would be really interested to see the data around ethnicity on diagnosis so see if there is something related to some ethnic groups which may be contributing.
3/02/2013 7:21:32 p.m.
This article was clearly about type 1 diabetic children, which my daughter is at 16 years old. Type 1 diabetic children are not the result of what they eat or drink, this condition can occur in any fit, active, slender child, when over night their pancreas stops working, due to an auto immune virus. As a result they then must inject insulin 4 -5 times a day and test their blood sugars on the average of 6 - 8 times a day with an accurate finger pricker and testing meter. Type 1 diabetics then for a life time experience the above routine and carb counting all meals to meet insulin dosage, however as it is life threatening the following occurs. Due to a non operable pancreas this can result in low sugars levels occuring within minutes, where sugar must be obtained immediately to prevent a diabetic coma. Or alternatively inject more insulin to reduce high blood sugar levels, that can leave one not functioning properly. As it occurs pred. in young children ie babies and toddlers and school age children and teenagers, it is exceedily hard to live with. The lack of education about Type 1 diabetics in NZ astounds me. There is no reason for it to occur and there is no cure for it either.
3/02/2013 7:00:48 p.m.
Simple.... You clearly are simple. I suggest you learn the difference between type 1 and type 2. My three year old son has type 1, he was only 16kgs when diagnosed and eats a very healthy diet. You see, Type 1 is an auto immune condition where the body turns on itself and attacks all the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. This means a type 1 has to have insulin injected daily to LIVE.... Without insulin they would DIE within a few days. Type 1 has NOTHING to do with diet.
3/02/2013 6:27:51 p.m.
Elizabeth Mouat wrote:
To "Simple" I suggest you google Type 1 diabetes, you obviously have no idea at all about how difficult this auto immune disease is to manage.
3/02/2013 6:22:30 p.m.
I would like to acknowledge the segment 3 news showed last night on Type 1 diabetes. Showing the young ones having fun at their camp and manageing what can be a life threatening situation is a positive action. To hear so many young children are being newly diagnosed with Type 1 is very sad but to see the wonderful effort made by Diabetes Canterbury on their behalf is heart warming. Well done 3 news, your team show you know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes unlike others who should.
3/02/2013 12:18:51 p.m.
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