How does diabetes affect families

Diabetes: is my child at risk?

Caesarean section increases risk of diabetes

It shows that children who are born by caesarean section are more at risk of developing the disease. One possible explanation: "The little ones have a different intestinal flora than children who were exposed to the environment of the mother's vagina in the course of a natural birth," explains diabetologist Mirza. Research results on vitamin D, for example from Finland, may also show exciting connections. Over a period of about 30 years, researchers from Helsinki collected the numbers of new type 1 diabetes cases. For a number of years it had risen and then suddenly fell from 2005, the year in which Finland introduced vitamin D-enriched milk.

Coincidence? "As long as there are no further studies from other countries, the connection remains speculative," says Segerer. He therefore does not want to make a recommendation to spice up foods with vitamin D in this country as well. "We still don't know enough about the connections for that." However, it is important for parents to conscientiously carry out vitamin D prophylaxis for their babies up to the second year of life and in consultation with the pediatrician.

Breastfeeding can protect children from diabetes

At least one thing is certain: Breastfeeding protects. A cog that parents can turn around under certain circumstances. It is therefore best for mothers to breastfeed their child for at least six months, even if they are already giving them complementary food.

Type 2 diabetes is partly inherited

The hereditary component has a stronger impact in type 2 diabetes than in type 1. "If first or second-degree relatives are affected, the risk of diabetes increases significantly," says Mirza. According to a study by Ulm University, children and adolescents with a migration background are apparently particularly often affected by type 2 diabetes. Their share is almost twice as high as their share in the total population. "Probably," says Segerer, "this has to do with other habits." The children often do not have a healthy diet, are overweight and are less active than average. Exact details have not been clarified here either. The factors overweight and little exercise increase the type 2 risk considerably.

Gestational diabetes increases the risk for the child

Likewise, children whose mother had gestational diabetes later have a significantly higher risk of diabetes, according to recent research. "The children are exposed to increased sugar levels in the womb, which probably increases their insulin resistance," explains Mirza. Even if the unborn child is noticeably small, the risk of diabetes increases. This happens, for example, when the baby is not optimally cared for by the placenta, for example because the mother smokes. It is therefore important that pregnant women regularly go to preventive care so that they can recognize gestational diabetes in good time. Expectant mothers between the 24th and 28th week are also entitled to an oral glucose tolerance test, which the health insurance company pays for. Affected women not only have to be treated, they also have to watch out for their weight: "In the case of obese, i.e. very fat women with gestational diabetes and women with poorly controlled gestational diabetes, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes after a few years is significantly increased" , explains doctor Joaquina Mirza.