I hang out a lot on the Type 1 mum forums. They give me strength and also advice. When you’re dealing with a self-managed condition, making constant adjustments, you need help sometimes from people who’ve been there before.
We regularly get media enquiries from people wanted to talk to Type 2 kids. Not Type 1 like my son, because an autoimmune disease isn’t a story like childhood obesity. Apparently, according to the NHS and even diabetes uk, Type 2 (the one related to lifestyle) is on the rise amongst kids. Must be all those sugary drinks, eh?
I wonder if they ever find them. In England and Wales there are more than 20,000 under 15s with Type 1 Diabetes, and 124 with Type 2. Type 2 is non-existant amongst the under 5s.
The mum to Type 1 in me wishes they’d start telling the story of our kids, of the technology that could help them, of the challenges they face, of the bravery they show. But the human being in me wishes they’d leave those 124 kids alone.
Depression (and even suicide) run very high amongst children and young people with diabetes. All children with diabetes should have access to a psychologist at diagnosis, although funding means this NICE requirement is rarely met. The highest rates of depression are amongst young people with Type 2 Diabetes. I bloody hope they are hiding well. At least Type 1s can protect themselves from the obesity and diet slurs with the armour of truth. Type 2s are much more vulnerable.
Type 1 Diabetes is unrelated to lifestyle. With Type 2 it’s more complex and weight can and does play a part. But the children with Type 2 in the UK almost exclusively come from two minority ethnic groups. They present in clusters. I’m not an epidemiologist (I’m not sure I can even spell it), but “finding the fat” seems massively simplistic even for the UK media.