Most people know of the childhood autism and asthma epidemics that started in the 1980’s, but few people know of the third childhood epidemic, one that also began in the 1980s, and that is the childhood autoimmune epidemic. The list includes children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile lupus and juvenile diabetes. Why are so many of our children getting these diseases, diseases that were rare in childhood in the 1950s and 60s and that now literally ravage so many kids?
And yet a fourth childhood epidemic is that of type 2 diabetes, a situation in which insulin has a hard time getting into cells, and in effect, sugar has a hard time getting into cells as well. Thus, sugar goes up in the blood. The key pathology in type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance, where the cells do not respond to insulin optimally. Obesity is associated with insulin resistance but is probably not the actual cause. What is causing so many children to develop insulin resistance?