In a study published in the journal, Diabetes, researchers found that children with higher levels of vitamin D were less likely to experience islet autoimmunity. Islet autoimmunity is known to cause Type 1 diabetes by causing the immune system to mistakenly attack the islets of Langerhans, which are cells in the pancreas which produce insulin.
Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. Due to the immune system’s attack on the islets of Langerhans, production of enough amounts of insulin are decreased, leading to high levels of glucose in the blood.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA), explains that type 1 diabetes, previously called juvenile diabetes, is normally diagnosed in children and young adults. According to the ADA, 1.25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes. The Mayo Clinic lists symptoms of type 1 diabetes that include: increased thirst, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and blurred vision. Parents are encouraged to seek medical attention at their closest primary medical care center for urgent care clinic, should their child experience any of these symptoms. A healthcare professional will be able to administer a blood test, such as a fasting blood glucose test, to make the correct diagnosis.
The vitamin D Council, an organization dedicated to educating health professionals and the public on the importance of vitamin D, sun exposure, and its health effects, reiterates the role of high levels of vitamin D in preventing type 1 diabetes. The vitamin D Council shares that “people with high vitamin D intake during their first year of life are less likely to develop type 1 diabetes later in life.”
Common sources of vitamin D, according to the National Institutes of Health, are sun exposure, the flesh of fatty fish, and fortified dairy products. A blood test will also determine vitamin D levels in the blood. To schedule an appointment at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.