From Sioux City, Iowa, USA:
I think we have done a good job in trying not to feel guilty about our 4-year-old being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes six months ago, but now my husband found out that his great-grandfather had Type 2 before he passed away (from other causes) and now tonight I saw a report on CNN that said children who are breastfed have a lower incidence of diabetes. Now I am feeling guilty as I did not breastfeed my son since I work full time. What, if any, studies have been done on the correlation between Type 1 and breastfeeding? I believe that breastfed babies have stronger immune systems; could this be helpful at all in preventing diabetes in babies and children?
I would like to reassure you about several things. First of all the study quoted on CNN was not definitive but merely suggestive that breast feeding reduces the incidence of diabetes. It is also unclear in the medical literature if there is any relationship between formula and subsequent development of diabetes. Finally, the fact that your husband's great-grandfather had adult onset diabetes (Type 2 diabetes) is probably unrelated to your child's condition. There are a variety of factors that contribute to the development of diabetes. You should not feel guilty about bottle-feeding your child since there is no firm evidence stating that that is a direct cause of diabetes.
Original posting 2 Jan 98
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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