C-Sections and Diabetes
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A study at Queen's University in Belfast shows Cesarean sections are linked to Type 1 diabetes. In this video, icyou's Medical Editor, Dr. Mona Khanna explains the research findings.


Rebecca Fox: For many womens C sections are a necessity to protect the health of their baby. Now, a study from Northern Ireland shows the Cesarean sections are linked to a relatively common disease, Type 1 diabetes. Our research team at Queen's University in Belfast conducted the study and its results make prompt to some expected mothers to reexamine their birthing options. ICYOU's medical editor Dr. Mona Khanna joins us now to explain the research findings. Dr. Mona, what did the study show? Dr. Mona Khanna: Rebecca, this study has been real talker, it has a very dramatic results. It basically show that children who are born by C section are associated with developing Type 1 diabetes in a very high rate of 20%; like I said a real talker, really shocking for the medical establishment because we had no idea that there was this kind of an association. The study was well done, it looked at 10,000 children in 16 countries and it actually was a compilation of 20 different studies, so by coming out with this association it's really making us rethink the high rate of C sections in many different countries including by the way the United States. Rebecca Fox: Why is C sections link to Type 1 diabetes? Dr. Mona Khanna: We really don't know why, I mean that's the interesting thing about the study and there is a lot of hypothesis, one leading theory is that when you do the C section, the child's first exposure to an external environment and I'm using that term loosely, I'll explain in a movement. Is the hospital environment, it's the bacteria and microbes in the room where the child was delivered. As suppose to a vaginal delivery where the babies first exposure in a external environment even though they were obviously, in the mothers uterus is the microbes that are present in the birth canal, so that is the leading theory so far is that perhaps the babies immune system is affected when its not influenced directly by a vaginal birth with exposure to the mother's bacteria verus this kind of sterol, but not so sterol hospital environment, which is a foreign environment to the child. Rebecca Fox: What should expect in mothers take away from the study, yet I know so many mothers don't have that option about the way they get birth. What can they do to help lower the child's risk? Dr. Mona Khanna: Well, actually C sections have been under fire in this country for years now, Rebecca because our rate is between 20% and 25% in some areas of the country and many people said that, that's far too high because it's just not a natural thing. Now, you are right. In some cases, the parent have options, they have to go via C section if the mother for example, isn't able to give birth because of anatomical issue, if the child is breach in the breach position where it with bottom is down first that's an indication for a C section, but on the other hand their reports at C sections are actually being scheduled for the convenience of either the Doctor or the parents and those with the situations where, you know parents may want to rethink the convenience if the trade-off is a possible diagnosis of their child later on of having Type 1 diabetes. One thing I really wanted to clarify little bit is this Type 1 diabetes association. This is not the diabetes we talk about when we talk about the diabetes that is associated with obesity, that's Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is very different, it in fact is we think a result of defect or an association with the immune system of the child where the child isn't able to develop certain cells that produce the hormone insulin, which is what helps regulated blood sugar. So that's very different from the Type 2 diabetes that is in epidemic in this country that is associated with obesity. Rebecca Fox: Dr. Mona, thank you for talking about this truly fascinating research, we appreciate it. And you can watch more videos about pregnancy and videos featuring Dr. Mona on Icyou.com. For Icyou on topic, I'm Rebecca Fox.