Type 1 Diabetes in Children
Diabetes is a scary disease. I had some experience with it during pregnancy. It was ‘most likely’ un-diagnosed in my second pregnancy where I gave birth to an 11 lb whopper baby. It was diagnosed with baby number three and was managed. Jack was born a more acceptable 8 1/2 lbs. I experienced the taking of the drugs and the three times a day prick testing. But it was just for the time of my pregnancy not my entire life.
I am working with a new charity partner, Freedom from Abuse. I met with the founder Marilyn a few weeks ago to talk about our collaboration where I will be sharing information on how to protect your children from abuse. We must talk about this elephant in the room.
Marilyn wants to highlight this diabetes story, she has had a very scary recent experience with her son.
A Personal Story from Marilyn Hawes
Marilyns’s son was very recently taken critically ill in New York diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The doctors had told her that he was born with it but hadn’t manifested into anything until he started with what seemed like a simple infection. He was given 10 day antibiotics but unbeknown to them this drove up the sugar levels and BINGO! He was blue lighted into a New York hospital and was in Intensive Care for 2 days , then the critical ward, now on a general ward . Injections 6 times a day are now essential to stop this from happening again.
This is a killer disease and Marilyn knows her son is VERY lucky to be alive.
Do you actually know the dangers and symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children?
Routine screening for type 1 diabetes in children and young people should be introduced to put a stop to preventable deaths, a report from Diabetes UK Cymru says.
It follows a petition by a family calling on the Welsh Government to introduce the measure after their son died aged 13.
Peter Baldwin died in 2015 after his GP failed to diagnose the illness. “My life changed in a matter of days” his mother, Beth Baldwin states. Beth from Cardiff, said the recommendation made “exceeded all expectations”, adding she was “overwhelmed” by the depth of the measures put forward.
Did you know about the 4T’s symptoms of type 1 diabetes…? I certainly didn’t! Early identification is key to tackling the sometimes fatal condition.
The committee said questions about the “4 Ts” symptoms – should be routinely asked when unwell children and young people see a GP or other health professional.
In addition it wants appropriate diagnostic testing, for example through the use of finger prick blood glucose testing, to be carried out immediately when symptoms which could be indicative of type 1 diabetes are present.
People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce the hormone insulin, which controls the amount of glucose in the blood.
It is an unpreventable, lifelong condition and the cause is unknown but can be managed if diagnosed in time. It usually affects children or young adults, with symptoms starting suddenly and progressing quickly.
About one in five of children are not diagnosed until they are in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), the life-threatening state Peter Baldwin entered.
Diagnosed with a chest infection by his GP, he became ill the following day and was rushed to hospital. The paramedic who attended carried out a finger prick test and diagnosed type 1 on the spot, but Peter was already too ill and died soon after.
There are about 1,400 children with diabetes in Wales, the vast majority of which (96%) have Type 1 diabetes, according to Diabetes UK Cymru. Did you know that 1 in 100 babies have this very gene! High risk babies, and Peter would have been one as it is prevalent in his Dads side of the family, should be given powdered insulin from 6 months to 3 years old to protect them for life
Diabetes UK seek women in the south east to take part in trials – Oxford, Berkshire and Milton Keynes are running tests
But, as the committee says, more needs to be done to improve awareness and recognition of the illness among the public and healthcare professionals and I couldn’t agree more!