Wednesday, November 14, 2012
A Norfolk mum is urging parents to look out for symptoms of a lifelong condition in their children before they become seriously ill.
Di Beth, from Great Yarmouth, is throwing her weight behind a national campaign to raise awareness about the signs of type 1 diabetes among youngsters.
The strain often develops in early life but spotting the symptoms early and getting treatment can stop a more fatal condition from developing, and Di is now helping to highlight the signs of type 1 through a national campaign spearheaded by Diabetes UK.
Mrs Beth has drawn attention to the main symptoms - or four Ts: toilet, thirsty, tired and thinner - of type 1 diabetes after speaking out about her family’s experience after daughter Hollie was diagnosed with the condition.
The 42 year old said: “Hollie was five when she was diagnosed. We had gone away to London as a family and she was going to the toilet a lot and was constantly thirsty. I didn’t think anything of it really as it was during the summer so it was very hot and all the children were drinking lots.
“But my husband’s grandmother had diabetes so he knew the symptoms quite well and said that we needed to take her to the doctor straight away. Hollie then became quite sick that night so we took her to the doctor the next day. She spent a few days in hospital and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.”
Hollie luckily did not become too seriously ill before she was diagnosed but about a quarter of children living with type 1 are not aware they have the condition until they develop diabetic ketoacidosis - a life-threatening condition that can lead to a potentially fatal coma.
The campaign is now raising awareness of the four Ts so parents can spot the symptoms quickly. If a child is going to the toilet a lot, has increased thirst, is more tired than usual or is losing weight, then it is vital they visit a doctor immediately for a test.
Mrs Beth added: ““It was lucky that my husband had that experience of the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes because we wouldn’t have taken Hollie to the doctor as quickly as we did, which ultimately avoided her diagnosis being an even more distressing experience than it already was.”
● For more information about the campaign visit www.diabetes.org.uk/The4Ts