Type 1 Diabetes – Facts and Symptoms

In my family spring doesn’t just mean cleaning…..organizing….planting and enjoying the first sunshine…..

Spring means fundraising for and participating in a cause very close to our hearts…..Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) WALK TO CURE DIABETES.

Why juvenile diabetes also known as type 1 diabetes?………Let me tell you a little story…..

My older son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in December 2005 at the age of 8.

It came as a shock to all of us. In a matter of weeks he changed from bubbly and healthy hockey player to sick-looking skinny boy who was always tired.

He lost 15lbs in a course of 4 weeks. When he started peeing his bed I took him to our family doctor and my worst fear came true. Our lives changed within seconds.

His blood glucose was extremely high and he was immediately admitted into the pediatrics unit. He was white as a ghost, very fragile and had to be hooked up to an IV unit for almost 2 days just to get him stabilized.

At that time I just wanted to crawl into bed and cry, but there was this little person looking at me and waiting for my reaction. I assured him everything will be fine and I’ll be there right beside him. I always knew my son was special, but that was the day my child became my hero. My little boy was forced to grow up suddenly overnight.

Somebody was watching out for my son. I can’t even imagine if he went into coma in the middle of his hockey game and we wouldn’t know why.

For all the parents/ grandparent/ aunts/uncles/siblings/friends that suspect that child might suffer from type 1 diabetes….. DON’T ignore the signs. Have them checked out right away.

Type 1 Diabetes

Symptoms your child might have type 1 diabetes (these signs might occur suddenly):

• Extreme thirst
• Frequent urination
• Drowsiness, lethargy
• Sugar in urine
• Sudden vision changes
• Increased appetite
• Sudden weight loss
• Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
• Heavy, labored breathing
• Stupor, unconsciousness

Type 1 diabetes also known as Juvenile diabetes can occur at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

Sometimes the signs of diabetes are mistaken for ADD/ADHD as the behavior problems are quite extreme due to high or low blood glucose. My son was one of those misdiagnosed cases.

Research has shown that the trigger – an event or series of events occurring many months before the symptoms present themselves – is a combination of environmental and genetic factors that begin a process in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

There is no history of Type 1 diabetes in our family. The doctor figures that my son was sick with a flu and bacteria attacked his pancreas. There was no warning or a chance to prevent it.

To stay alive, people with Type 1 diabetes must monitor their blood glucose frequently (minimum 4 times a day – 6 times when on insulin pump), inject insulin several times a day or continuously infusing insulin through a pump. They must coordinate all their physical activities with their meal plan and insulin intake. Special planning must be done before traveling, attending school and pretty much most of the day to day life.

Before my child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I used see commercials and I kept thinking….”poor children…..I would never wish that on anybody and I would never want to be a mom of child with diabetes”….

Guess what?……I AM A MOM OF A CHILD WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES…………..

Over the years I developed certain pet peeves when it comes to my son’s disease and one of the big ones is people who constantly compare Type 1 to Type 2 diabetes without any knowledge and suggest accuse that my son ate too much junk food and it’s my fault…..

There is no prevention or cure for Type 1 diabetes as of yet. It is a life threatening disease that needs to be taken seriously and managed properly. That is why every spring we fund-raise for and participate in WALK TO CURE DIABETES.