Diabetes UK is urging parents not to let coronavirus fears stop them from seeking medical help if they’re worried their child is showing the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common form in children and young people. But new research from Diabetes UK has found that almost a quarter (23%) of all newly diagnosed children and young people with type 1 diabetes in England and Wales were not formally diagnosed until they had become seriously ill with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
DKA is life threatening but, in most cases, preventable. Acting quickly can save lives, so Diabetes UK wants to raise awareness of the common early symptoms of type 1 diabetes, so that children are diagnosed sooner and more safely.
The early signs and symptoms are easy to mistake for a viral infection or other illness, which is why it’s so important to be 4T aware.
What are the 4Ts?
- Toilet – Going to the toilet a lot, bed wetting by a previously dry child or heavier nappies in babies
- Thirsty – Being really thirsty and not being able to quench the thirst
- Tired – Feeling more tired than usual
- Thinner – Losing weight or looking thinner than usual
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes come on very quickly – over a few days or weeks – and need urgent treatment. Without treatment, consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to DKA. DKA can often be treated with insulin and fluids if it is picked up quickly. But the life threatening complication could be prevented entirely if the signs of type 1 diabetes are spotted early.
Information about the signs and symptoms of all types of diabetes can be found here: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/diabetes-symptoms