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JDRF Launches New Initiative to Ensure Parents are “T1D Aware”

September 3, 2010

Campaign Encourages Parents to Know the Signs of Type 1 Diabetes for Earlier Diagnoses.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation wants parents to be “T1D Aware” and recognize the telltale signs of type 1 diabetes in order to prevent a potentially deadly complication that often occurs as a result of a delayed diagnosis.   JDRF is launching the new educational campaign called “T1D Aware” in Denver, Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area to raise awareness of the key signs of type 1 diabetes including frequent urination and excessive thirst, and to encourage parents to seek medical attention if they notice these signs in their children. According to the National Diabetes Education Program, between 25 and 40 percent of children who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA.

“The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are often mistaken for other conditions like a bladder infection,” said Georgeanna Klingensmith, M.D., director of the Pediatric Clinic at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. “The longer we wait to diagnose type 1 diabetes, the more dangerous it can be. That’s why it’s so important to be ‘T1D Aware’ and to equate frequent urination and excessive thirst as potential signs of type 1 diabetes.”

In addition to frequent urination and excessive thirst, lower than normal energy, tiredness and weight loss are all telltale signs of type 1 diabetes. Other symptoms include: increased appetite, sudden vision changes, fruity odor on the breath, heavy or labored breathing and/or stupor or unconsciousness. If parents, teachers, school nurses, coaches and even teenagers notice these signs, they should talk to a doctor immediately.

Many children who present with these symptoms also have DKA. DKA occurs when the body breaks down fat for energy instead of sugar. When this happens, the body produces an acid called a ketone. High levels of ketones are very dangerous and can lead to a coma or even death, especially in young children. DKA is the leading cause of death and disability in children with type 1 diabetes.

Unfortunately, for the Broadus family of Denver, DKA was a harsh reality. Jonathan Broadus was 18 months old when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He also was in full-blown DKA and spent two days in the hospital.

“For Jonathan’s sake, I wish I had been more knowledgeable about the signs of type 1 diabetes,” said Shauna Broadus, the mother of Jonathan who is now six and his diabetes is in control. “But now I know and I want to make sure other parents are aware so their children don’t suffer like Jonathan did.”

As part of the “T1D Aware” campaign, JDRF will be distributing information and conducting local events in Denver, Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area. Eventually, the campaign will be rolled out in other cities across the U.S.

“T1D Aware” is made possible with support from Silpada Designs. For more information, please visit the JDRF National Facebook page.

Reprinted with permission from JDRF International

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Teri Edelmon permalink
    September 4, 2010 9:50 am

    this is great information to get out there. my daughter was in such bad shape she spent 5 days in the hospital. The more awareness that is put out there, the more childrens lives are saved. Thank you JDRF for your website…it has been a great tool since her diagnosis June 3,2010 and I’m sure we will continue to use it regularly. Can’t wait for the walk next month in Dallas, TX!!!!

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