JDRF Launches New Initiative to Ensure Bay Area Parents are 'T1D Aware'
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation wants every Bay Area parent 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" 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 can often be mistaken for the flu, bladder infection or other viruses," said Bruce Buckingham, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Stanford Medical Center. "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 Theresa Bergholz and her son, Benjamin, DKA was a harsh reality. Benjamin was 11 months old when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He also was in full-blown DKA and spent three days in the ICU.
"What we went through was traumatizing – I knew the symptoms of type 1 diabetes, but I didn't make the connection despite the fact that I was changing diapers more than normal," said Bergholz. "I strongly encourage all parents to get informed and to follow up with their doctors so their children don't suffer like Benjamin did."
As part of the "T1D Aware" campaign, JDRF will be distributing information and conducting local events across the Bay Area.
"T1D Aware" is made possible with support from Silpada Designs. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/MyJDRF.
About Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting every organ system that strikes children and adults suddenly, and lasts a lifetime. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. People with type 1 diabetes must take multiple injections of insulin daily or continuous infusion of insulin through a pump just to survive. Taking insulin does not cure any type of diabetes nor prevent the possibility of its devastating effects: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputation, heart attack and stroke. There are approximately 3 million Americans living with type 1 diabetes and more than 30,000 children and adults are diagnosed every year.
JDRF is a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is a disease which strikes children and adults suddenly and requires multiple injections of insulin daily or a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump. Insulin, however, is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.
Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.4 billion to diabetes research, including more than $100 million last year.
About Silpada Designs
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SOURCE Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation