JDRF Launches New Initiative to Ensure Houston Parents are 'T1D Aware'

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 General News
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HOUSTON, Aug. 17 The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation wants every Houston 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. In the Houston area, approximately 35 percent of children who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes present with a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA.

"The longer we wait to diagnose 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," said Morey Haymond, M.D., chief of pediatric endocrinology and director of the Diabetes Care Center at Texas Children's Hospital. "During hot summer days, parents may not initially be alarmed by increased thirst, but it's critical they stay alert and attuned to any changes in their children's behavior or health."

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 Amis family of Houston, DKA was a harsh reality. Charlie Amis was 10 months old when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He also was in full-blown DKA and spent nine days in the hospital.

"I didn't know anything about type 1 diabetes before Charlie's ordeal, but now I know. While the symptoms can be overlooked, it's so easy to diagnose with a simple blood test," said Jordan Amis, the mother of Charlie who is now two and his type 1 diabetes is in control. "I would encourage all parents to get informed so their children don't have to go through what Charlie did."

As part of the "T1D Aware" campaign, JDRF will be distributing information and conducting local events across Houston.

"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.

About JDRF

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

Silpada Designs is the world's largest and fastest-growing sterling silver jewelry home party company. Silpada Design's sterling silver jewelry is sold exclusively by 32,000 independent representatives throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Visit Silpada.com or call 1-888-SILPADA (745-7232) to learn more about our jewelry, to find a local representative or to learn how you can join the Silpada Design's family as an independent representative.

SOURCE Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

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