A Plea for Diabetes Week

Melinda Seed writes for Twice Diabetes

National Diabetes Week (July 14-20) is almost upon us and the theme is “early detection saves lives”. Diabetes Australia have a webpage devoted to It’s about Time and I’m glad to see this positive campaign again.

My plea though is that amongst early detection and screening and pre-diabetes, the general public and particularly the medical profession don’t get confused about the urgency of a type 1 diabetes diagnosis.

Undiagnosed type 1 diabetes kills and does so quickly, particularly in children. Most of the children who are diagnosed in DKA don’t have a family history and they don’t have the typical risk factors that come to mind when ‘diabetes’ is mentioned.

PLEASE if your child(or yourself or anyone) is sick, think about the four Ts, Thirsty, tired, toilet (frequently) and thinner. If you have any of these ask your GP for a diabetes test.

Doctors PLEASE think about type 1 diabetes, PLEASE do a 1 minute test for glucose AND Ketones in your office. If high glucose and ketones are present DO NOT SEND FOR BLOOD TESTS, DO NOT SEND FOR OGTT, contact your hospital IMMEDIATELY. Parents if your doctor is still waiting for tests etc, don’t be put off, get in the car and take your kid to emergency, if they are becoming or are unresponsive call an ambulance.

NO PARENT SHOULD HAVE TO SUFFER THIS. NO CHILD SHOULD DIE OR SUFFER IRREVERSIBLE BRAIN INJURY FROM A TREATABLE CONDITION

Image from Kisses for Kycie facebook page.
Image from Kisses for Kycie Facebook page, shared to highlight the seriousness of type 1 diabetes.

Sadly too many people are being diagnosed way too late with type 1 diabetes, mostly they have been diagnosed with ‘flu’ or ‘virus’ by a doctor weeks before the condition becomes life threatening. I still don’t know why we can’t do more education with GPs on this issue, as I blogged about a few years ago. I don’t understand why it is so hard for GPs to diagnose type 1.

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