JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charityNewsNew statistics on child hospital admissions highlight importance of knowing type 1 diabetes symptoms

New statistics on child hospital admissions highlight importance of knowing type 1 diabetes symptoms

Posted on 13 July 2017

Results from a report into hospital admissions involving children and young people with type 1 diabetes have shown that many are still being diagnosed late, and as a result are at a higher risk of developing a dangerous complication.Support for children with type 1 diabetes

The 2017 National Paediatric Diabetes Audit maps out how the rise in type 1 diabetes incidence among children is causing a rise in paediatric type 1 diabetes hospital admissions.

The Audit collected data from between 2012 and 2015 relating to children and young people in Paediatric Day Units in England and Wales, with any type of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes accounts for the vast majority of cases of diabetes in children. Incidence of type 1 diabetes in the UK is growing particularly in children under five.

Children under the age of five are among those at highest risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The report found that one in four UK children developing type 1 diabetes are diagnosed so late that they are hospitalised with DKA, according to data from between 2012 and 2015.

DKA occurs when a severe lack of insulin means the body cannot use glucose for energy and starts to break down fat instead. DKA is very serious, and can be fatal.

Karen Addington, UK Chief Executive of JDRF said:

“This report shows that too many children are developing diabetic ketoacidosis, which is often down to a lack of understanding of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. It is crucial that type 1 diabetes is identified early, to reduce the risk of DKA at diagnosis.

“To ensure diagnoses take place earlier we need to develop a greater understanding among both the public and healthcare professionals of the symptoms of type 1: increased thirst, going to the toilet often, tiredness, blurred vision and sudden weight loss.”

The main signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • Going to the toilet more. Your body will try to get rid of excess glucose through urination
  • Being extremely thirsty. If you’re going to the toilet more, you’ll be very thirsty
  • Tiredness. Type 1 diabetes stops your body making the energy it needs, so you’ll be exhausted
  • Weight loss. Your body has to get energy from somewhere, so will break down fat stores
  • Fruity-smelling breath. If your body continues to operate like this, acid called ketones will build up. This will cause your breath to smell like pear drops, and can also lead to stomach pain. If ketones continue to build up in the blood they cause DKA.

It is important to note that a person with type 1 diabetes may not experience all of these symptoms. If you are experiencing these symptoms you must go to hospital immediately.

More: https://jdrf.org.uk/about-type-1-diabetes/understanding/what-are-the-signs-and-symptoms-of-type-1-diabetes/

The type 1 diabetes research tackling DKA

A research team in Germany is investigating whether introducing new standards for early diagnosis in a region of Germany can reduce the region’s rates of DKA at diagnosis.A girl with type 1 diabetes using finger prick equipment to do a blood test

This trial, called “Fr1da” is adding into the regular schedule of early years check-ups a blood test to screen for type 1 diabetes. The test shows whether a child is likely to go on to develop the condition by identifying autoantibodies produced by the immune system to drive the attack on the insulin-producing beta cells. For any person with one or more of these autoantibodies in their blood, their risk of developing type 1 diabetes within five years of that test is 51 per cent, rising to 75 per cent in ten years, and nearing 100 per cent over their lifetime.

Any children who test positively for an autoantibody are invited, with their families, to take part in educational sessions about type 1 diabetes, including how to recognise the early symptoms.

In May 2016, the study team reported that in the first 12 months of the study, 26,760 children had been tested for the predictors of type 1 diabetes, with 63 of those children testing positive. Almost all of the affected families took up the offer of educational sessions, and at the time of reporting, none of the children involved had experienced DKA.

Read more: https://jdrf.org.uk/news/testing-type-1-diabetes-young-children-across-large-populations-help-prevent-diabetic-ketoacidosis/

JDRF is also funding a study taking place across the US, Germany, France and Sweden called “The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young”, or ‘TEDDY’, project. The TEDDY collaborators are currently tracking 7000 babies known to be at risk of type 1 diabetes to see if there are any commonalities in the environments of those who go on to develop the condition.

They found that 58 per cent of the TEDDY participants, who had been regularly monitored since being identified as at-risk, had none of the usual type 1 diabetes symptoms at diagnosis, and none of the TEDDY children had dangerous DKA. As these children were identified as being at risk of developing type 1, they could be monitored for symptoms of type 1 diabetes, leading to diagnosis before DKA could develop.

Almost all of the children outside the study had one or more of the common diabetes symptoms at diagnosis, and 14 per cent had developed DKA.

Read more: https://jdrf.org.uk/news/teddy-study-highlights-benefits-diagnosed-symptoms-begin/