Your child is really tired. They’ve been working hard at school and have picked up an infection they can’t shake, even though you finally managed to get antibiotics from the GP. They are hungry all the time. Their mood is all over the place – could it be early puberty? Are they being treated badly at school? They come home from school thirsty and you think maybe they are dehydrated, not drinking enough during the day. You go to the GP three or four times. You don’t want to be a bother, but something isn’t right.
Then one day they down 4 litres of water and complain of being thirsty. The penny drops. You go to A&E (telling them to act sick so you get taken seriously). The glucose metre doesn’t measure high enough to do a reading on their blood sugar. The canula goes in. The drip starts. The injections start. The blood tests start.
Your new life has begun.
You are one of the lucky ones. Unlike 35% of T1Ds, you have caught it before Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) sets in. No intensive care, potential organ failure, hair loss, coma… despite, in most cases, multiple visits to a GP.
The signs of T1D are toilet, thirsty, tired and thinner, but also repeated skin infections, thrush, bed wetting, food craving and skin infection. T1D is an autoimmune disease not related to diet, so your child might be a healthy eater and is likely to be slim. The signs are too often missed by GPs. In the US, Reegan’s Rule has been passed after tireless campaigning, obliging paediatricians to discuss T1D with parents. In the UK the campaign is a petition to include symptoms of T1D in the Red Book which is issued to all new parents. Meningitis, a rarer condition, is already included. If you have the time, please sign here and maybe save a life.