A SWINDON mum is backing a national campaign to get more children diagnosed swiftly with diabetes.
Judith Alexander, of Wroughton, is supporting Diabetes UK’s efforts to highlight the main symptoms – or four Ts – of Type 1 diabetes: Toilet, Thirsty, Tired and Thinner.
The mum says she is passionate about the cause after her daughter, Emily, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was three.
Judith has to help Emily, who is now 11, on a day-to-day basis to manage her condition, and says that spotting the tell-tale signs in children is vital before they become seriously ill.
She said: “Emily had always been a typical toddler. Then she started to feel a bit poorly, she was quite moody and pale, with dark circles under her eyes.
“One night she went to bed and drank a whole pint of water, and I just thought she must be diabetic. She didn’t want to wake up in the morning, but I took her to the GP who sent us to hospital, where she was diagnosed.
“The impact of diabetes is massive, but Emily is doing really well. She has about five injections of insulin a day and her diabetes is well managed.
“If people in Swindon know a child who is going to the toilet a lot; has increased thirst, is more tired than usual or is losing weight, then they need to be aware that it could be a sign of Type 1 diabetes “And they need to make sure they visit a doctor immediately for a test.”
If Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed quickly, the right treatment can be given to bring the condition under control and stop diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition, from developing.
Barbara Young, the chief executive at Diabetes UK, said: “A quarter of children with Type 1 diabetes become seriously unwell before being diagnosed and we need to bring this situation to an end.
“I fear that unless there is a big increase in awareness of symptoms, we will continue to see hundreds of children a year become seriously ill completely needlessly.
“We hope the 4 Ts will make them easier to remember and so help ensure children with the condition get diagnosed at the right time.”
For more information about Diabetes UK’s campaign, go to www.diabetes.org.uk/The4Ts.