Tulsa: Mom offers warning signs of diabetes

BY KIM ARCHER - Tulsa World Modified: February 14, 2009 at 12:31 am •  Published: February 14, 2009
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/> "And maybe they are not aware of early type 1 diabetes symptoms of increased thirst and frequent urination.”

‘It was scary’
Diabetic ketoacidosis happens when the body doesn’t have the insulin required to convert the sugar to energy.

Blood sugar rises and the cells begin to break down fat for energy instead. This produces toxic acids known as ketones, which severely affect kidney, brain and cardiac function, he said.

Taelem had begun to lose weight even though he was eating more than ever, said his mother.

She first thought he had a minor bug and would get over it. But when he began to lose weight and become lethargic, she rushed him to the emergency room.

"He would eat, then he would be lethargic and lay on the couch. This is a kid who all day long is just playing. It was silent in my house. It was scary,” Rodriguez said.

Within hours, he was in the pediatric intensive care unit, she said.

She said she wishes she had known the early symptoms of type 1 diabetes and could have helped her son before he got so sick.

Now he takes insulin shots and eats a low carbohydrate diet, she said.

"I didn’t know anything about diabetes before,” Rodriguez said. "I just want to say I’m really proud of the way Taelem has handled everything. He’s taken it as a big boy.”



awareness campaign

To reduce the number of diabetic ketoacidosis cases among Oklahoma children, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa Pediatric Diabetes Center is launching an awareness campaign to get children diagnosed with Type I diabetes before ketoacidosis sets in.


• A similar campaign in northern Italy in 1992 saw a 75 percent reduction in the rate of diabetic ketoacidosis among children.


• The campaign is expected not only to reduce the condition among children and save lives, but to save on average $11,000 per hospitalization.


• Most diagnoses of Type I diabetes occur in January and February.

Type I diabetes symptoms
All begin suddenly.


• Excessive thirst


• Bed wetting


• Frequent urination


• Weight loss despite increased appetite


• Fatigue

Diabetic ketoacidosis symptoms

• Nausea and

vomiting


• Deep breathing or shortness of breath


• Decreased level of consciousness

Source: OU-Tulsa Pediatric Diabetes Center

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