Thirst, fatigue & more: Do you know the signs of Type 1 Diabetes in kids? East Windsor family shares story

Connecticut Families

EAST WINDSOR – “He went to boy scout camp, it was the second week of August,” explains Kristen Burnham who got a call that her son, Jacob, was struggling with the heat. “He was really hot, not feeling good, they were having a hard time cooling him down but he looked like a hot kid at camp.”

Jacob had lost twelve pounds in a matter of days and looked like a different kid when Kristen picked him up. “Being brought to the hospital bed, the IVs, I remember that,” says Jacob who doesn’t recall everything.

Doctors said the 11-year-old was in Type 1 diabetic ketoacidosis, which can have dire repercussions.

“We have no family history of it, so it wasn’t on our radar at all,” says Kristen.

“God forbid, you can die from diabetic ketoacidosis at the onset of diabetes,” says Dr. Cem Demerci, a pediatric endocrinologist at Connecticut Children’s.

He believes it’s important for all parents to know the signs of Type 1 diabetes, just in case. Respond to: frequent bathroom visits, increased thirst, regression in developmental milestones, and even emotional changes.

“These symptoms have been described in Egyptian writings…They’re still valid today,” says Demerci.

Interestingly, there’s been a big surge in diagnoses of Type 1 Diabetes during the pandemic.

“We are feeling that this virus, COVID-19, can be a trigger,” says Demerci. “The jury is out on this – we need to collect more data to understand what is what.”

“He was in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) for four days and once you’re in there for four days, the prognosis isn’t always good,” says Kristen.

But, thankfully, Jacob is doing better and his mom is so grateful her son is getting help.

“We are so beyond thankful that he was with friends at Boy Scout Camp,” she says. “It’s something we can handle. It’s not the best diagnosis but it could be worse.”

On Wednesday, we continue our look at Type 1 diabetes in kids…how it is to live with and manage.

Check out this link for more information from the CDC.

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