In August 2011, my then 13-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks the pancreas, destroying the body’s ability to produce insulin, which regulates blood glucose. There’s no cure, and the causes are unknown.
My son had been presenting the classic symptoms for several weeks, but I did not know how to interpret them.
Fortunately, his blood glucose level was not dangerously high at diagnosis. Tragically, children who are not diagnosed in time can go into a coma or even pass away. Before insulin was discovered in the 1920s, the disease was uniformly fatal.
I want to alert our community to the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. If someone you know exhibits these symptoms, please get them to a doctor as soon as possible:
Extreme thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, drowsiness, lethargy, fatigue, irritability, sudden vision changes, increased appetite, sweet smelling breath caused by ketones, heavy, labored breathing and unconsciousness.
I’m beyond grateful to Scotts Valley nutritionist Pat Adams, who alerted me to his abnormally high blood glucose; to the doctors and staff at Stanford; and to God for his faithfulness and provision throughout our ordeal.
I’m happy to say my son is doing well, and managing his disease like a pro. I hope this information helps anyone who might need it.
Lisa Smith, Ben Lomond