In January 2015, “Kycie was taken to the doctor for a painful throat and headache”. Doctors diagnosed Kycie with strep throat and prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotics proved ineffective and Kycie’s condition worsened to the point where she “suffered a major diabetic ketoacidosis and a seizure”.
Ensuing tests concluded that “Kycie’s sugar levels were staggering”. Her parents Jamie and Josh were shocked to realize “their daughter’s strep throat diagnosis had been completely and shockingly inaccurate”. Worse yet was that all that time “they had no idea Kycie had type 1 diabetes”.
Over the next few months “Kycie battled the war against her highly debilitating disease”. “Kycie was in and out of the hospital”, spending time in physical therapy where she had to “relearn how to do everything” such as sit up and speak. “Kycie fought so hard against the disease” and her parents posted regular updates on Facebook about their daughter’s diagnosis.
Sadly, “Kycie couldn’t make it and passed away in her father’s lap in July 2015”. The Terry family made it their mission to document Kycie’s battle and “raise awareness about the deadly implications of type 1 diabetes” (3). Today, her family wishes to share their story so other families won’t have to experience the same awful situation because of missed symptoms.
Type 1 Diabetes: What Parents Need to Know
Kycie’s parents shared their daughter’s story to help raise awareness about undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. Being aware of the symptoms gives your child the best chance of receiving a proper diagnosis. When properly diagnosed, type 1 diabetes can be managed and children’s suffering prevented.
Watch this video detailing what you need to know about type 1 diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
Important to note is that symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children can develop quite rapidly. Symptoms can develop in just a few days or over a couple weeks. Common type 1 diabetes symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, sudden weight loss, increased appetite, sudden vision changes, fruity breath smell, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, heavy breathing or unconsciousness (3).
Complications From Early Onset Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes or early onset diabetes occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and kills the beta cells of the pancreas. Little, to no insulin, is released into the body causing sugar to build up instead of being used in the body (4). Untreated type 1 diabetes can cause major complications, including the following.
1- Heart Disease and Stroke
Increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as stroke or heart attack.
Atherosclerosis: Narrowing of blood vessels.
Angina: Heavy or tight pain in the chest.
High blood pressure (1).
2- Nerve Damage (neuropathy)
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High blood glucose levels can damage the tiny blood vessels of your nerves. This may cause a tingling or burning pain that spreads from your fingers and toes up through your limbs. Symptoms of damaged nerves may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation (1).
This occurs when the retina at the back of your eye is damaged. Retinopathy could damage your vision and potentially cause blindness (1). Diabetes has potential to cause additional eye afflictions such as cataracts and glaucoma (2).
4- Kidney Disease
Diabetes can cause the kidneys to inefficiently perform as a blood-filtering organ. Severe cases will urge the necessity for dialysis or kidney replacement (1).
5- Foot Damage
Poor blood flow to the feet can cause cuts or blisters. Serious infections may also occur, potentially leading to amputation of the toe, foot or leg (2).
6- Skin And Mouth Conditions
Diabetes leaves you more susceptible to infections of the skin and mouth. Risk of gum disease and dry mouth also increase (2).
7- Pregnancy Complications
Pregnant women with diabetes have an increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Risks of the baby developing a serious birth defect are also increased (1).
8- Sexual Dysfunction
In men, nerve and blood vessel damage can lead to erection problems (1).
Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes generally develops in childhood or adolescence but can develop in adulthood (4). Type 1 is the most common type of childhood diabetes, which leads to its alternative titles juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes (1).
Diagnosing diabetes can be done by testing blood sugar levels or analyzing urine samples. Blood sugar level testing can be done using the following methods,
- Random Blood Sugar Test: Tests will be taken at random times and may be confirmed by repeat testing (2).
- Fasting Blood Sugar Test: A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast (2).
- Glycated Hemoglobin (A1C) Test: Often used on those who have previously been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Helps indicate how blood sugar levels are being managed over a 2-3 month time period (1).
Urine samples can indicate if blood contains glucose. If urine shows glucose, additional blood tests can be ordered to confirm the diagnosis (1).
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