Recognizing the signs of type-one diabetes
(SINCLAIR CARES) - November is Diabetes Awareness Month.
You may think that diabetes is a disease that affects mostly older people, but Jennifer Gilbert explain that type-one diabetes dramatically affects the lives of many children, like 13-year-old Daniel Burns who is tough on the soccer field and in life.
Burns said, “I kind of think of it like I'm a normal kid, which I am.”
Burns has type-one diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, which strikes one in four hundred children and can also start in adulthood.
Dr. Debra Counts, a pediatric endocrinologist, said, “Nobody 100 percent understands why the body does this. So, it's not that somebody ate too much candy and not enough broccoli.”
Something triggers the body to develop antibodies that destroy the cells that make insulin, a hormone necessary to break down the food we eat, and nourish our bodies.
Counts said, “Without insulin, basically the cells of your body are starving.”
Recognizing the symptoms early can avoid serious complications. There is a lot of research working on a cure for type-one diabetes and many experts are hopeful we could see a cure in our lifetime.
Counts said, ”So, if a child starts to drink more and urinate more, hopefully their mom notices early on and gets them to the doctor, pediatrician or emergency room early on in the course.”
Daniel spent three days at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, where he and his parents could learn to manage a disease for the rest of his life.
Marty Burns, Daniel’s father, said, “The responsibility that Daniel has to keep himself healthy and alive each day is just unbelievable that we ask that of a kid.”
Even though Daniel has missed his share of birthday parties, and sleepovers. He has an important message for other kids with diabetes.
Daniel said, “Just be yourself, and don't think that you are any different than any other kids.”