Type 1 Diabetes – Early Detection is Key!

National Diabetes Awareness Month may be over, but the fight against this serious condition in children is not.

When a child is diagnosed with diabetes, life immediately changes for both the child and the family. Diabetes is a condition which affects the body’s ability to utilize blood glucose for energy. The increase in diabetes among children has been an ongoing trend for years, with the risk of developing type 1 diabetes being higher than virtually all other severe chronic diseases of childhood. An alarming new prediction indicates that Type 1 diabetes among children under the age of 15 will increase by 70% by 2020. Type I diabetes (juvenile-onset diabetes), is an immune system disorder that inhibits the body’s ability to produce insulin. The anticipated increase in Type 1 would represent a drastic lifestyle change for millions of children since it requires daily injections of insulin to manage the condition.

Dr. Susan Clark, chair of endocrinology, and her team of clinical experts are passionate in providing the best care for CHOC’s diabetes patients. From carb counting to insulin pump training, the diabetes team focuses delivering family-centered care, through specialized diabetes treatment and education to patients and families. In particular, for Type 1 patients, education is key. According to Dr. Clark, with proper medical care, clinical therapies, diet, hygiene, and exercise, a child with diabetes can live a full and normal life.

Type 1 diabetes often appears suddenly – often resembling the flu in children. According to Dr. Clark, the following are the most common symptoms for type 1 diabetes:

• unusual thirst
• frequent urination
• extreme hunger but loss of weight
• blurred vision
• nausea and vomiting
• abdominal pain
• extreme weakness and fatigue
• irritability and mood changes

The U.S. News and World Report recently recognized CHOC’s diabetes and endocrinology program as one of the top in the country. Regionally recognized for patient care excellence, CHOC’s Endocrinology team provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of endocrine disorders and offers several innovative specialty programs and outpatient clinics designed to enhance quality of life for patients.

To schedule an appointment with a CHOC Children’s Endocrinologist, please call (714) 509-7982.

Update: Dr. Susan Clark passed away in June 2017. A nationally-recognized expert in pediatric endocrinology, she was an inspiring advocate for children with diabetes. Dr. Clark was a beloved member of the CHOC family. She will be deeply missed by her colleagues, and her patients and their families.

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