Hospital: 1st type sugar diabetes is diagnosed too late for children in Latvia

Too often is 1st type sugar diabetes is diagnosed in late stages for children in Latvia. This is because parents and society in general are not well-informed of this disease, as confirmed by endocrinologists of Children’s Clinical University Hospital.

88.4% of children diagnosed with diabetes are hospitalized in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis, doctors say.

«Every year 75-85 children in Latvia are diagnosed with sugar diabetes. If symptoms were identified sooner, treatment would go much smoother,» says endocrinologist Iveta Dzīvīte-Krišāne, adding that diabetic ketoacidosis in developed countries is found in 50-55% of cases for children.

Often early symptoms of 1st type diabetes can be observed in cases when children suffer acute virus infections, experts say.

«These symptoms include exhaustion, thirst, often trips to the bathroom and loss of weight. Parents often say they thought those were just side-effects from virus infection. Because of that, they did not pay much attention. However, these symptoms have to be taken into account to diagnose 1st type diabetes and provide timely treatment for children. Symptoms of diabetes can also develop while the person is completely healthy. Parents have to pay attention to protect their child from serious health problems,» says Dzīvīte-Krišāne.

The hospital’s experts say that if symptoms are not identified early on, the illness progresses into diabetic ketoacidosis, vomiting, stomach pains, rapid and deep breathing, increased heart rate, exhaustion, problems with consciousness and even coma. If any of these symptoms are observed, parents should immediately call an ambulance.

Endocrinologists stress that 1st type diabetes is not caused by excessive sugar consumption, excessive weight or low-active lifestyle. «This is something that cannot be avoided or treated completely. Treatment mainly involved replacement of insulin with everyday injections. 1st type diabetes is caused by problems with autoimmune system, which is especially true for people with genetic pre-disposition, poor living environment and certain viruses.»

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