A POOLE consultant has warned of the symptoms of diabetes after a tot from St Leonards almost died of the illness.
Thirteen-month-old Betty-Peach Rutter appeared in the Daily Echo on Saturday as her parents Kimberley and Graham thanked Poole Hospital for saving her life.
The little one’s consultant, Dr Antoinette McAulay, has now urged parents, carers, teachers and anyone responsible for children to watch out for the four T’s that might indicate Type One Diabetes.
The doctor said: “The T’s are toilet, thirsty, tired, thinner.
“If a child is drinking excessively, going to the toilet a lot, for example, needing to get up in the middle of the night, or a dry sleeper wetting the bed, or getting thinner without an obvious reason, it’s very important that they go to the doctor.
“It’s more difficult to tell with tiredness, but it’s another symptom that can mean diabetes.”
Betty-Peach was rushed to the hospital when she became floppy and had difficulty breathing, and her horrified parents discovered she was in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which can be fatal.
Thanks to staff at the hospital, she is now recovering at home, and Kimberley said she believes Dr McAulay saved her little girl’s life.
The doctor said: “Betty-Peach was very, very poorly when she came in.
“You’d only see one or two children a year as sick as Betty-Peach was. The sooner children get to their doctors, the better. It can make all the difference.”
Kimberley and Graham believed their youngest daughter was feeling unwell after her MMR jab, as well as recovering from a previous chest infection, but rushed her to A&E at 5am in late November after she deteriorated.
Dr McAulay said: “Some parents worry about the tests for diabetes, but all that needs to be done by a GP is a urine test.
“There’s also a very small finger prick to check blood sugars. Children don’t need to have a big blood test.”
The doctor said cases of diabetes in children are rising.
“When I became a consultant 20 years ago, we had, say, 80 children, and now as a comparison we have 180,” she said.
“The causes are uncertain, but people do need to keep an eye out. It really can save lives.”