Diabetes Detection Saves Lives

20/2/2017

In recent weeks, three adolescents from the Upper Galilee were hospitalized in critical condition due to extreme Metabolic Acidosis.
The three youngsters, two boys and one girl, were stabilized in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Ziv Medical Center where they were diagnosed by the medical team with Juvenile Diabetes.

The three, all from different communities in the north, were brought to Ziv after complaining that they had not been feeling well for a number of days. Starting with mild symptoms, by the time they reached Ziv's Emergency Room, their situation had deteriorated to the extent that they were dehydrated, had difficulty in breathing, stomach ache, vomiting, dizziness and difficulty in functioning.

At first, when the youngsters felt unwell, their families were not alarmed by their symptoms, and saw them as winter ailments. Within days, the condition of the youngsters began to deteriorate and the parents realized that these symptoms could be serious, and that they made need immediate attention.


Dr. Orna Dally-Gottfried, Director of the Center for Juvenile Diabetes, calls upon parents, family members, teachers and family physicians to pay attention to the symptoms of this disease as the child's condition may deteriorate rapidly, reaching life threatening situations. She described the main symptoms of the disease, which include: increased thirst and appetite, frequent urinating, loss of weight, fatigue and weakness, deterioration of functioning at school, skin infections and often loss of hair and vaginal infections in girls.

Dr. Dally-Gottfried explained "It is hard to believe that in 2017, adolescents capable of describing their physical symptoms should reach such an acute state, with the problem not being identified in time. A regular urine test will indicate the presence of sugar and acetone in the urine, using a stick test that gives immediate results. Testing for sugar in the blood involves a prick in the finger also giving immediate results."

Juvenile Diabetes, known also as Type 1 Diabetes is caused by gradual destruction of the Beta cells of the pancreas which are responsible for the secretion of insulin. Approximately 10% of patients suffering from diabetes have Type 1 Diabetes.  The symptoms will appear when close to 90% of the Beta cells have been destroyed. Caring for the disease involves receiving adequate doses of insulin by injection or by pump.
Ziv's Diabetes Center, well known for its excellent advanced treatment, treats hundreds of diabetic children from across the country. The Center's multi-disciplinary team includes Dr. Dally-Gottfried, a specialist in the field of Juvenile Diabetes, a pediatric specialist, a nurse who also specializes in diabetes instruction, a dietician, a social worker and a psychologist. The medical team follows the family from the time the disease is diagnosed, working with all the family members in order to facilitate their coping with the challenges facing the patient and his/her family.