Spot Brain Swelling Disease Before It’s Too Late


Early diagnosis is essential in slowing down the progression of the diabetes of type 1 in children. Unfortunately, the early symptoms, as thirstiness or going to bed often, doesn’t point directly to the cruel onset of the disease. In this direction, the McGill University Health Centre from Canada initiated a wake-up call to inform the caregivers about the first signs of disease, before it is too late.

Brain Swelling In Children

Doctor’s biggest concern represent “DKA” (diabetic ketoacidosis). When the life-threatening complication installs, it can cause brain swelling in some children, leading to neurological sequelae or death, states MUHC endocrinologist Meranda Nakhla. DKA¬†increases the acid levels in the bloodstream.

“We know that by sensitizing health care providers, teachers, families, to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes decreases the rates of diabetic ketoacidosis,” she said.

The cases of DKA multiply annually. If in 2001 only 22% of patients with type 1 diabetes presented DKA, in 2014 the rate reached 30%, affirms Nakhla and the researchers at the RI-MUHC.

Two-year-old Daughter And Other DKA Cases

One of the many eye-opening cases is the story of Sarah Smart and the two-year-old daughter Elwyn Yates. The mother was surprised, as she “didn’t see it coming,” saying that the life-long diagnosis was “beyond words.”

She thought that the usual symptoms, like drinking more water than usual, are caused by the hot weather of July. The diagnosis of DKA and type 1 diabetes, established for her daughter nine months ago, left everyone puzzled. The infant had arrived at the emergency department after the child started to feel fatigued, confused and vomited. Doctors administrated her insulin, and her health state recovered.

DKA Beginnings

DKA takes place when the chemicals, called ketones, are released by the liver into the bloodstream in big amounts. The organism produces ketones when it lacks insulin. Insulin has the role of turning sugar into energy, and people with diabetes require extra-insulin for managing the level of sugar in their blood. The presence of DKA can be detected due to a fruity-smelling breath, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, breathing problems, and even loss of consciousness.

The boost in the glucose amounts absorbed in a child’s bloodstream pulls fluid from tissues. The mother advises to address a health professional as soon as you see that a child has heavy diapers, is extra thirsty or needs bathroom more than before.


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