EADT backs diabetes centre appeal

By Katy EdwardsTHE East Anglian Daily Times is supporting a new appeal to help Ipswich Hospital raise £100,000 to better accommodate young diabetes sufferers.

By Katy Edwards

THE East Anglian Daily Times is supporting a new appeal to help Ipswich Hospital raise £100,000 to better accommodate young diabetes sufferers.

The hospital's diabetes centre desperately needs new facilities to help treat young victims of the disease.

Children who are newly-diagnosed as diabetes suffers need careful and sensitive handling if they are to understand and learn to manage their condition.


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At present, the Heath Road department – which is one of the busiest in the hospital – manages a caseload of 141 children and 2,500 adult sufferers, all under the same roof.

About 20 children are diagnosed with diabetes every year at the hospital and Dr Gerry Rayman, director of diabetes and endocrinology, is determined to provide a dedicated area for them, including a family-friendly area and play facility.

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There will also be a special office and consulting area for the paediatric diabetes specialist nurses and an education room to teach youngsters about the disease.

Dr Rayman is launching today the Diabetes Children's Appeal to raise £100,000 for the project, which has the full support of the EADT.

Encouraging readers to donate to the appeal, he said: "With their donations, we could provide an even better service than we do at present.

"The current centre was purpose-built as an adult clinic. We do run children's clinics, but young people can be diagnosed or need to come in on any day of the week and to have them come into a clinic full of adults is not right and not appropriate.

"It is so important for the future of young people with diabetes that we get it right from the beginning, in terms of their understanding and ability to cope with the technology of looking after their condition.

"If we don't, it can affect the whole of their lives and make living with diabetes very difficult. It is fine to describe how insulin works, but both the child and the parents have to understand how to use it. Education is so important."

Globally, the number of cases of children with diabetes has increased dramatically, especially among the under fives, and specialists have warned of rates reaching "epidemic" proportions over the next decade.

Doctors at Ipswich Hospital are now seeing for the first time children with Type 2 diabetes, previously only seen in adults. Western, unhealthy lifestyles and a rise in obesity are thought to be responsible for the increase these cases.

EADT editor, Terry Hunt, a diabetic himself, said: "I know from personal experience that the diabetes centre at Ipswich Hospital provides first-class care.

"However, it is the case that children with diabetes need their own area and I would urge everyone to support this appeal to ensure that today's young diabetics receive the best grounding possible to learn to cope with the disease."

n To donate to the Ipswich Hospital Diabetes Children's Appeal, please make cheques payable to "The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust Moving Diabetes Forwards Appeal" and send them, together with details of your name, address and telephone number, to The Diabetes Centre, Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road, Ipswich, IP4 5PD.

For further details, contact the centre on 01473 704180. If you want to tell your own diabetes story to help support the appeal, contact Katy Edwards on 01473 324719.

katy.edwards@eadt.co.uk

Internet link

www.diabetes.org.uk

DIABETES

n Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or respond to insulin.

n Insulin is a hormone, produced in the pancreas and released into the blood stream, which is needed to convert sugar into energy. It stops blood sugar levels from getting too high and controls the amount of energy our bodies can use from the food we eat.

TYPE 1 DIABETES

n People with Type 1 diabetes are unable to make insulin for themselves.

n Symptoms are likely to include passing more urine than normal, severe thirst and a dry mouth, weight loss and tiredness.

n One in every 650 children develops Type 1 diabetes. There is still little known about why it develops, but it is not caused by eating sweets and is not contagious.

n The average age for diagnosis is 11. It is more common in childhood, but can appear in adults.

n Insulin is the only effective treatment for Type 1 diabetes. With the help of healthy eating, exercise and blood sugar monitoring, insulin treatment will bring blood sugar levels down, enabling the sufferer to live a normal life. Insulin treatment may need to be adjusted according to lifestyle changes over the years.

n Only 25% of patients with diabetes have Type 1. The majority have Type 2.

TYPE 2 DIABETES

n Type 2, also called adult onset diabetes, occurs when the body still produces insulin, but either produces insufficient amounts or the insulin that is produced does not function properly.

n Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, which is usually diagnosed in patients aged over 40, although it is increasingly being seen in children – thought to be a result of childhood obesity.

n Symptoms include tiredness, thirst and a dry mouth, passing more urine, blurred vision and genital itching. Many sufferers may be unaware they have the disease.

n If not properly controlled or undetected, it can lead to complications involving the circulation, legs and feet, nerves, kidneys, eyes and heart.

n Type 2 diabetes, also called adult onset diabetes, affects between 2% and 5% of the population.

n It usually does not require injections, as control is usually possible through careful diet and exercise, in some cases, supported with medications.

n A family history of diabetes, high cholesterol, being overweight, having delivered a baby of more than 9llb or being of Hispanic, Native American, African or Asian origin may all contribute to a person's chances of developing diabetes.

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