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A quick diagnosis by doctors at the Al Bateen Health Center facility helped the five-year-old boy.
Image Credit: Provided

Abu Dhabi: Parents need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes, which can put children at risk if the disease goes undiagnosed or not controlled, UAE officials said.

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) called for greater awareness while sharing the story of a five-year Emirati. The young boy was brought to the public health provider’s Al Bateen health center facility by his father, who feared his son would feel unwell and show signs of exhaustion.

Dr-Baraa-Arwani, -pediatrician-specialist, -Al-Bateen-Healthcare-Center-1638683137533

Dr Baraa Arwani, specialist pediatrician, who treated the boy.
Image Credit: Provided

Subtle symptoms

Dr Baraa Arwani, a specialist pediatrician at the facility, said the patient was not feverish when brought in. But he had been complaining of mild abdominal pain for two days before seeing the doctor and had been drinking more water than usual.

“The boy’s vital signs were normal, although there were signs of fatigue and dehydration. After investigating his medical history and doing a physical exam, I suspected he was diabetic. So I ordered blood sugar and urine tests. These confirmed my suspicions: his blood sugar was very high and his urine results showed that he had diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a serious illness that can lead to coma and sometimes to life-threatening complications, ”added Dr Arwani.

Warning sign

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is often the first warning sign of type 1 diabetes. It happens when the insulin in the body is so low that the glucose cannot be used for fuel by the body’s cells. so that it burns fat for fuel. It does, however, produce ketones, which are toxic when they build up, and make the blood acidic. Early diagnosis is essential because symptoms can worsen very quickly and can lead to the patient going into a diabetic coma.

“The patient was immediately transferred to the emergency department of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), another SEHA facility, to manage his condition. He was admitted and well taken care of, especially since laboratory results showed that he suffered from severe diabetic ketoacidosis, ”said Dr Arwani.

Care follow-up

In turn, the boy’s father was grateful for the smooth, timely and appropriate patient care provided at both facilities.

Dr Nadeem Abdullah, consulting pediatrician at SKMC, said: “The patient was admitted to SKMC for two days, and we were able to stabilize his condition with insulin and close monitoring of his blood sugar. Upon discharge, we educated parents on proper insulin injection technique, home blood sugar monitoring, and the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. This will be accompanied by regular check-ups in our diabetes clinic.

Dr Omar Al Jabri, chief medical officer of outpatient health services, the public clinic wing of SEHA that runs the Al Bateen health center, said: and treatment to enable them to control the disease. In addition, we ensure that patients undergo periodic preventive screening for potential complications of the disease. Equally important is the practice of referring diabetic patients to other specialties such as nephrology, cardiology, ophthalmology, neurology, nutrition and podiatry, both within our health centers and SEHA hospitals.