The national director of Diabetes UK Cymru, Dai Williams, has called for greater investment to help children with diabetes in Wales. For Mr. Williams, the issue is both a personal and professional one, and his impassioned plea directly regards diabetic ketoacidosis and the role it has played in his life and life of his so, Sam.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is one of the most serious complications of diabetes, and Sam experienced a close shave with the condition. Dai Williams was reported as saying: “Sam is our only son and we didn’t know what to expect when he was getting into puberty. We though the weight loss and tiredness was part of that – when Sam would be falling asleep on the sofa he would say that he was trying to grow. But he wasn’t himself. He was drinking a lot of water and it got to the stage when he became constipated. When we saw the GP we were told that we weren’t feeding him properly and to give him more fruit and vegetables.”
Following some confusion, Sam was diagnosed. Dai Williams commented: “He had severe diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – his pancreas wasn’t working and he couldn’t break down carbohydrates so his body had no food, instead it was breaking down his proteins and fats.”
According to Diabetes UK data, some 120 children in Wales are admitted to emergency departments with DKA. The UK has a rate of 25 cases of diabetes per 100,000 children, the fourth highest in Europe.

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