Published Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Ewan McNeill, 13, checks his blood sugar levels. (© UTV)
Early detection of the disease means young people are less likely to develop potentially life-threatening complications or be admitted to hospital.
Ewan McNeill was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after his mum Catherine noticed some worrying symptoms over six weeks.
"He was very thirsty and was drinking water all the time and then running out to go to the toilet a lot.
"Teachers said this had become disruptive and Ewan also lost around three stone during that time," she said.
Ewan, who is 13-years-old, has now learned to control what he was eating and how much insulin he needed.
"I have to check blood sugars a minimum of four times a day and take an injection a minimum of three times a day. It could be more depending on what type of snacks I'm taking," he explained.
The Public Health Agency says bed wetting, excessive tiredness and blurred vision could also be indicative of diabetes.
"I wish we had been a bit more aware and it hadn't come to the stage where he had to stay in hospital for a wee while," his mum added.
Iain Foster, who is National Director of Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, added: "A simple blood test by a GP can diagnose a child and prevent hospitalisation so the message is be aware of the symptoms and act quickly."
© UTV News