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Calls for more awareness after mum, 40, dies from undiagnosed diabetes

PUBLISHED: 07:30 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:13 28 January 2020

Jennie Dawson and her daughter Grace Picture: SUPPLIED BY FRIENDS

Jennie Dawson and her daughter Grace Picture: SUPPLIED BY FRIENDS

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The family and friends of an Eye woman who died from undiagnosed diabetes have called for more awareness surrounding the condition.

Jennie Dawson, 40, from Eye, died in June 2019 from a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis.

She was found unwell in her home by her daughter who raised the alarm with neighbours.

Ms Dawson's condition worsened and parademics spent over an hour and a half carrying out advanced life support before she died.

The inquest heard from Dr Iwona Kaminska, a consultant pathologist, who had looked into Ms Dawson's case.

Dr Kaminska had found elevated levels of acetone in Ms Dawson's body as well as high levels of glucose in her eyes.

Both of which led her to the conclusion that Ms Dawson had died as the result of undiagnosed diabetes, which had led to diabetic ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis sees the build up of ketones in the blood as a result of insufficient insulin.

The condition generally has three different causes; diabetes, excessive drinking and low body weight.

The inquest heard that in Ms Dawson's case that neither excessive drinking nor low body weight were applicable.

"I believe that it is linked to diabetes," said Dr Kaminska.

Ms Dawson's GP Dr Henry Lewis, based at Eye Healthcare Centre, said he was surprised by the findings of the pathologist and that he had had no reason to suspect that she had been unwell in his meetings with her.

"It's an incredibly rare event," said Dr Lewis.

Emma Lummis, Ms Dawson's friend, said: "Jennie was a wonderful mum to Grace.

"She loved her family and was a great friend to many people. She just wanted to look after her daughter.

"Jennie was a happy person and lovely to get on with.

"She would do anything to help you if she could.

"She is very missed."

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Ms Lummis said that the coroner's findings had come as a surprise.

"I think it was a shock finding out that her death was caused by diabetes but it has brought closure," said Ms Lummis.

"Now we just want to make people aware of the condition."

Coroner Nigel Parsley recorded that Ms Dawson had died as a result of undiagnosed diabetes.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

There are a number of symptoms of diabetes that doctors recommend looking out for.

NHS England suggest that you visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience any of the main symptoms which include:

- feeling very thirsty

- peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night

- feeling very tired

- weight loss and loss of muscle bulk

- itching around the genitals or frequent episodes of thrush

- cuts or wounds that heal slowly

- blurred vision

The NHS also say that type 1 diabetes can develop very quickly within patients; over weeks or even days.

Type 2 diabetes is often linked to a person's weight and age.

Those with this type may have the condition for a number of years without knowing because the early symptoms are said to be more general.

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