The sudden and painful death of a beautiful young mother due to undiagnosed type 1 diabetes has triggered a feverish global response, with leading diabetes organisations calling on health professionals and the wider public to become aware of the symptoms of the autoimmune disease.

Although the death of Nicole Rigby occurred two years ago in north-west England, an inquest into the tragedy reported by the UK Daily mail recently revealed that she had died of diabetic ketoacidosis – a condition that develops when a person with diabetes does not get the life-depending insulin they need.

Ms Rigby, who was nursing a newborn, was found unconscious by her husband, surrounded by black vomit.

“It is a horrible and tragic death that could have been averted if the victim’s condition was diagnosed on time,” said Diabetes CEO Sturt Eastwood. “We need to raise awareness and ensure that our health system is highly alert to diabetes, which is the world’s biggest threat to human health and productivity.”

Mr Eastwood said that Diabetes NSW shares information detailing the symptoms of diabetes and its complications on its website and other channels as well as offers programs, events and services to help people manage their diabetes.

The New South Wales branch of Diabetes Australia is now urging people who experience the symptoms of diabetes, including extreme thirst, frequent urination, tiredness and weight loss, to seek help from a health care professional.

“This is a reminder that all incidences of diabetes are on the rise and people should have regular checks with their general practitioner – particularly where symptoms are present – and if the symptoms persist, then to continue to seek answers. Diabetes doesn’t go away,” Mr Eastwood said.

For more information about diabetes and Diabetes NSW products and services, please contact 1300 342 238.

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