“Normal” growth symptoms turn out to be a warning signs of illness

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"In my wildest imagination, I wouldn't have guessed this diagnosis. Know these basic symptoms and look for patterns over time.”

After successfully rearing her two daughters into adulthood, mum Stacey Crescitelli thought the changes her 14-year-old son Henry was experiencing were normal.

“His body was changing,” the mother told TODAY Parents. “He has always been kind of a solid boy with a large frame—never one of those reed thin, gangly boys—but suddenly, he was becoming one.”

After all, these were commonplace signs of adolescence—or so Stacey and husband Joe thought.

It wasn’t until Henry began exhibiting new and alarming symptoms did the Pennsylvania parents started to worry.

Suddenly the teen was experiencing vertigo, frequent headaches, dizziness, stomach aches.

"One minute he was in the kitchen getting water, and the next he was asking me to help him to the couch because he couldn't walk or focus his eyes," Stacey said.

Photo credit: Stacey Crescitelli / TODAY

Photo credit: Stacey Crescitelli / TODAY

Then his legs started aching.

"We assured him that this was normal when someone was growing rapidly and that he could try to stretch and maybe not sleep with the giant family dog so he could have more room at night.”

When Henry lost 25 pounds, Stacey and Joe decided to take action.

“My husband and I suspected maybe he was depressed, until one night Joe just looked at me and we both kind of knew that something now was very wrong.”

They called their nurse practitioner and had their son’s blood and urine tested.

Henry was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. By the time he diagnosis, he had gone into a full-blown diabetic ketoacidosis. He had to be hospitalized at the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania for four days until he was stabilized.

Find out more about Type 1 Diabetes on the next page

Health / Wellness