- Carly Pink-O’Sullivan was walking long distances and swimming on dream trip
- She thought she was suffering thirst, numb toes and hairloss as a result
- But the Perth resident actually had undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes
- Said: ‘I assumed I wouldn’t be affected because I was fit and healthy’
A backpacker who was drinking up to 12 litres of water a day was shocked to discover her raging thirst was a symptom of diabetes.
Carly Pink-O’Sullivan, 30, was walking long distances and regularly swimming during a dream world trip – and thought she was suffering from extreme thirst, numb toes and hairloss as a result.
But Carly, from Perth, WA, was actually suffering from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes, and could have died every time she worked out.
Carly, who is also a nutrition and dietetics student, was diagnosed after a backpacking trip across China, Nepal and Europe.
The fitness enthusiast said: ‘My hair was falling out and I was always so thirsty – at one point drinking up to 12 litres of water a day – and I was really skinny and always hungry but I didn’t realise those were symptoms of diabetes.
‘I worked out every day, I ate a healthy diet and I was the healthiest person in my entire family – so when I was diagnosed I just couldn’t believe I had diabetes.
‘I assumed my hair was falling out because I was swimming a lot in the ocean and chlorine pools, it got worse as I was travelling in Bali but finally stopped when I was diagnosed and started using insulin.
During her trip she would often experience headaches, sweating, shakiness and double vision when working out – which can be signs of a potentially-fatal hypoglycemic episode.
‘When I was in Berlin in 2013 my toes were numb for a number of weeks and I initially thought it could have been because of the cold weather and wearing boots all the time,’ she said.