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7 Signs Your Child May be a Type 1 Diabetic

Written by Courteney

Posted on February 24, 2017 at 1:00 pm

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Approximately 8.1 million Americans have undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes, many of whom are children or adolescents. Spotting a child who is diabetic isn’t always as straightforward as one may think. Type 1 diabetes usually has a quick onset, with the initial symptoms appearing in a matter of weeks. Know the signs so you can get your child (or a child you know) help right away if he or she has developed type 1 Diabetes. Major indicators include:

  1. Excessive thirst
  2. Increased urination
  3. Mood or behavioural changes such as irritability or lethargy
  4. Extreme hunger
  5. Sudden or significant weight loss
  6. Sudden vision problems
  7. Yeast infections

Other signs may include rapid breathing or a flushed face. In extreme cases of undiagnosed diabetes, the child may develop an acute, life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.

Why Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes is Commonly Missed

It is important to know the signs of type 1 juvenile diabetes, as they can be few and subtle. Many parents see their child running to the fridge for more snacks between meals and think they must just be going through a growth spurt. A toddler may be throwing up fruity milk, but perhaps it’s a strange, lingering stomach bug. A teacher may notice a particular student asking to use the washroom or go to the fountain more and just assume the student is simply restless in class. It is so easy to overlook these signs, but failing to recognizing them could be deadly. If you notice your child, a member of a team you coach, a child you babysit or teach is drinking more than the usual amount of fluids, excessively using the washroom or eating more but still losing weight, act fast.

When to Seek Help

If you believe your child is exhibiting the symptoms listed above, it is best to check it out right away. Don’t wait until more serious symptoms start to develop. Most children are diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 13, but type 1 diabetes can develop suddenly at any age. Some parents don’t think there is a need to rush to the doctor when they observe some of the above-mentioned symptoms. They may think to just wait and tell the doctor at the child’s next scheduled check-up, but this can be a grave mistake. Just as the disease often develops quickly, it can also progress just as rapidly. If left unchecked, the child’s blood sugar may elevate to dangerous levels, which can result in serious complications such as diabetic coma, or in extreme cases even death.

What Will the Doctor Do?

Once you express your concerns about diabetes, your child’s doctor will likely perform some tests such as checking the child’s blood sugar level in the office. If she is concerned about the results, your doctor may send your child directly to the hospital where he will be further evaluated and stabilized before being released. The hospital diabetes specialist or pediatrician will likely then explain all about diabetes to your child and show him how to take his medication, blood sugar level, as well as what foods not to eat too much of.

We hope you’ll have your eyes peeled for these signs of juvenile diabetes. Who knows – you may save a young life! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

 

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