Signs And Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes In Children
The signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes can develop rapidly in children. Its essential to be aware of them so that you can get medical help quickly. The most common symptoms of diabetes in children are the four Ts tired, thirsty, toilet, thinner.
Your child may appear:
- They need to wee more often
- Lose weight without trying
- Seem thirsty all the time
However, not every child will have these symptoms some may have tummy pain, vomiting, or new behavioural problems. If youre worried, contact your doctor. Its easy to check for diabetes, and early treatment can prevent your child from becoming severely unwell.
The Symptoms Of Diabetes In Children
As parents may not mention these symptoms a doctor must carefully draw out this information. Also, bedding wetting in a previously dry child can be one of the first symptoms in 89% of children over the age of 4 years. Recurrent infections can also be a presentation. Oral or genital thrush can be present.
If diabetic ketoacidosis has already occurred, the symptoms can include vomiting and abdominal pain deep sighing breathing called Kussmaul breathing and reduced levels of consciousness. All these symptoms can be misdiagnosed as acute asthma/pneumonia or possible gastroenteritis/appendicitis if the doctor is not aware of polyuria and polydipsia.
Spotting The Signs And Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes In Your Child
Type 1 diabetes can appear, at first, like a curious type of flu. Your childs healthcare team may suggest its simply a virus and send them home to rest, but ignoring the symptoms and delaying diagnosis and proper treatment can be life threatening.
The first sign of type 1 diabetes in children of any age is usually a sharp increase in their thirst and need to urinate, and this generally starts when blood sugar levels are persistently above 200 mg/dL, explains Allison Pollock, pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
This intense thirst and need to urinate happens when sugar builds up in the blood, over 200 mg/dL, and is then filtered out of the blood into the urine by the kidneys, explains Pollock. Without enough insulin in the body, the sugar in the blood goes into the urine, which is why your body has less and less energy as blood sugars continue to rise.
Your child will feel unquenchably thirsty as the body continues to draw fluid from everywhere in the body in order to pass the excessive amounts of glucose being filtered by the kidneys. This can also mean that potty-trained toddlers and children may start wetting their pants or their bed as they struggle to keep up with the intense need to urinate more often, explains the JDRF.
Your child may present with several or all of these top four symptoms of undiagnosed T1D, according to the JDRF:
- intense thirst and an increased need to urinate
- fatigue or lethargy
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Can Diabetes Be Prevented
At this time there is no known prevention strategy for type 1 diabetes, but type 2 can sometimes be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices.
If you have a family history of type 1 diabetes, you notice symptoms of diabetes in your toddler, or your little one has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you can prevent complications by:
Helping your little one maintain good blood sugar levels as much as possible
Helping your toddler follow a healthy diet
Encouraging your toddler to get active
Scheduling regular visits with your childâs healthcare provider or diabetes specialist .
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by making appropriate lifestyle choices, so encourage healthy habits in your toddler from an early age by:
Providing healthy meals and snacks. Give your little one a range of nutritious foods, focusing on fruit, vegetables, lean sources of protein and dairy, and whole grains, and avoiding giving sugary sweets and drinks, high calorie treats, and food high in fat.
Keeping your toddler physically active. Try to get your little one active for at least 60 minutes a dayâmake it fun and maybe even do it together. Staying fit and active together can have great health benefits for you too!
Is There Any Way To Treat Diabetes In Toddlers
If the diagnosis comes back positive for diabetes, treatment can begin immediately.
Your child may be assigned a diabetes treatment teamâincluding a doctor, dietitian, and diabetes educatorâwho will work closely with you to help keep your toddlerâs blood sugar level as normal as possible.
Although there is no cure for diabetes, with treatment and consistent care your little one can go on to have a normal life. Treatment depends on whether your toddler has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but the treatment plan may include:
Blood sugar monitoring. You will need to check your toddlerâs blood sugar levels frequently, at least 4 times a day for type 1. Testing helps you make sure your little oneâs blood sugar levels are within the target range. Your healthcare provider will tell you what this range should be, as this will change as your child grows.
Taking insulin. If your toddler has type 1 diabetes, then life-long treatment with insulin will be necessary. Some cases of type 2 diabetes also require insulin. Insulin is often given as an injection but is sometimes administered through a pump. Your toddlerâs healthcare provider will show you how to give injections or use the pump, and when your child grows old enough the provider will be able to show her how to do it for herself.
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Causes Of Type 1 Diabetes In Children
While researchers have made dramatic strides in helping people living with diabetes manage the disease, there is no cure and the specific reasons why someone develops type 1 diabetes are still unknown. We do know that people living with type 1 diabetes have shown a genetic predisposition that is coupled with a causative event. For some people this could be a virus, an infection, or possibly another illness.
Additionally, a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that cases of type 1 diabetes in children and teenagers significantly increased over a period from 2002-2015.
How Does My Diet Affect Diabetes
A healthy diet is an important part of managing Type 1 diabetes. The right foods can help keep your blood pressure and blood glucose in check. Healthy meal planning for people without Type 1 diabetes is similar to healthy meal planning for people with Type 1 diabetes:
- Avoid foods with added sugar, sodium and trans fats.
- Eat a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
- Read nutrition labels to select foods with more fiber and less sugar.
- Skip the highly processed foods found in cans or packages.
In addition, it’s important for people with Type 1 diabetes to understand how foods with carbohydrates impact their blood sugar levels and how much insulin to take for various amounts of carbs. Work with your healthcare team to figure out the best plan for you.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can come on over time or suddenly. Sometimes, kids dont have diabetes symptoms yet and the condition is discovered when blood or urine tests are done for another reason. Kids who show symptoms may:
- need to pee a lot
- start to wet the bed after having been dry at night
- be thirstier and drink more than usual
- feel tired often
- lose weight
Sign : Frequent Urination
What goes in must come out, so it stands to reason that a child who is drinking more will also visit the washroom more. If your kid is taking an unusual number of bathroom breaks, there may be an underlying and serious reason behind it. A younger child who was previously toilet trained at night may start to wet the bed again.
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Other Symptoms Of Diabetes In Children
Be on the lookout if your child is lethargic, shows heavy breathing, or experiences nausea and vomiting. When it goes untreated, type 1 diabetes can be life-threatening. If youre concerned that your son or daughter is showing signs of childhood diabetes its important that you schedule a doctors appointment as soon as possible.
Trialnet Research: If A Parent Or Sibling Has Type 1 Diabetes
The leading organization exploring the genetic components and other causes of diabetes in children is TrialNet, an international network of the worlds leading T1D researchers. At clinic sites around the world, they are testing the autoantibodies in children up to age 18 who are a direct relative of someone with type 1 diabetes a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandparent.
Autoantibodies are produced in the body when your immune system is attacking itself, which is what happens in the development of type 1 diabetes.
TrialNets research has pinpointed at least two important details about identifying T1D in children:
- Even if a childs insulin production isnt noticeably impaired resulting in diagnosable blood sugar levels until they are 10 years old, they will likely test positive for two or more autoantibodies before the age of 5. This can help put the child on watch for a T1D diagnosis.
- A child who tests positive for only one or zero autoantibodies by 5 years old is significantly less likely to develop type 1 diabetes.
If a child does test positive for two or more autoantibodies, TrialNet researchers can enroll them in one of several ongoing studies that aim to prevent the full onset of the disease with immunotherapy drugs that suppress the immune systems attack on the pancreas.
Visit TrialNet today to see if your child qualifies for autoantibody testing.
OK, so your child has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. What happens now?
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Newly Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes
It can be difficult to know where to get started with your new type 1 diagnosis, but were here to help you find the information you need.
As well as reading through the guidance and advice on this page, why not try our Learning Zone? With videos, quizzes and interactive tools tailored just for you, its the perfect way to discover more about your diabetes.
“She made me feel normal, when my normal had completely changed.”
– Laura, on being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Read her story.
Do Children With Type 1 Diabetes Will Require Insulin
Children with type 1 diabetes will require insulin. There are various regimens and insulin will be started on the day of referral. Support and Education are carried out by a multidisciplinary team consisting of doctors, diabetes specialist nurses, and dieticians.
In Italy, a hard-hitting, inexpensive campaign of information aimed at doctors and the public about the early symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children, greatly reduced the incidence of DKA at diagnosis. A similar campaign is needed in the UK
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Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
Type 1 diabetes develops gradually, but the symptoms may seem to come on suddenly. If you notice that you or your child have several of the symptoms listed below, make an appointment to see the doctor. Heres why symptoms seem to develop suddenly: something triggers the development of type 1 diabetes menstruation There are also signs of type 1 diabetes. Signs are different from symptoms in that they can be measured objectively symptoms are experienced and reported by the patient. Signs of type 1 diabetes include: Weight lossdespite eating more Rapid heart rate Reduced blood pressure Low body temperature There is an overall lack of public awareness of the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Making yourself aware of the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes is a great way to be proactive about your health and the health of your family members. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, its possible that you have type 1 diabetes. A doctor can make that diagnosis by checking blood glucose levels.Continue reading > >
Sign : Changes In Eyesight
A high blood glucose level causes fluid to be pulled from other body tissues, including eye lenses. This may lead to blurred vision or other eyesight problems. However, a young child may not complain to you about it.They dont know what normal is, the way adults would, says Clement. And some of them arent even reading yet.
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Antibodies: Antibody Testing Specific To Type 1 Diabetes Can Also Be Performed
Most people with type 1 diabetes have antibodies in their blood that show this is an autoimmune disease, said Dr. Jordan Pinsker, vice president and medical director of Tandem Diabetes Care, who is also a leading pediatric endocrinologist. Not everyone has them, but most people do. Were always discovering antibodies. Were up to five now. A diagnosis can be made by repeated high blood glucose values, fasting, or after meals. An elevated A1c value can support the diagnosis.
Even without testing, there are still symptoms of diabetes in children and symptoms of diabetes in teenagers that a parent or caregiver can monitor.
Testing For Type 1 Diabetes
Even if not in an emergency situation, if you suspect your child may have T1D, insist that their healthcare team draw a blood sample to measure blood sugar levels and collect a urine sample to measure both glucose and ketone levels.
You may have to be very persistent, because it is not at all uncommon for doctors to miss the telltale signs of T1D.
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What Is Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a disease that prevents your pancreas from making insulin. In some cases, it doesnt make any insulin. In other cases, it doesnt make enough. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. It helps glucose from food get into your cells to use for energy.
If you dont have enough insulin, too much sugar builds up in your blood. Hyperglycemia can lead to serious health problems or even death. People with Type 1 diabetes need insulin each day.
Type 1 diabetes was previously known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes.
Can Symptoms Appear Suddenly
In people with type 1 diabetes, the onset of symptoms can be very sudden, while in type 2 diabetes, they tend to come about more gradually, and sometimes there are no signs at all.
Symptoms sometimes occur after a viral illness. In some cases, a person may reach the point of diabetic ketoacidosis before a type 1 diagnosis is made. DKA occurs when blood glucose is dangerously high and the body can’t get nutrients into the cells because of the absence of insulin. The body then breaks down muscle and fat for energy, causing an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine. Symptoms of DKA include a fruity odor on the breath, heavy, taxed breathing and vomiting. If left untreated, DKA can result in stupor, unconsciousness, and even death.
People who have symptomsof type 1 or of DKAshould contact their health care provider immediately for an accurate diagnosis. Keep in mind that these symptoms could signal other problems, too.
Some people with type 1 have a “honeymoon” period, a brief remission of symptoms while the pancreas is still secreting some insulin. The honeymoon phase usually occurs after someone has started taking insulin. A honeymoon can last as little as a week or even up to a year. But its important to know that the absence of symptoms doesn’t mean the diabetes is gone. The pancreas will eventually be unable to secrete insulin, and, if untreated, the symptoms will return.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can develop gradually in children for this reason, there may be no noticeable symptoms. Type 2 diabetes may be diagnosed during a routine check-up. However, some children and teens may have these symptoms:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent bladder infections
- Irritability and mood changes
If your child or teenager has any of these symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention promptly. Treatment depends on the extent of the symptoms, as well as your childs overall health. The goal of treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.
Can Type 1 Diabetes Can Be Diagnosed With A Single Finger Stick Blood Glucose Test
Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed with a single finger- stick blood glucose test if the proper technique is followed. Scrupulously clean hands washed and thoroughly dried. The diagnostic criteria for diabetes in adults and children is a random sample blood glucose concentration over 11.1 mmol/L. If the symptoms are suggestive of diabetes then this must be ruled out. Children and young people should NOT wait for fasting blood glucose tests. The finger sticks capillary test will be confirmed with a lab test of the blood glucose once the child arrives at the hospital.
A child or young people with a high blood glucose level should be referred promptly on the same day to secondary care.
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Changes In Urinary Frequency
An increase in the amount of times your child is going to the bathroom has a direct correlation to a sudden increased water intake, and it could be cause for concern. Noticeable changes in urination and stool contents also warrants an eyebrow raise.
“We would hear him up all night long using the bathroom. During the day, he would sometimes go every 15 minutes,” says Kim Streif, a teacher in Iowa and a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes. That warning signal was enough for them to go to the hospital. By the time they got there, their son’s blood sugar level was 768, compared to a normal range of 80-150.
“Throughout the week leading up to that day, Chris and I had noticed that Sam was using the bathroom more frequently and drinking a lot of water and Gatorade,” Streif said. “It was nice outside and the kids were bored from being home all week, so we just attributed it to being more active outside.”