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Signs Your Kid Has Diabetes

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The Cause Of Type 1 Diabetes

How To Know If Your Child Has Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If a person who has a genetic tendency to develop diabetes comes in to contact with a trigger in the environment, then diabetes may develop.

Many people who have a genetic tendency to develop diabetes do not get diabetes, so researchers are trying to find out more about what the environmental triggers are. These triggers are poorly understood, but may be common things in our environment such as viruses.

If diabetes is triggered, the body’s immune system, which normally protects us from infection, begins to attack the insulin-making cells which are called beta cells, in the pancreas. The immune system starts to destroy the beta cells, causing a decrease in insulin production. It can take from a few weeks to a few years for all the beta cells to be destroyed.

Symptoms of diabetes do not occur until more than 90 percent of the beta cells have been destroyed. This means that it is difficult to tell if a person is developing diabetes, until the symptoms of diabetes occur. It is important to remember the following points:

  • you cannot catch diabetes from another person – it is not contagious
  • type 1 diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar or any other foods
  • there is nothing you could have done differently to prevent your child from getting type 1 diabetes
  • your child cannot grow out of type 1 diabetes – it does not change to type 2 diabetes as they get older

Recognizing The Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes In Children

Unlike T1DM, the symptoms of type 2 most often present gradually. This means that often, there are no noticeable symptoms until later down the line. For many type 2 children, their diagnosis is picked up coincidentally during routine check-ups.

Children with type 2 Diabetes may develop patches of darkened skin on their armpits or neck. This can happen due to insulin resistance and these symptoms occur more often in type 2s than in type 1s. Other symptoms that are more likely to present in type 2 diabetes include yeast infections, diaper rashes and slow healing of cuts.

Type 2 diabetes is more likely to occur during adolescence the risk of developing T2DM increases as a person ages. The risk of type 2 diabetes can heighten with increasing body weight. This means that children who are overweight or obese should pay particular attention to possible symptoms and receive regular screening from their doctor.

Get The Support You Need

Diabetes Canada is here to help provide information and support so that your child can live a healthy life. A positive and realistic attitude toward diabetes can help make it easier.

Talking to other people with kids with type 1 diabetes is a great way to learn, and to feel less alone.

Your health-care team is there to help you too. Depending on the resources available in your community, your team may include a family doctor, diabetes educator , endocrinologist, pharmacist, social worker, exercise physiologist, psychologist, foot-care specialist, and eye-care specialist.

Your team can answer your questions about how to manage diabetes and work with you to adjust food plans, activity and medications.

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Sign : Diabetic Ketoacidosis

DKA can happen in a child with undiagnosed diabetes and is a medical emergency. As the body runs out of insulin for breaking down glucose, it starts to burn fat for energy instead. This leads to a buildup of acidic byproducts called ketones. DKA changes the pH of your blood and is a very dangerous condition, notes Clement.

Signs your child is in crisis can include vomiting, stomach pain, fast breathing, flushed face, fruity breath odour and fatigue. DKA may progress very quickly and can be fatal. But its also preventable. The more that parents, teachers and camp counsellors are aware of the early signs of diabetes in children, the more likely it is that DKA can be averted.

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What Happens When Diabetes Is Left Untreated

6 Signs That Your Child May Have Diabetes

Diabetes may be common, but that doesnt mean that your toddler should not be checked and treated ASAP.

Do not assume that because your little bubsy is still young enough that his health wont be negatively affected because you couldnt get out of the house and take him to a doctor.

Kidney disease is probably the most prevalent diabetes-related health issues toddlers face.

In 2011, 228,924 people of all ages who had kidney failure due to diabetes were living with either a kidney transplant or were living on chronic dialysis .

Later issues which your growing toddler may be forced to deal with is hypoglycemia, hypertension, an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, blindness or other eye issues, and one or lower limbs may need to be amputated.

Read Also: Normal A1c Range For Diabetics

Actions For Parents To Take

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, its important to call their pediatrician immediately and take them in to have their blood glucose level checked right away, Dr. Yousuf said. A simple blood test will determine if diabetes is the cause.

If diabetes is diagnosed, its important to follow the doctors instructions for monitoring the childs blood sugar levels, taking the prescribed medications, eating a healthy diet and getting proper exercise.

While there is no cure for Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 accounts for the vast majority of diabetes cases and can sometimes be reversed through a good diet and exercise regimen.

Why Do Some People Get Type 1 Diabetes

No one knows for sure why some people get type 1 diabetes. Doctors and scientists think a persons genes make them more likely to get it. But just having the genes for diabetes probably isn’t enough. Its likely that something else needs to happen. Scientists are studying if other things like some viral infections, a persons birth weight, or their diet might make someone who already has the genes for type 1 diabetes more likely to get it.

Type 1 diabetes cant be prevented, and can happen in people of any age.

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How Can You Manage Diabetes

The key to managing diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels in a target range. To do this, your child needs to take insulin, eat about the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal, and exercise. Part of your child’s daily routine also includes checking his or her blood sugar levels at certain times, as advised by your doctor.

The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely he or she is to have problems, such as diseases of the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. For some reason, children seem protected from these problems during childhood. But if your child can control his or her blood sugar levels every day, it may help prevent problems later on.

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

Mayo Clinic Minute: Does your child have diabetes? Symptoms to watch for

Without treatment, type 2 diabetes appears to progress faster in young people than in adults.

Younger people also seem to have a higher risk of complications, such as kidney and eye disease, earlier in life.

There is also a greater risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, which increase a persons risk of blood vessel disease.

Type 2 diabetes in children often occurs with obesity, which may contribute to these higher risks. Obesity affects the bodys ability to use insulin, leading to abnormal blood sugar levels.

Because of this, early detection of type 2 diabetes and attention to managing overweight and obesity in younger people are crucial.

This may include encouraging children to follow a healthful diet and get plenty of exercise.

The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence recommend testing children for diabetes if they:

  • have a strong family history of type 2 diabetes
  • have obesity
  • are of Black or Asian family origin
  • show evidence of insulin resistance, such as acanthosis nigricans

The outcomes for children with type 1 or type 2 diabetes improve greatly with early detection.

It is not currently possible to prevent type 1 diabetes, but type 2 diabetes is largely preventable.

The following steps can help prevent type 2 diabetes in childhood:

  • Maintain a moderate weight: Overweight increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as it increases the chance of

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Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes Onset In An Infant Or Child

The young child who is urinating frequently, drinking large quantities, losing weight, and becoming more and more tired and ill is the classic picture of a child with new-onset type 1 diabetes. If a child who is potty-trained and dry at night starts having accidents and wetting the bed again, diabetes might be the culprit.

Although it is easy to make the diagnosis diabetes in a child by checking blood sugar at the doctors office or emergency room, the tricky part is recognizing the symptoms and knowing to take the child to get checked. Raising the awareness that young children, including infants, can get type 1 diabetes can help parents know when to check for type 1 diabetes.

Sometimes children can be in diabetic ketoacidosis when they are diagnosed with diabetes. When there is a lack of insulin in the body, the body can build up high levels of an acid called ketones. DKA is a medical emergency that usually requires hospitalization and immediate care with insulin and IV fluids. After diagnosis and early in treatment, some children may go through a phase where they seem to be making enough insulin again. This is commonly called the honeymoon phase. It may seem like diabetes has been cured, but over time they will require appropriate doses of insulin to keep their blood sugar levels in the normal range.

Learn What Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms Look Like In Children And Teens

When diabetes occurs in children its usually, a condition where the pancreas produces little or no, which is needed in the bodys conversion of food into energy.

In 2019, 283,000 children and adolescents younger than 20or 35 per 10,000 US youthshad diagnosed diabetes. This included 244,000 with type 1 diabetes.¹

While diagnoses are increasing in youths and teens², this assessment focuses on the symptoms and risk factors of type 1 diabetes. Most people with T1D first experience symptoms in childhood, typically between ages 4 and 14. A small number, however, develop symptoms in infancy or toddlerhood.

Information in this quiz is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. Content is not intended to substitute for consulting a medical professional. Always consult a trained medical professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard medical advice as a result of something you may have read on EndocrineWeb.

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Once The Diagnosis Has Been Made

Traditionally, most children with new onset type I diabetes, and particularly the youngest ones, have been hospitalized to stabilize their hyperglycemia and to provide the initial education of their families. In more recent years, there has been a trend away from hospitalization at diagnosis except under certain circumstances . The Hospital for Sick Children has found this to be no less true for infants and toddlers than for older children and teens. Indications for hospitalization include the severity of their condition at diagnosis , family living far from the hospital with difficulty attending on a daily basis, or if the responsible physician is not certain that the family understands the significance of the diagnosis or may be unlikely to attend the day care education program. The latter may be due to the presence of a language barrier or part of a severe emotional response to the diagnosis.

How Can I Best Balance My Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms And Daily Life

Could your child have Type 1 Diabetes? Know the Signs ...

Fortunately, there are medications that can help keep T1D at bay and reduce the risk of long-term complications. Type 1 diabetics who cannot make their own insulin will need a way to deliver it to their bodies, either through a pump or through injections underneath the skin with syringes or pens.

When T1D is properly controlled, a person with the condition will show no signs or symptoms, because they are playing an active role in keeping their blood sugar levels steady.

Signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes can come on quickly, and they arent always obvious. Many times, theyre mistaken for other conditions. Making yourself aware of the signs and symptoms of T1D 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 in yourself or a loved one, get in touch with your doctor ASAP. They can make a diagnosis by checking blood glucose levels and A1C to start treatment before there are any complications.

Read Also: Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar In Type 2 Diabetes

Recognizing The Signs Of Type 1 Diabetes In Children

The symptoms of type 1 Diabetes are likely to present acutely and suddenly. If you notice the symptoms listed above that are occurring seemingly out-of-the-blue, it is important to get medical attention right away. This is especially pertinent if more than two of these symptoms are happening at the same time.

Type 1 diabetes is more common in younger children. Nonetheless, T1DM can happen at any time in ones life. While it is possible for DKA to happen in people with T2DM, this condition is more likely to happen in children with type 1.

Effective Treatments For Type 1 Diabetes


Children with type 1 diabetes need insulin to replace the insulin that the body cannot make anymore. Insulin is a hormone which you cannot take as an oral medicine – you must inject it into the layer of fat under the skin.

Healthy diet

A child with type 1 diabates needs to eat a healthy diet, just like a child without diabetes. They need a regular intake of carbohydrates for growth and development.

Physical activity

Physical activity is the best foundation for management of type 1 diabetes. Physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle.

Matching insulin to carbohydrates and physical activity

The amount of insulin a child with type 1 diabetes needs depends on the amount of carbohydrates they eat and the amount of physical activity they do. This is called matching insulin to carbohydrates and physical activity.

Learning about diabetes

There is a lot to learn about how to care for a child or young person with diabetes.

This learning involves the whole family, extended family, and other people that are involved in the life of a child or young person – school staff, friends, neighbours, sports coaches, etc.

Education and learning about type 1 diabetes is an ongoing process.

Check Diabetes – physical activity.

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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.

Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes

How to spot Type 1 diabetes in your child | Know Type 1 | Diabetes UK

Type 2 diabetes symptoms often take several years to develop. Some people dont notice any symptoms at all. Type 2 diabetes usually starts when youre an adult, though more and more children and teens are developing it. Because symptoms are hard to spot, its important to know the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Make sure to visit your doctor if you have any of them.

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Diabetes: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin

Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. When diabetes affects the skin, its often a sign that your blood sugar levels are too high. This could mean that:

  • You have undiagnosed diabetes, or pre-diabetes

  • Your treatment for diabetes needs to be adjusted

If you notice any of the following warning signs on your skin, its time to talk with your doctor.

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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