What Symptoms Do Children With Diabetes Exhibit
Like adults, a number of symptoms may give early warning that diabetes has developed.
One or more of the following symptoms may be associated with diabetes:
- Frequent urination
Amongst children, specific symptoms may include stomach aches, headaches and behavioural problems.
Recurrent tummy pains and an unexplainable history of illness should be treated as possible heralds of diabetes.
Early Diagnosis Of Type 1 Diabetes Is Vital To Avoid Diabetic Ketoacidosis And In Making Sure That Parents Carers And Non
Diabetes UK recommends that any child suspected to have Type 1 diabetes should be seen on the same day by a specialist paediatric diabetes team for confirmation of the diagnosis and management.
Specialist paediatric diabetes teams should be aware of the rarer forms of diabetes and undertake further investigations if a child shows characteristics of these rarer forms
We developed this position statement through reviewing the relevant literature, reviewing current National Paediatric Diabetes Audit data and discussions with expert clinicians through Diabetes UKs Council of Healthcare Professionals and expert paediatric diabetes clinicians. We gained further insight by engaging with parents and children through focus groups, events and social media to find out their experiences.
Outbreak Of Small Reddish
When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. Youll usually find these bumps on the buttocks, thighs, crooks of the elbows, or backs of the knees. They can form anywhere though.
These bumps appear suddenly and clear promptly when diabetes is well-controlled.
When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. Youll usually find these bumps on the buttocks, thighs, crooks of the elbows, or backs of the knees. They can form anywhere though. No matter where they form, they are usually tender and itchy. The medical name for this skin condition is eruptive xanthomatosis.
- Tell your doctor about the bumps because this skin condition appears when you have uncontrolled diabetes.
- Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes.
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Tips For Parents: How To Manage Diabetes In Your Toddler
If your toddler is diagnosed with diabetes, your medical team will make sure your little one gets a great treatment plan.
Diabetes does require lots of attentive care and lifestyle changes that can be challenging to explain and enforce with a toddler, but there are steps you can take to make things a little easier and help reduce the risk of complications:
Help your child make healthy food choices. Diet plays an essential role in managing diabetes, so try to help your little one establish good habits at a young age. You can do things together as a family such as cooking healthy meals together and sitting down to eat without distractions. Try to introduce more fruits and veggies with each meal, and set a positive example for your little one when it comes to your own eating habits.
Get your toddler active. Exercise is important when it comes to diabetes, so take advantage of any fun ways to get your toddler moving each day.
Have your child wear a medical identification tag or bracelet. If a medical emergency occurs, this tag or bracelet identifies that your child is diabetic to the medical team or anyone who comes to your childâs aid. You can ask your healthcare provider for more information about getting one of these.
Help your little one develop a relationship with the diabetes treatment team. Explain to your child that the members of her treatment team are there to help her and are her friends help her develop positive associations with them.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes
If your child has any of these signs and symptoms, please go to your family doctor or health professional for advice.
People with type 1 and type 2 can have the following symptoms:
- excessive thirst and drinking
- dark skin pigmentation in certain areas on the body
In type 1, the symptoms generally come on rapidly.
In type 2, the symptoms usually develop gradually. Some children or young people who have symptoms need to go to hospital where they receive a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and start on insulin. Over time, they may be able to gradually stop having insulin. Many people with type 2 will have no symptoms and are only diagnosed after screening on a routine medical check.
The development of type 1 diabetes is a medical emergency, and your child will need to go to hospital.
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Do You Have Any Of Those Symptoms
If you experience any of those early signs of diabetes, visit your GP to test your blood sugar levels.
They can even do a non-invasive finger prick test first to get a general idea, followed by a HbA1c test.
An early diagnosis can stop these temporary symptoms from becoming permanent.
About Joe Leech, Dietitian
Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science, followed by a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.
Learn more about him on the About page.
Joe Leech, Dietitian
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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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.
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 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.
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
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Complications Of Diabetes In Children And Adolescents
Diabetes can cause immediate complications and long-term complications. The most serious immediate complication is diabetic ketoacidosis.
Long-term complications are usually due to social and psychologic issues or to blood vessel problems. Although blood vessel problems take years to develop, the better the control of diabetes, the less likely that complications will ever occur.
How Is Diabetes Caused In Children
The actual causes of the diabetic condition are little understood, in both children and adults. It is widely speculated that diabetes occurred when inherited genetic characteristics are triggered by environmental factors such as diet or exercise.
A diagnosis of diabetes can be a trying time for a family. There is a lot of information to take i, much of which will be learnt from day to day diabetes management.
The most common form of diabetes in children is type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the bodys immune system reacts against its own cells. There is no link with being overweight for type 1 diabetes. This form of diabetes can come on at any age, even before a child has become a year old in some cases.
The symptoms of diabetes may be noticed by your child becoming unusually thirsty on a regular basis and going to the toilet more than usual. Your child may become very tired and hungry and lose significant weight.
Vomiting, in addition to other symptoms above, could indicate dangerously high blood sugar levels a condition known as ketoacidosis.
Treatment for type 1 diabetes will involve injections of insulin. These days some children may be put onto an insulin pump, which can be beneficial for keeping blood sugar under control. Injections are rarely welcomed by children but, after the initial shock, they commonly get used to the idea.
Many type 1 diabetic children do not have diabetes in their families however, so the exact cause remains a mystery.
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How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
If you have symptoms of diabetes, your doctor will check your blood sugar level. If it is high, this means you have diabetes.
Sometimes your doctor may be unsure about what kind of diabetes you have. If this happens, your doctor will run blood tests to check for autoantibodies. These indicate there is damage to the cells that make insulin. They occur in type 1 diabetes. Ketones in your urine also suggest type 1 diabetes. If you are sick and might have DKA, other lab tests will be done.
It may take many weeks for your doctor to confirm a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Its possible to have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Indirect Risks Of Alcohol Use For Teenagers With Diabetes
The indirect risks faced by a person with diabetes who drinks alcohol include:
- Forgetting to take insulin as required.
- Forgetting to carry diabetes identification in case of emergency.
- Others mistaking the signs of hypoglycaemia for simply being drunk and not coming to the aid of a person with diabetes.
If your teenager has been drinking alcohol, make sure they are woken at a reasonable time the following morning to check their blood glucose level, take their insulin and eat. They may need assistance from a trusted friend or relative with some of these tasks.
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How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, certain blood tests are performed to diagnose hypoglycemia.
For those who have symptoms of hypoglycemia and do not have diabetes, the underlying disorder is diagnosed by:
- Measuring blood glucose and other metabolic fuels such as lactate and ketones, and hormone levels while the child is experiencing the symptoms.
- Some patients with hypoglycemia must be admitted to the hospital to undergo a supervised fasting study to reproduce the low blood sugar episode and to safely collect the needed blood tests.
Living With Type 1 Diabetes
With the right care and support, a child with type 1 diabetes can lead a healthy and happy life.
Type 1 diabetes needs careful daily management to ensure glucose levels remain stable and within a healthy range. This involves a careful balance between food intake, exercise and medication.
Type 1 diabetes is treated by replacing the bodys missing insulin and people with this condition must:
- use insulin every day
- regularly test their blood glucose or use a glucose sensor
- eat a healthy diet matched with the insulin dose
- take exercise as any other child of the same age.
Education to enable self-management is the cornerstone of diabetes care and continues at all ages and for the duration of the illness.
Diabetes Queensland has a wealth of information for children and teens who have recently been diagnosed with, or are living with diabetes, including information about school action and management plans for students with diabetes, exams, sport days and school camps, as well as resources for schools, parents and carers.
Having a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can be scary and upsetting for parents and carers. Diabuddies is a supportive community for parents and carers of children living with type 1 diabetes, where you can connect, ask questions, and feel supported.
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Diabetes In Toddlers: Causes Signs And Treatment
Diabetes is a chronic condition that can appear at any age, even in the first year of a childâs life. Sometimes, the diagnosis is delayed in babies and young children because diabetes symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses. The most common signs of diabetes in toddlers include an increase in thirst and more frequent or increased urination. Read on to find out more about the signs of diabetes and how diabetes is diagnosed, as well as what treatments may be available, and what you can do day-to-day to manage diabetes in your toddler.
Early Signs Of Diabetes You Must Know
Diabetes is sneaky.
The early symptoms can go unnoticed for months or years.
In fact, 1 in 3 people with type 2 diabetes dont know they have it.
1 in 3.
Most actually do experience the early signs but dont realise or understand what they are.
Early detection and treatment can have a profound impact on your long-term health. A 3-year delay in diagnosis increases your relative risk of heart disease by 29% .
Therefore by knowing what to look for, you can take control of the situation before it takes control of you.
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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.
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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Infections In Kids With Diabetes
Children with type 1 diabetes may also have symptoms of an infection, such as fever, cough, vomiting, or a sore throat. It is often an infection that triggers the diagnosis.
The infection doesn’t cause the child to have diabetes. But before the infection, the child may have been able to drink plenty of fluids to keep up with their frequent urination. When they get sick, they fall behind on fluid intake. That can lead to dehydration and worsening symptoms, even progression to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be a medical emergency.
Key Points To Remember About Diabetes In Children
Diabetes happens when the level of glucose in the blood is too high.
- diabetes is a condition where the level of glucose in the blood is too high
- that’s because the body is not using the glucose properly
- in type 1 diabetes, the main problem is that the insulin-making cells in the pancreas are destroyed and not able to make enough insulin
- in type 2 diabetes, the main problem is that the body is not able to use the insulin effectively due to resistance to insulin
- both forms of diabetes are lifelong conditions – once diagnosed as having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your child will always have it
- you can minimise the long-term risks and complications for your child
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Every Year About 2000 Children Are Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes
Every year about 2,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes but a quarter of them will be seriously ill with DKA, a metabolic catastrophe before the diagnosis has been made.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis is the main cause of mortality and morbidity in children with type 1 diabetes. 10 children a year die from DKA in the UK. Most of these deaths are due to cerebral edema, swelling of the brain tissue, which is more common when DKA occurs.