The symptoms of diabetes in children begin when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to metabolize blood sugar. This condition is known as type I diabetes mellitus (also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin dependant diabetes).

The symptoms of juvenile diabetes in children can come on quickly. The symptoms of diabetes in young children can be masked by other conditions, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, a virus, bladder infection or just a growth spurt or teething. It is often times harder to recognize symptoms in children because they have a difficult time communicating specific discomforts to us.

Pre-diabetes symptoms in children can start out as simply as increased thirst, increased appetite, increased need to sleep, crabbiness, and needing to go potty more often (or more wet diapers in untrained children). Often times, parents do not think much of this because these symptoms usually occur during growth spurts, as well.


What are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Children?


The first symptoms of diabetes in children are usually those listed above. However, as previously stated, children experience these types of symptoms regularly just because they are children.

Additional early symptoms of diabetes in children include weight loss or difficulty gaining weight, sores that take a long time to heal, dry or itchy skin, blurred vision, body rash, tingling or discomfort in feet or hands, and sleepiness.


Diagnosing the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Children


If you suspect that your child has the symptoms of diabetes, contact your pediatrician to discuss the signs and to schedule diagnostic tests. Diabetes is easy for your pediatrician to determine. Blood and urine tests can quickly confirm or rule out type I diabetes mellitus.

It is important to remember that the symptoms of type I diabetes come on very quickly in children. If you have noticed symptoms coming on quickly and progressively getting worse, it is important to have your child tested immediately.


Treating Diabetes in Children


Since the pancreas does not produce adequate amounts of the insulin hormone to metabolize blood sugar, treatment for type I diabetes typically includes insulin supplementation through injections or the use of an insulin pump.

Your pediatrician will also recommend that you monitor and log your child’s blood sugar several times a day, log the food your child consumes, and log insulin dosages. You will also need to make sure that your child is getting adequate amounts of activity each day.

Type I diabetes can be managed and your child can live a healthy and happy life with this condition. Be sure to have your child tested if you suspect diabetes, and follow your pediatrician’s recommendations. If you are interested in alternative or natural treatments for you child, ask your pediatrician for a referral to a naturopath or to a diabetic specialist.


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