Sometimes children with diabetes display clear signs of a problem, such as blurred vision or fruity-smelling breath. In other cases, however, the signs of the disease may be more subtle and difficult to detect. Though they have physical causes, some symptoms may appear to be behavioral in nature. Here are some subtle but important indicators that your child may have juvenile diabetes.
Excessive Thirst and Urination
When the blood sugar goes up, the kidneys work harder than normal trying to remove the excess sugar. Eventually, the amount of sugar exceeds what the kidneys can handle. When it does, there is no room in the sugar-saturated blood for water. Instead of being reabsorbed into the bloodstream, water gets flushed out of the body, causing an increase in urination and thirst. As your child drinks more and more fluid to combat this thirst, urinary output is pushed up even further, creating a vicious cycle. In some children, this cycle causes bed-wetting.
It’s no secret that children have voracious appetites, but your youngster should feel sated after a large meal full of his favorites. If he isn’t, it could be a sign of diabetes. Insulin is a means of transportation for sugar in the body. It is the chemical that actually moves sugar out of the bloodstream and into the body’s cells where it is used to make energy. If your child isn’t producing enough insulin, the body’s cells won’t have enough sugar to power themselves and will always be craving more. This results in constant hunger that simply refuses to be satisfied.
Unexplained Weight Loss
If your child is eating more than normal but losing weight, it’s time to visit a healthcare professional, like those at Entira Family Clinics. Often the first clear symptom of juvenile diabetes, weight loss occurs when the body uses fat to produce energy because the cells aren’t getting enough sugar. Once the fat stores have been depleted, the body will attack muscle tissue. Always seek treatment for an unexpected weight drop in your child.
Fatigue and Irritability
Every child has occasional bad days and bouts of crankiness, but pay close attention to lasting mood changes. Excessive tiredness and irritability can both be signs of diabetes, especially when they seem to last more than a day or two. A bad mood by itself may be an isolated incident, but do some digging when it lasts and occurs with other potential diabetic symptoms. The same is true of excessive fatigue. A child who always seems tired may not be getting enough energy due to a lack of insulin. If you can’t find an explanation for the fatigue, seek medical advice.
Juvenile diabetes is manageable and children with the condition lead healthy, happy lives. The condition can be fatal, however, if left untreated. If you notice potential diabetes symptoms in your child, have a blood test done to check for the disease. Don’t wait, as early detection and treatment are key to avoiding potential complications.