Diabetes in children can be managed effectively with early intervention. Let us take a look at the common symptoms of diabetes in children.
Lifestyle in kids have changed a lot over last few decades and not all lifestyle habits have led to positive implications. Many kids are becoming the victim of diabetes making it one of the chronic diseases in kids. As the symptoms of diabetes are delicate, parents fail to recognize the signs and symptoms of diabetes in their kids until the child becomes very sick.
What is Diabetes?
When a person is having diabetes, the body fails to make energy from the food consumed. This happens because the body cannot produce required amount of insulin hormone or the insulin it produces is not doing its function properly. Without insulin, body cells cannot take sugar available in the food and cannot make energy. The sugar that remains unused passes out from the body through urine.
Types of Diabetes in Children
Diabetes is of two types Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the beta cells present in pancreas cannot produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is common in children. Studies have revealed that cases of juvenile diabetes is about five times the cases of meningitis in kids and in many cases, the symptoms and signs of diabetes remain unrecognized which becomes fatal for the children. Onset of Type 2 diabetes happens during puberty. Parents must keep in mind that there is no preventive measure and no cure for Type 1 diabetes. So, they must keep a close eye on their children to identify the symptoms that are unusual.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Children
Following are the signs and symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in children and these symptoms should not be neglected by the parents:
If parents observe that the child is constantly feeling thirsty then it could be Type 1 diabetes. As the level of glucose in the blood rises, more water is taken from body tissues. Such children will also have affinity for soft drinks and sweets.
If the child urinates frequently or the parents observe that their toilet trained kid is wetting bed quite often, it should not be ignored.
If child has rapid and sudden weight loss, it could be due to Type 1 diabetes. So, parents must take the child to the paediatrician immediately.
Child Gets Tired Easily
As the sugar present in the blood does not get transformed into energy in children with Type 1 diabetes, such children get tired easily.
If parents observe that their children are feeling extremely hungry and it is happening despite having their full meals and in between snacks, this symptom should not be ignored.
If a child shows symptoms like intense abdominal pain, vomiting, faster breathing rate, fatigue, and flushed face, it could be Diabetic Ketoacidosis where body starts burning the body fat to get energy. If untreated immediately, it could be fatal for the child.
Effects of Untreated Diabetes in Children
If diabetes remains untreated in a child, it can cause serious consequences in the child and the child will suffer lifelong. Untreated diabetes in children may increase short term risks like high blood sugar or hyperglycemia, low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia, and increased amount of ketones in urine or ketoacidosis. Long term effects of diabetes in kids include blindness, nerve damage, and kidney failure, higher risks of stroke or heart attack and amputations.
We cannot expect children to understand the long term effects of diabetes and be alert about any unusual symptom in their body. Ultimately it is responsibility of the parents to identify signs and symptoms of diabetes in their children and get them treated as early as possible. It is possible for a diabetic child to keep healthy provided that early diagnosis happens and the child undergoes proper medication.
Can children get affected with diabetes? How to prevent diabetes in children? What are the common signs and symptoms of diabetes in children? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team