How to Spot Diabetes in Toddlers

Diabetes cases are on the rise, and they're affecting a wider range of patients than ever. Even toddlers can begin to show symptoms of the disease, but many parents don't know how to spot diabetes in toddlers, and as a result, wait too long to seek treatment for their children, resulting in a recovery that is longer and harder than necessary. The following symptoms may be early signs of diabetes in your child.

Excessive Thirst or Frequent Urination

Diabetes can be difficult to diagnose in children because it is harder to talk with them about how they're feeling. Doctors rely on external symptoms to identify the disease. One such symptom is excessive hunger or thirst. Your toddler may eat or drink normally and then ask for more only an hour or two later. This can be a sign of pre-diabetes or one of any number of other health issues, and should be addressed quickly.

Vision Problems

Vision screenings are now routinely recommended for all toddlers, and part of the reason is diabetes detection. It can change the shape of the eye or disrupt blood flow, causing rapid deterioration of sight. Because many toddlers may be unable or unwilling to talk about how they are seeing, it is vital that parents watch out for any indications that a child has trouble seeing.

Fruity-Smelling Breath

This is an unusual symptom, but can be very telling. Because diabetes interferes with the body's ability to regulate levels of sugar, diabetic toddlers' breath can smell sweet or even fruity.

Sudden Weight Changes

Large, unexpected changes in a toddlers weight, especially weight loss or failure to gain weight at the same rate as classmates, might be an indication of diabetes.

Lethargy or Weight Loss

Toddlers' energy levels routinely fluctuate a great deal from day to day. Nevertheless, a toddler who is always tired or seems physically exhausted to the point of labored breathing should be examined for diabetes right away.

Get Professional Help

If your child has any of the above signs or symptoms, or if you suspect—for whatever reason—that he or she may have diabetes or pre-diabetes, it's important that you talk with your family doctor immediately. Diabetes, while serious, can be successfully managed for a lifetime, assuming it is discovered soon enough.

Conclusions

Don't assume that your child can't have the disease if neither parent has it. In fact, some studies show that as many as ninety percent of juvenile diabetes cases occur in children with no relatives with the disease. Many parents don't know how to spot diabetes in toddlers. Don't be one of them.

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