Identify The Symptoms Of Juvenile Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes, occurs when one’s pancreas stops producing insulin, an essential hormone that turns food into energy. This autoimmune disease is not preventable and is typically discovered in childhood.

Because type 1 diabetes can cause major complications if not properly maintained, it is essential to recognize the symptoms in children.

Juvenile diabetes can affect anyone at any age. It often comes on suddenly with very few prior warning signs and should be treated immediately.

Some of the Earliest Warning Signs of Type 1 Diabetes

  • Increased thirst and urination. Diabetes causes excess glucose to build up in the bloodstream. This causes the kidneys to work overtime to filter and absorb the sugar. The excess sugar is secreted into the urine, which triggers more frequent urination and dehydration, and cannot be solved by simply drinking more water. Insulin injections are necessary.
  • Drowsiness or fatigue. Since the body of a diabetic is less able to use sugar for energy, that person may feel lethargic and tired throughout the day. This can also be a side-effect of dehydration caused by sugar in the urine.
  • Increased appetite or change in weight. Because of the excess sugar in the urine, diabetics also lose calories without absorbing them. This can cause an increased appetite, regardless of how much food one is eating. Diabetes keeps the sugar in food from being absorbed by cells, potentially leading to rapid weight loss.
  • Vision changes. High levels of blood sugar in tissue cells often settle in the lenses of your eyes. This can cause to blurred vision, and if untreated, even blindness. Diabetes can cause new blood vessels to form in your retina, which damages established vessels and leads to vision loss.

In extreme cases, type 1 diabetes can lead to stupor or unconsciousness. A diabetic coma occurs when blood sugar gets too high and the body becomes severely dehydrated. This typically only occurs if the disease is left untreated for too long, so it is important to review all other symptoms and get checked by a medical professional to ensure that you do not have type 1 diabetes.

If you know a child with type 1 diabetes, here is a guide to helping him or her accept the diagnosis and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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