Signs of Children With Diabetes
Diabetes might seem like a scary diagnosis, but knowing the symptoms and causes of childhood diabetes is the best defense. The more information you have, the more you can control diabetes.
Children may develop one of two forms of diabetes. In Type I diabetes, sometimes called juvenile diabetes, the pancreas fails to produce insulin, a hormone that allows the body to metabolize sugar. This results in the need to replace the insulin with injections. In Type II diabetes, either the child's body becomes resistant to insulin, or his pancreas becomes unable to produce enough of it. This form is less common in children but may be on the increase due to rising childhood obesity rates. Some children with Type II diabetes may require insulin replacement treatments.
Frequent thirst is a sign of both Type I and Type II diabetes. As the pancreas falters in or ceases processing sugar in the bloodstream, the excess sugar draws fluid from the child's system, creating the need to drink more. As a result, the child may urinate more often than usual.
The child's appetite may increase substantially as her organs and muscles starve for energy from the sugar that would normally have been processed by way of insulin from a healthy pancreas. Although the child may be eating more, she may experience weight loss as her muscles and fat stores are depleted. In Type I diabetes, the weight loss may occur very quickly.
Reduced fluid in your child's eyes may cause blurry vision. In a manner similar to the drawing of fluid from the muscles, the eyes also may suffer from lower fluid levels, making it difficult to focus clearly with either type of diabetes.
Additional Type I Symptoms
Fluctuating moods may occur in a child with Type I diabetes, making the child irritable. In addition, a female child may develop a vaginal yeast infection. Fatigue is also common.
Additional Type II Symptoms
Children who develop Type II diabetes may experience slow healing of sores and are at an increased risk of infection. In addition, this type of diabetes may cause the child to develop dark areas on parts of his body, most frequently in skin folds or creases in the neck or the armpits. These dark patches may have a velvety appearance.