Type 1 diabetes is a lifetime disease commonly known as juvenile diabetes. Another name for type 1 diabetes is insulin-dependent diabetes. As the name suggests, it is a disorder where the pancreas produces very little quantities of insulin, or stops producing it all together. Insulin is a hormone that is required by our blood to convert the glucose to energy or store it as glycogen.

Type 1 diabetes can usually develops at an early age, which increases the risk and danger associated with this disorder. Parents usually do not suspect that their little one is suffering from such a grave disorder and thus do not heed the warning signs.

At times, parents of children suffering from type 1 diabetes, bring their children to the doctor’s office complaining about the flu, never suspecting that it could be something more. There have been many cases where children were treated for the flu at home and they fainted, or went into coma as their blood sugar increased to dangerous levels. This is why we encourage parents to not take any symptoms lightly, especially when it comes to their children.

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It is always wiser to approach doctors with the symptoms the child is experiencing, no matter how insignificant they may seem. This will allow an early diagnosis, enabling treatment to begin early before any real damage takes place. Here are some warning signs of Type 1 diabetes that all parents should be aware of:

  • Many children who might be suffering from this condition complain of insatiable thirst that makes them drink gallons of water at a time, especially at night time. These children might also experience intense hunger that makes them eat a lot.

When this hunger strikes before or after meal times, many parents offer their children candy bars, cookies, or salty snacks to keep their hunger satisfied till meal time. This can make the symptoms even worse as most of these snacks contain large amounts of sugar. If a child does or does not show symptoms of diabetes, parents should never offer them unhealthy snacks on a regular basis.

They should only be enjoyed occasionally as treats.

  • Children who have developed Type 1 diabetes often feel tired and complain of not having enough energy to play or go to school.
  • If a child is complaining of blurry eyesight, this might also be a symptom of juvenile diabetes and it would be smart to get his eyes checked immediately instead of ignoring the remark.
  • Another common warning sign of type 1 diabetes is numbness in the limbs or feet, or a tingling sensation commonly known as pins and needles. If this is a common complain, do not treat it as a blood circulation problem as most parents tend to do, disregarding it as nothing important.
  • Children who suffer from diabetes also go through rapid weight loss without any effort or change in their diet. Keeping a record of your child’s weight will help you keep track of any rapid losses and gains in weight.
  • Bed wetting incidents or frequent urination is one of the most common symptoms along with drinking too much water. These two symptoms are seen as a cause and effect of each other by unsuspecting parents.
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Some other more serious warning signs that becomes visible when diabetes at an advanced stage includes rapid breathing or shortness of breath, constant complaining of dry mouth, a flushed look on the face of the child, and a sweet breath. Some other symptoms that are commonly confused as flu symptoms include bouts of vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps.

Recognizing diabetes is not easy and left undiagnosed can cause severe nerve and kidney damage. It can damage other organs as well such as the eyes. There is a long list of severe problems that can develop if diabetes is left unidentified and untreated.

Fortunately, there are very simple tests that can confirm if a child is suffering type 1 diabetes or not. A urine or blood test can confirm the diagnosis. All that is required is a trip to the doctor, who will be able to confirm the doubts of parents are true or not. Diabetes is a serious disorder if it is not taken seriously, the consequences can be dire.