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5 Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Children

By on February 5, 2013 in Health with 0 Comments

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In most cases the onset of Type 1 diabetes is slow with the changes being subtle. This can often lead to delayed diagnosis, especially in cases where another disease is also present. Parents know their children better than the doctor, and they should be able to spot the most common tell-tale signs. These are:

  • An increase in thirst or urination
  • Lethargy
  • Increased appetite with sudden or unexplained weight loss
  • Vision changes
  • A fruity odor to the breath

An increase in thirst or urination
Excessive thirst is easy to overlook, especially in warm weather or if the child is very active. The need to urinate frequently is more obvious. You should be concerned if a toilet-trained child begins to wet the bed or get up during the night to visit the bathroom.

Lethargy
Lethargy is an umbrella term for tiredness, drowsiness, and listlessness: a general lack of energy. Lethargy has many causes, including obvious ones like lack of sleep and serious ones like anemia, meningitis and liver problems, and should be closely monitored.

Increased appetite with sudden or unexplained weight loss
An increase in appetite may coincide with a growth spurt or increased activity, but when it is combined with loss of weight, it should be reported to the doctor. Any unexplained loss of weight is cause for concern, and is one of the first recognizable signs of diabetes

Vision changes
The high blood sugar of diabetes can cause the lens of the eye to swell, leading to blurred vision.

A fruity odor to the breath
This is not a sign that develops slowly. Breath that smells like wine, fruit or indicates the very serious condition, diabetic ketoacidosis which is associated with sudden onset juvenile diabetes. If not treated immediately this condition is life-threatening.

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