What are the Signs of Juvenile Diabetes?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
People with Type 1 diabetes have high blood sugar levels because their body does not produce insulin.
People with Type 1 diabetes have high blood sugar levels because their body does not produce insulin.

Juvenile diabetes is a endocrine disorder that develops in children and adolescents. Children are susceptible to both Type 1 and Type 2 juvenile diabetes, though these may develop due to very different reasons. There are important symptoms to watch for with both forms of diabetes, but diagnosis must be done by a physician. Not all children with diabetes develop noticeable symptoms, therefore regular check-ups can play a major part in quickly identifying the condition.

Symptoms of juvenile diabetes may include unusual fatigue.
Symptoms of juvenile diabetes may include unusual fatigue.

Diabetes is the inability of the body to make or process sufficient insulin. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that usually requires regular insulin shots to help the body maintain an adequate supply. Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with poor physical health, and reduces the capacity of the body to use or make insulin. Type 2 diabetes is sometimes reversible with lifestyle and diet changes. Both forms of juvenile diabetes may share some of the same symptoms.

Since insulin helps process sugar, many of the signs of juvenile diabetes are a reaction to build-ups or improper distribution of sugar throughout the body. Sugar can serve as a dehydrating agent in the bloodstream, making extreme thirst and frequent urination two common early signs of juvenile diabetes. If a child's thirst noticeably increases without evident other factors that may cause a temporary change, such as heatwaves or training for sports, it may be time to schedule a check-up.

Increased appetite can also be one of the telltale signs of juvenile diabetes. Sugar processing problems deprive cells of the sugar they need for energy, which in turn causes the body to increase appetite as a means of increasing energy. Despite a voracious appetite increase, another common sign of diabetes in young people is a sudden, noticeable weight loss that can usually be attributed to improper sugar distribution.

Girls who develop juvenile diabetes are prone to yeast infections, since their vaginal secretions contain higher sugar levels that yeast cells devour. This is often one of the earliest signs of juvenile diabetes in young children and babies, as well as in developing adolescents. If yeast infections recur in older girls, or if an infection in a toddler is accompanied by an intense diaper rash, most experts recommend seeing a doctor.

Other common signs of juvenile diabetes include fatigue, depression, and mood swings. Although these can be symptomatic of many conditions, they are often related to diabetes when combined with dietary shifts and other signs. Blurry vision may also result in some cases, as a result of high blood sugar. Any of these symptoms that persists for several weeks may warrant further investigation by a physician.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

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    • People with Type 1 diabetes have high blood sugar levels because their body does not produce insulin.
      By: Alila Medical Media
      People with Type 1 diabetes have high blood sugar levels because their body does not produce insulin.
    • Symptoms of juvenile diabetes may include unusual fatigue.
      By: Tatyana Gladskih
      Symptoms of juvenile diabetes may include unusual fatigue.