What are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Children?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff
Several abdominal organs, including the pancreas, which is associated with diabetes.
Several abdominal organs, including the pancreas, which is associated with diabetes.

The symptoms of diabetes in children are the same symptoms that manifest in adults. The most common symptoms are extreme thirst, frequent urination, and lethargy. A child suffering from diabetes might also take longer to heal from sores or wounds and be more susceptible to infections. These symptoms may appear gradually, over time, and may be difficult to identify. Generally, the best way to diagnose the symptoms of diabetes in children is through a series of tests that measure blood glucose and insulin levels.

Diabetes can be identified in children by testing blood glucose levels.
Diabetes can be identified in children by testing blood glucose levels.

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is considered the most common type of diabetes in children. It is a condition that occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce sufficient levels of insulin. Children with this disease typically have to supplement this lack of insulin through daily injections, though in some cases, the insulin can be delivered in pill form. Though juvenile diabetes is believed to be an incurable, lifelong condition, there are ways to make it more manageable. Careful monitoring of diet and exercise, along with measuring insulin levels, are usually advised.

Most Type I diabetics rely on insulin injections or an insulin pump to maintain their blood sugar levels.
Most Type I diabetics rely on insulin injections or an insulin pump to maintain their blood sugar levels.

Children with type 1 diabetes could have some difficulty adjusting to their condition. For this reason, many families choose to attend counseling sessions targeted at dealing with diabetes in children. In addition, parents may want to involve teachers or other caregivers in this counseling. Older children may be instructed on how to manage some aspects of their disease on their own. They may receive instruction on how to identify foods that should be avoided, or how to read a blood glucose meter.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes overall, but it is much less common in children. It can be very difficult to detect because symptoms tend to develop gradually, and are not as severe. Type 2 diabetes can occur when there is not enough insulin production, or when the cells become immune to the effects of insulin. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is believed to be a genetic disorder, there are ways to guard against developing type 2 diabetes. Eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, and maintaining a healthy body weight are all considered safeguards against the disease.

The symptoms of diabetes are common to many different illnesses, so it might be difficult to diagnose without the help of a physician. They can perform tests that measure the body’s insulin reaction to sugar. These tests can usually give a conclusive diagnosis of both types of diabetes.

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    • Several abdominal organs, including the pancreas, which is associated with diabetes.
      Several abdominal organs, including the pancreas, which is associated with diabetes.
    • Diabetes can be identified in children by testing blood glucose levels.
      By: Alila Medical Media
      Diabetes can be identified in children by testing blood glucose levels.
    • Most Type I diabetics rely on insulin injections or an insulin pump to maintain their blood sugar levels.
      By: jedi-master
      Most Type I diabetics rely on insulin injections or an insulin pump to maintain their blood sugar levels.