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Symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children

Published On: Oct 07 2013 02:49:23 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 14 2013 09:18:04 AM CST
Kids, children

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By Mayo Clinic News Network

The signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children usually develop quickly, over a period of weeks. Look for:

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination. As excess sugar builds up in your child's bloodstream, fluid is pulled from the tissues. This may leave your child thirsty. As a result, your child may drink -- and urinate -- more than usual.
  • Extreme hunger. Without enough insulin to move sugar into your child's cells, your child's muscles and organs become energy depleted. This triggers intense hunger.
  • Weight loss. Despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger, your child may lose weight -- sometimes rapidly. Without the energy sugar supplies, muscle tissues and fat stores simply shrink. Unexplained weight loss is often the first sign to be noticed.
  • Fatigue. If your child's cells are deprived of sugar, he or she may become tired and lethargic.
  • Irritability or unusual behavior. Children with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes may suddenly seem moody or irritable.
  • Blurred vision. If your child's blood sugar is too high, fluid may be pulled from the lenses of your child's eyes. This may affect your child's ability to focus clearly.
  • Yeast infection. Girls with type 1 diabetes may have a genital yeast infection, and babies can develop diaper rash caused by yeast.

When to see a doctor
Talk to your child's doctor if you notice any of the signs or symptoms of type 1 diabetes -- increased thirst and frequent urination, extreme hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, or fatigue.