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3 Signs Your Child May Have Type 1 Diabetes

Woman and her diabetic son with lancet pen and glucometer taking blood sample at home

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that causes the pancreas to stop making insulin. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented. It’s a serious health condition that requires close monitoring, but the symptoms can be easy to miss.

Symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually, and they can sometimes be mistaken as other health concerns.

Here are some common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes to look out for.

1. Frequent Urination

When the pancreas stops producing insulin, the body’s blood glucose levels become higher than normal. This causes the kidneys to get rid of the extra glucose through urine. Children with Type 1 diabetes will need to use the bathroom more often. In some cases, a child may start wetting the bed.

2. Severe Thirst

Because their bodies are losing so much fluid, children with Type 1 diabetes will often feel very thirsty. They will drink more fluids to try and retain their bodies’ normal level of hydration.

3. Weight Loss

When cells receive glucose, a type of sugar in the blood, insulin helps convert the glucose into energy. In children with Type 1 diabetes, because their body doesn’t produce insulin, their bodies’ cells don’t get energy from glucose. As a result, their bodies break down fat and muscle to feed their cells, which can cause them to lose weight.

My Child Has Type 1 Diabetes … Now What?

A physician will confirm if your child has Type 1 diabetes through a blood test. If your child has Type 1 diabetes, you’ll be referred to a pediatric provider to help you and your child learn how to manage the condition.

Your child will need to use insulin injections or an insulin pump since the pancreas can no longer make insulin on its own. You will also need to closely work with a pediatric endocrinologist to ensure he or she is managing their condition.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease, but with proper management and the help of a provider, your child can learn how to manage diabetes and live a healthy life.

Schedule an appointment with a pediatric endocrinologist today.

Read on Jagwire to find out more about news and stories happening at Augusta University and AU Health.

About the author

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the only facility in the area dedicated exclusively to children. It staffs the largest team of pediatric specialists in the region who deliver out- and in- patient care for everything from common childhood illnesses to life-threatening conditions like heart disorders, cancer and neurological diseases.