About Juvenile Diabetes
Juvenile diabetes, also known as Type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is commonly diagnosed in children, teenagers and young adults, hence the name. Type 1 diabetes is inherited and may be triggered by environmental or biological factors like viral infections. In this disease, the cells in the pancreas are attacked by the body’s own immune system. This often results in the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone which fascilitate the entrance of glucose into the cells, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. Patients usually need to administer daily insulin for treatment to compensate for the lack of it coming from the pancreas. Juvenile diabetes symptoms are generally similar to the symptoms of other types of diabetes.
People who develop juvenile diabetes usually have frequent urination despite drinking normal amounts of liquid, and can frequently cause dehydration. In smaller children, frequent urination can also manifest itself during sleep. Even children who have already been toilet trained can experience bed wetting episodes due to the diabetes.
Hunger and Thirst
Extreme thirst and hunger are also strong indications of juvenile diabetes. When children exhibit unusual thirst or hunger, especially for foods that are sweet and cold, this may be a sign of juvenile diabetes.
With the extreme thirst ang hunger symptoms, one might think that juvenile diabetes will cause obesity or at least a sudden increase in weight of the child. The reverse is true. Since the body’s insulin production is lowered or stopped, sugar present in the bloodstream is unble to provide the body with energy. Instead, the body uses its stores of fat to fuel its cells.A sudden weight loss, especially a dramatic one, is sometimes a sign of the onset of juvenile diabetes.
Some of the less common, but more serious signs of juvenile diabetes are nausea and vomiting. This may be a sign that the diabetes is at a critical stage or is already serious enough to cause sudden, negative and even fatal effects in the body. When these symptoms appear, it is definitely recommended that the child is brought to the hospital to have them checked.
Juvenile diabetes symptoms also include blurred vision, weakness, extreme fatigue, irritability, other changes in one’s eyesight, yeast infections, numbness or tingling in the feet or the hands, heavy breathing, drowsiness, lethargy and a fruity odor coming out of the breath.
Some of the symptoms above may not appear very serious at first glance and can be easily dismissed as natural cravings of a child who is starting to grow up. But it must be understood that juvenile diabetes is a serious disease and it can develop pretty fast. It is often best to have them evaluated by a physician if these unusual changes in their behavior are observed, especially if they are of sudden onset, so that proper treatment may then be given and complications are avoided.
Mayo Clinic: Type 1 Diabetes in Children
Kids Health: Type 1 Diabetes: What is it?