March 25, 2021 3:33 pm
Is your child drinking more liquids than usual, or suddenly wetting the bed at night? These could be signs of Type 1 diabetes. Children with Type 1 diabetes can lead an active, normal life with the right treatment and support.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes?
When someone has Type 1 diabetes, his or her body no longer produces insulin, an important hormone that helps the body get energy from food. Without insulin, blood sugar builds up in the bloodstream and damages the body. No one is sure exactly what causes this autoimmune disease, but genes can play a role in its development. However, it’s important to understand that Type 1 diabetes—unlike Type 2 diabetes—can’t be prevented by diet or exercise.
Early Signs of Type 1 Diabetes in Children
Symptoms often come on suddenly. However, sometimes the early signs of diabetes in children are not obvious, which means your child could have it without you knowing. Early symptoms include:
- Excessive thirst and/or hunger
- Frequent urination, sometimes wetting the bed
- Weight loss with no obvious reason
Over time, your child could develop other warning signs, such as:
- Changes in behavior
- Eyesight problems
- Fruity-smelling breath
- Stomach pain
If you suspect that your child has Type 1 diabetes, don’t wait to see your doctor. If left untreated for too long, the condition can become life threatening.
Treating Type 1 Diabetes
There’s no cure for diabetes, so your child will need to manage the disease for the rest of his or her life. But the good news is that advances in treatment are making daily management easier and more effective. The main goals for treatment are for your child to feel healthy and be able to lead an active life.
With your help, your child will need to:
- Check blood sugar levels regularly
- Count carbohydrates and eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Get plenty of exercise
- Take insulin through injections or an insulin pump
How Can I Help My Child?
A diagnosis of diabetes can feel overwhelming and scary for both you and your child. In addition to helping with daily management, the best thing you can do is provide encouragement and support as your child learns how to navigate this new normal.
If your child is showing symptoms of diabetes, contact your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible. The caring providers at Magnolia Regional Health Center are here to support you and your child every step of the way.
This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center