Learn About the Warning Signs of Diabetes in Kids

Learn About the Warning Signs of Diabetes in Kids

November is National Diabetes Month, which aims to spread awareness and education about a disease that impacts millions of Americans.  Diabetes is a disease that affects the entire family, especially when a child is diagnosed. Every year, 13,000 children are diagnosed with type one diabetes and more than one million Americans live with the disease every day.

Type one diabetes is categorized as an autoimmune disease in which the body’s pancreas does not make enough insulin. Insulin helps the body convert sugar into energy. Without it, sugar builds up in your blood. Those diagnosed with type one diabetes take insulin throughout their lives.

Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes can have a profound impact on long-term health. You can protect your child's health by knowing what to look for. The signs and symptoms of type one diabetes in children usually develop quickly and may include:

Excessive thirst and frequent urination.  As sugar builds up in your child's bloodstream, fluid is pulled from the tissues. This may leave your child thirsty, which could cause him or her to drink and urinate more than usual.

Bad breath. Diabetes can reduce blood flow throughout your body, including your gums. This can lead to infection, bacteria growth, and bad breath. Roughly one in three people with diabetes also experience gum disease.

As blood sugar levels remain high, type one diabetes may lead to:

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 cells simply shrink.

Hunger. Without enough insulin to move sugar into your child's cells, his or her muscles and organs become depleted, which can trigger substantial hunger.

Lack of energy. When your child's cells are deprived of sugar, he or she may become tired and lethargic.

Itchy, dry, or pigmented skin. These skin conditions can be the result of poor circulation or excessive fluid loss from increased urination. The dark pigmented skin, usually around the neck and armpit area, is due to hormonal change.

If you notice your child experiencing any of the above symptoms, or have questions about how to manage his or her diabetes, doctors and nutritionists on Amwell can educate and guide your family on topics such as:

  • How to recognize and treat low and high blood sugar
  • How and when to check blood sugar levels
  • Types of food and their effect on blood sugar
  • Adjusting insulin and food intake for exercise and activity
  • Managing with diabetes at school, summer camp, sleepovers, and more 

And don’t forget, it’s easy to add your child on your Amwell account and have a visit with them, too.

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