First, we recommend that you read the main article “The symptoms of diabetes.” And here you will learn in detail the signs of diabetes in a child. Symptoms of diabetes in children are first usually taken for the manifestations of other diseases. Because of this, it is rarely possible to determine in time that the child actually has diabetes.
In the practice of children's doctors, diabetes is very rare. Therefore, it as the cause of certain symptoms in a child is suspected at the very least.
Treatment usually starts late, and therefore high blood sugar has time to cause acute symptoms, up to and including diabetic coma. And only after that parents and doctors guess what is happening. After reading our article, you will be “on guard” about the symptoms of diabetes in children. We will also discuss how they change depending on the age at which the child begins the disease.
Children and adolescents, for the most part, develop type 1 diabetes. Although in recent years, type 2 diabetes is very “younger”, and now it is even found in obese children over 10 years old.
Note if the child has the following symptoms:
- intense thirst (this is called polydipsia);
- bed-wetting appeared, although it had not happened before;
- the child is suspiciously losing weight;
- irritability, decline in school performance;
- skin infections often occur - boils, barley, etc .;
- in girls at puberty - vaginal candidiasis (thrush).
Acute symptoms of diabetes in children
The acute (severe) symptoms of diabetes in children require immediate medical attention. These include:
- frequent vomiting;
- severe dehydration, and while the child continues diabetes;
- weight loss due to dehydration, loss of fat cells and muscle mass;
- the child has an unusual breath — Kussmaul's breath — it is uniform, rare, with a deep, noisy inhalation and a strong exhalation;
- in exhaled air - the smell of acetone;
- disorder of consciousness: lethargy, disorientation in space, at least - loss of consciousness due to coma;
- shock condition: rapid pulse, blue limbs.
Of course, it would be advisable to identify diabetes in a child in time so as to prevent the onset of acute symptoms through treatment. But this rarely happens in practice. Doctors usually begin to suspect childhood diabetes when the patient has already developed ketoacidosis (the smell of acetone in the exhaled air), outwardly noticeable severe dehydration, and even even when the child falls into a diabetic coma.
Symptoms of diabetes in infants
Diabetes in children of the first year of life is rare, but still sometimes. The problem of diagnosis is that the infant still does not know how to speak. Therefore, he can not complain of thirst and his bad state of health. If the baby is in the diaper, then the parents are unlikely to notice that he began to release much more urine.
Symptoms of diabetes in very young children:
- the child does not gain weight, despite a good appetite, dystrophy gradually progresses;
- behaves restlessly, calms down only after drinking;
- frequent diaper rash, especially in the area of the external genital organs, and they are not amenable to treatment;
- after the urine dries out, the diapers appear to be starched;
- if urine gets on the floor, then sticky spots remain;
- acute diabetes symptoms in babies: vomiting, intoxication, severe dehydration.
How does diabetes manifest in preschoolers and younger students
Younger children have “common” and acute symptoms of diabetes, which we have listed above. Parents and doctors have difficulty in recognizing diabetes in a child in a timely manner. Because the manifestations of this disease are “masked” under the symptoms of other diseases.
In younger patients, diabetes is often difficult, unstable. Why this happens and how parents act correctly - read our main article “Diabetes in children”. A child with diabetes can often have hypoglycemia. Therefore, here we provide a list of symptoms of hypoglycemia in children:
- the child behaves restlessly, becomes uncontrollable;
- or vice versa, he becomes lethargic, falls asleep during the day at an unusual time;
- refuses to eat, when trying to feed sweet - vomiting.
It is necessary to urgently feed the child with sweets only if he has real hypoglycemia, and not an “emotional outburst”. Therefore, for every suspected hypoglycemia, blood sugar should be measured using a glucometer. At the same time, severe hypoglycemia can lead to irreversible brain damage and disability.
Are there any particular symptoms of diabetes in adolescents?
The symptoms of diabetes in adolescents and in adults are almost the same. Details are listed in the article “Symptoms of diabetes. Early symptoms of diabetes in adults. ” At the same time, the clinical picture of diabetes in older children has its own nuances.
If diabetes begins in a child during adolescence, then it usually develops more smoothly than in younger children. The initial latent period of diabetes in adolescents can last 1-6 months or even longer. The symptoms of adolescent diabetes in these months, doctors usually take for the manifestations of neurosis or low-intensity infection. At this time, patients complain about:
- drop in school performance.
Also several months before the onset of diabetes, there may be spontaneous hypoglycemia. They are not accompanied by loss of consciousness or convulsions, but the adolescent has a strong desire to eat sweets. It is assumed that these spontaneous glycemia occur in the initial period of adolescent diabetes, when the immune system attacks the beta cells of the pancreas.
Before the onset of obvious symptoms of diabetes in a teenager, persistent skin diseases, barley, furunculosis can occur. If ketoacidosis develops quickly, then abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting may occur. This is often regarded as symptoms of acute appendicitis or intestinal obstruction, and the child is on the table with the surgeon.
During puberty, adolescents may experience particularly acute symptoms of diabetes. Because hormonal changes in the body during these years reduce the sensitivity of tissues to insulin, that is, insulin resistance develops. In addition, adolescents are often prone to disrupt their diet, exercise, and insulin shots.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes in children
Since the beginning of the XXI century, type 2 diabetes is very “younger”. In the US, there have been cases of this disease, even in children 10 years. The risk group includes children and adolescents who have pronounced signs of metabolic syndrome:
- abdominal obesity;
- elevated triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol in the blood;
- liver obesity (non-alcoholic fatty hepatosis).
Type 2 diabetes usually begins in adolescents in the middle of puberty. This period can last for boys from 12 to 18 years, for girls - from 10 to 17 years. The vast majority of people with type 2 diabetes at a young age have at least one close relative with the same problem, or even several.
No more than 20% of adolescents with type 2 diabetes complain of acute symptoms: thirst, frequent urination, weight loss. Most of the young patients with this disease have many health problems, but they are all “common”:
- severe chronic infections;
- difficulty urinating (dysuria);
- urinary incontinence (enuresis).
Type 2 diabetes in young people is very often found during routine medical examination, as a result of blood or urine analysis for sugar. And type 1 diabetes in childhood is rarely detected in such situations. Because it usually causes severe symptoms that parents and doctors pay attention to.
So, you have learned in detail what the symptoms of diabetes are in children. It is important to remember this information to doctors, but also to parents. It will also be useful for you to study in our main article “Diabetes in children” section “How to find out what type of diabetes a child has”. Keep in mind that in the practice of children's doctors, diabetes is very rare. Therefore, as the cause of certain symptoms in a child, they are suspected as the last thing.