As all parents know, infants and small children sleep a lot and drink a lot. That is perfectly normal. But if your child suddenly appears more drowsy and fatigued than usual or is constantly thirsty, these symptoms, along with several others, could be telltale signs of type 1 diabetes.
Formerly referred to as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes can appear in infants, toddlers, young children, and teenagers. Some people aren’t diagnosed with the condition until well into adulthood.
But understanding type 1 diabetes and recognizing the signs of the disease in children is the best way for parents to quickly identify the issue and seek the treatment that can keep their child healthy and happy.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Of the estimated 422 million people worldwide who have diabetes, about five percent are living with type 1.
When the body is functioning properly, it makes insulin-producing cells in the pancreas called islets which detect the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Islets then release the right amount of insulin to normalize blood sugar levels and use as energy. In type 1 diabetes, however, the body’s immune system attacks the islet cells in the pancreas.
Without these cells, the body cannot produce its own insulin. As a result, the sugars stay in the bloodstream, essentially starving the cells of the energy they need to maintain the body’s essential functions. High blood glucose levels can cause severe short-term and long-term problems, including the risk of coma or death.
Be On The Lookout For These Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms In Your Kids
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children can appear suddenly, so keep an eye out for these signs in your child:
- Ongoing, intense thirst
- Grunting while breathing
- Heavy breathing
- Huge appetite
- Extreme drowsiness or lack of energy
- Sudden vision changes
- Sudden weight loss
- Sudden strange behavior (acting “drunk”)
- Breath that smells fruity, sweet, or like wine
- Urinating more often than usual
- Difficulty breathing
Monitoring Your Child’s Blood Sugar With CGM
Effectively managing your child’s diabetes is critical. Accurate and frequent monitoring of glucose levels is an indispensable part of those efforts. Fortunately, advancements in glucose monitoring technology have made controlling your child’s glucose levels easier than ever.
Traditional blood sugar monitoring involved pricking a finger multiple times a day to test blood samples, an inconvenient and uncomfortable burden, especially for kids. Now, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) allows those with diabetes to avoid finger-pricking through the use of a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device.
Contact us today to see if you and your child qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.