A sweet child-Symptoms of diabetes in children
- By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi
Diabetes is the most common chronic disease in kids. Since its onset is extremely subtle, one is not usually aware of its presence until the advanced stages where the child is seriously ill.
Diabetes can occur in young children too. There are certain conditions were the pancreas are damaged and no longer secrete the required amount of insulin. This causes abnormally high levels of blood sugar.
Then condition is called Juvenile Diabetes or Childhood Onset Diabetes.
Here are a few warning symptoms you should never ignore:
Too much thirst: When the sugar levels in the blood are abnormally high, the body pulls away all the fluids. This makes your child very thirsty.
Frequent visits to the toilet: What goes in has to come out too. So, you may find your child visiting the toilet very often. In small kids, the incidence of bedwetting at night is also common.
Improper weight gain: When the sugar isn’t being used properly for growth, it leads to malnourishment and improper weight gain. Often you will find that in spite of eating well, your child is not gaining the required weight for his age. He may also be physically stunted.
Lack of energy: Your child may spend his evenings lying on the couch watching TV. All attempts to make him go out to play are futile. You may also get repeated reports from his teacher about his lack of concentration in studies, lagging behind in school assignments and appearing disinterested in everything. All the energy required is present, but he is not able to use it due to the deficiency of insulin.
Intense hunger: When there is no energy available for the body, it craves for it. That means your child may experience acute hunger pangs very often. He will crave for foods like sweets that are an instant source of energy.
Vision problems: High blood sugar levels cause the body to pull out fluid from all sources, including the retina. This causes blurred vision. Your child may not be able to complain about it, as he doesn’t know that this is abnormal. It would require a great amount of perception on your part to become aware of this symptom.
Recurrent yeast infections: High sugar levels are a perfect place for bacteria and yeast to grow. You may find your girl getting repeated bacterial or yeast infections and your baby may be having a bad case of diaper rash quite frequently.
Diabetic ketoacidosis: You may find that your child is vomiting a lot, has pain due to cramps, or cries uncontrollably with a fast-paced breathing and fruity breath odor. This is a medical emergency that can be potentially life-threatening.
Juvenile diabetes is a harsh reality. It requires more awareness to help getting detected and treated at the earliest.