Although Juvenile Diabetes normally begins in childhood, it should be noted that it can develop until a person is into their forties. We are talking about insulin-dependent Diabetes. Juvenile Diabetes affects over 200,000 children and young adults under the age of 20. There is no current cure and insulin must be administered on a daily basis.
The sudden onset of Juvenile Diabetes is caused by the inability of the pancreas to manufacture insulin. It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and autoimmune dysfunction. It is not caused by eating too much sugar as many uninformed people seem to believe. Since blood sugar levels skyrocket without enough insulin production, shots of insulin must be taken.
Symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes are not always easy to recognize in children but if you are aware of what signs to look for you will more quickly be able to have your child tested.
Watch for these Early Warning Signs:
1. Frequent Urination - this may also be apparent in a child who previously did not wet the bed and has started to do so, plus more frequent bathroom trips during the day.
2. Extreme Thirst - be aware of increased drinking of fluids, which is caused by the increased urination.
3. Extreme Hunger - the lack of insulin keeps sugar in the blood, starving the cells for needed energy.
4. Fatigue / Weakness
5. Irritability / Lack of Concentration
6. Blurred Vision - this happens when blood sugar levels are really high, causing the lens of the eye to swell.
If you notice that your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to ask, in a calm way, whether they are having any of the other symptoms. It is crucial to get a blood test and medical evaluation as soon as possible if you suspect Diabetes in your child.
* Vomiting or nausea can sometimes occur when blood sugar levels are high.