Type 1 Diabetes In Children:
Signs & Symptoms

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The signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children can develop quickly. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Extreme thirst and frequent urination. As excess sugar builds in the bloodstream, fluid is pulled from the tissues, leaving a child with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes thirsty. As a result, a child may drink and urinate more often than usual.
  • Increased appetite. Without enough insulin to move sugar into the cells, a child with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes can experience low energy levels, which triggers intense hunger.
  • Weight loss. Unexplained weight loss is often one of the first signs of diabetes. Despite eating more than normal, sudden weight loss can occur in children with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes.
  • Drowsiness, lethargy. As cells are deprived of sugar, energy levels drop.
  • Irritability or unusual behavior. Children with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes may suddenly seem moody or irritable.
  • Blurred vision. If a child's blood sugar is too high, fluid can be pulled from thelenses of the eyes, causing blurred vision.
  • Yeast infection. Girls with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes may have a genital yeast infection, and babies can develop diaper rash caused by yeast.

If your child, or someone you love, exhibits one or more of these symptoms, call a doctor immediately.

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Children Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes changes life—for the diagnosed child and the whole family. Finding out that your child has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can be frightening and overwhelming. Know that you're not alone in your struggle, and there's no reason to feel alone.

Children with type 1 diabetes and their families go through a tremendous learning experience. The good news is that kids are adaptable and type 1 diabetes is manageable! With preparation and understanding, kids with type 1 diabetes can lead happy, normal childhoods.

Type 1 diabetes may change your family's life, but it doesn't need to become your family's life. Though your child's life will be affected physically by diabetes, your child can still lead a full and normal life.

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Are You The Parent Of A Child Who Has Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)?

Finding out that your child has type 1 diabetes can be scary and it can present many challenges. Learning how to meet those challenges as a family is a process—it doesn't happen all at once and it may take some work.

We urge parents to get involved in support groups and type 1 diabetes organizations. Your child will benefit from being around other young people with type 1 diabetes, and you will benefit from sharing information and insights with other parents who can identify with you.

Understanding more about type 1 diabetes, and helping your child learn how to manage it, can help you and your child take health challenges in stride. Many people find that taking an active part in the care of a chronic health condition helps them to feel stronger and better-equipped to deal with life's trials and tribulations.

You can take action, today! Help JDFR support diabetes research and education. Every penny counts towards a cure.

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JDRF reports to the Internal Revenue Service using form 990 under the tax identification number of 23-1907729. JDRF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation, and all chapters and branches are covered under this umbrella. All donations to JDRF are tax-deductible.