Parents need to watch for type 1 diabetes symptoms in their children

Type 1 diabetes can be an extremely dangerous condition for children, particularly if it is left untreated for any period of time. But how can parents know if their child has the disease? Fortunately, there are some very clear warning signs that may indicate the presence of type 1 diabetes at an early stage.

The Mayo Clinic states that extreme thirst is the first thing that parents should look for. High levels of blood sugar can pull fluids from tissue of the body. This makes a person feel thirsty. Additionally, it results in frequent urination, which is another sign that parents should be aware of.

Beyond thirst, common symptoms include hunger, weight loss, blurred vision and extreme fatigue, according to the clinic. Again, all of these symptoms are tied back to high blood sugar. This state can cause muscles to shrink, vessels to constrict and fluid to leave tissue. This can affect all these areas of health.

Even with these well established warning signs of type 1 diabetes, it is still possible to confuse the condition for other health issues. Jeff Kolock, the father of a young girl with type 1 diabetes and operator of the website ParentingDiabeticKids.com, told NPR that he initially thought his daughter’s symptoms were the result of an illness.

“Honestly, I thought it was just a cold or a flu, or perhaps a growth spurt,” he told the news source. “And we took her to our pediatrician, and they tested her urine and then tested her blood. And her blood sugar was elevated. And so we rushed her to the hospital, and she was there for four days to get that corrected and get us trained, at least initially, to be able to get her home.”

Understanding the early signs of type 1 diabetes can be the difference between a long hospital stay or prompt diagnosis followed by effective management. There are many ways to control the condition, but catching it early is key.