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Could My Child Have Diabetes - Warning Signs and a Child's View of the Disease

Symptoms of Juvenile diabetes

As a parent, you would do anything to have your child happy and healthy. When parents are expecting a child, for 9 months we anticipate holding our bundle of joy. For many, this goes by without a hitch. For many others, we think we have been delivered a healthy child only to discover after years of seemingly healthy behavior, our child is suffering from an illness that has no cure. That is the way it is to be a parent of a child with juvenile diabetes.

A shock!  That's how the diagnosis can be described.  Even children of health care providers who have been educated in looking for signs and symptoms can overlook what later becomes obvious.  One mother whose daughter has juvenile diabetes and took gymnastic classes with my children, is a chiropractor.  However, she was not aware her daughter had diabetes until she had slipped into a coma.  The child came through and was given an insulin pump which she wears to keep her insulin levels healthy.  She kept noticing warning signs but even doctors would dismiss them when she would mention that there was no family history of the disease.

There doesn't have to be family history for juvenile diabetes to strike.

But, what is it like to live with this disease day in and day out?  For one family whose names will be left out, it is a challenge.  Some days are complete nightmares from a horror film.  The mother once screamed in hopelessness, "Why my child?  I HATE DIABETES!" as she held her child slipping into hypoglycemic trauma.  As a parent, it is a helpless feeling.  We would rather take the hit than watch our child experience it.  It creates fear and anger because the hands of a parent are tied.  Some days all we can do is hold our children and pray.  That is if it doesn't shake our faith and marriages and families in the process of the disease attempting to take over.

In the words of one sweet little girl who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes last year, here is how she describes a typical day:

I am seven years old. I have Type 1 Diabetes, a disease where your blood sugars are not in control because the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin to do the job. I haven't been sad about the fact that I have to count how many carbs I eat, but I sometimes get sad when I cannot just eat a snack when ever I want. All my food has to be taken with a shot of insulin at every meal. The shots don't hurt and neither do the finger sticks. All my friends think I'm pretty tough and I like that. My mom says it's good to be different, that I'm God's wonderful creation. I know that's true!

Sometimes I give myself my own shots but usually it's my mom, dad and sister who give them to me. I pray that God will heal me someday when he can, but I also know he helps scientists to find cures too. Maybe between the two of them they can work out a deal. I hope to be a scientist to find cures for diseases like type 1 Diabetes because I don't like to see people sad or sick.

So, how do you know if your child might be suffering from Type I Diabetes? Here’s a few things to look for:

  • Unusual thirst, especially for sweet, cold drinks.
  • Frequent urination (or bed-wetting after toilet training complete).
  • Overall weakness or apathetic, trouble focusing on schoolwork
  • Restlessness
  • Extreme hunger.
  • Extreme fatigue and/or irritability.
  • Sudden, sometimes dramatic, weight loss.
  • Blurred vision or other changes in eyesight.
  • In more extreme cases, there may be sometimes nausea and vomiting or sadly, diabetic coma is sometimes the first sign of type 1 juvenile diabetes

If you observe any of these signs, in an unusual way for any length of time, have your child checked and tested for juvenile (Type I) diabetes.  Hopefully, your news will be good.

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Comments (3)

Very good and informative article, thanks for sharing this with us. I do have a question, is there always a drastic weight loss for these children? Can they have this and still be overweight? Thanks

Ranked #65 in Diabetes

I would say if your child has several of the warning signs, get them checked out just to be sure. Because, yes I have known at least one overweight diabetic child. This is the one who was comatose before the parents realized she had diabetes. ..... Not wanting to alarm you. She turned out to do well on insulin and came out of coma. Just better to be safe about it and get help if child needs it than to go on until child is in distress.

A very informative and eye opening subject! Thanks.

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