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Symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes
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Symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes

What are the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes? I have a child who is extremely tired and thirsty all the time. Should I have him checked for diabetes?
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Avatar_n_tn
In my experience, with my son, he was extremely thirsty, tired
and had weight loss.  I would have him checked by a physician
as soon as possible.  It is a simple test and best to have it done sooner than later.
28 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Sandy,
Were there other symptoms?

Joe
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My six-year-old son was extremely thirsty in May even though it was a cool spring in the Washington DC area.  He also was going to the bathroom all the time and even wet his bed at night a few times.  Plus he was very emotional and lethargic.  I took him to the doctor, sure she would tell me that it was nothing.  Instead, we ended up in the hospital that night because he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  Fortunately, we caught it very early and there were no medical problems, and he has been going to camp and having a fun summer.  The upshot of what I am trying to say:  see your child's pediatrician.  Our doctor said she used to see one case of Type 1 diabetes a year.  In May alone, she diagnosed three cases!
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Let us know how it goes, Sandy.  Having been through it very recently myself, I can understand how you feel.  And I forgot to mention...in addition to the other symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, my son's weight also plunged from 43 pounds at his six-year checkup in February down to 38 pounds the day he was diagnosed.  He has since gained all that weight back and looks much better.
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JDRF, Annalise & Joe- after reading your messages and thinking about my son's recent behavior - he has been a little cranky these past few weeks.  We have an appointment with his pediatrician tomorrow.  I'm praying that he's ok, but if he does have diabetes, at least I know where to come for more info!!

Thank you for giving me a place to air my panic!

Sandy

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Avatar_n_tn
You have described the classic symptoms of ketoacidosis resulting from untreated diabetes: excessive thirst, frequent urination, lethargy, irritability.  Weight loss is another symptom.  I wouldn't bother "keeping a close eye" on a child with these symptoms...I'd take my child to the doctor's office ASAP.
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I think it is very difficult to know which symptom appears first.  I remember when my son was diagnosed at age 11, quite frankly we missed all the symptoms because we had no idea.  What we did know was he was drinking a great deal of water then getting up in the night to go to the bathroom
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Avatar_n_tn
What symptoms appear first? My so (10) has been very irritable the last few weeks he has also seemed unwell being pale and slow to heal any cuts etc and has just started to drink just a little bit more than normal.and waking at night to go to the toilet. In any one else experience can the onset of diabetes be this slow. Or is it usually quicker. I have family history of insulin dependent adult onset diabetes.





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Avatar_n_tn
My 5-year-old daughter had all the classic symptoms at diagnosis: thirst weight loss, frequent urination.  She also vomited as she was going into ketoacidosis.  Don't feel too bad at missing the early signs.  I had even talked with our family physician by phone, and she missed it, too.
One kind of unusual symptom she had about a month before diagnosis was large lumps of swelling that started on her face and moved down her body.  They were so large that they distorted her face.  The swellings only lasted an hour or so.  We called the doctor's office, and the doctor on call said not to worry about it. He thought it was some type of normal childhood illness. After diagnosis we learned that type 1 can be triggered by viruses related to the mumps virus.  The patient must also have a genetic predisposition to develop the disease.
Just a word of encouragement:  If it does turn out that your child has diabetes, it is not the end of the world.  My daughter, now 12, is healthy, active (softball, soccer), well-adjusted, and mature.  Some of those attributes may have come from growing up with diabetes.  Her insulin pump allows her to have a more flexible schedule of meals and exercise.
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ok my daughter is always thirsty she has to go to the bathroom alot, i think she have have diabetes because her grandpa and her auntie have it and it runs in the family my daughter also complains that when she goes to the bathroon her stomach hurts she says it burns. umm i got her eye doctor to check her because there is a way you can check if you have diabetes in the eye but nothing showed up umm but i havent got her checked with our family doctor yet!!! are these symptoms that my daughter is having related to diabetes could she have it!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
My ten year old son within two months time gained over 20 pounds, but not much height.  He is tired all the time, urinates all the time, but only a little bit each time, he is very thirsty.  I have heard that juvenile diabetes has weight loss not weight gain.  Do you know anything that would cause these symptoms with rapid and extreme weight gain?
Thanks,
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had diabetes for 7 years and this is what I have learned on the way.

As far as the weight gain that isn't a "Classic" symptom of type 1 diabetes. But the urinating all of the time and the not going very much is definitely a symptom. And the thirst is also a classic symptom. When I was working in the hospital in diabetes education in my town we did have a boy who was over-weight and was diagnosed with childhood onset type 2 diabetes and he had gained some weight because his body was producing so much insulin to compensate for his bigger body size that it caused him to gain weight. I would talk to my doctor as soon as possible. It is better to be safe than sorry in your situation. And just because he doesn't fit the classic mold doesn't mean diabetes should be deleted as a possibility.

But talk to your doctor that would be the best thing to do.
Pumpgirl03
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As I told MERCY

Frequent thirst and urination are classic symptoms. Now I am not sure if you are talking about it hurts when she Pee's. If it is when she pee's and she does have high blood sugars then she could have a bladder, urinary tract, or yeast infection. These are always more common when a person's blood sugar is high.

My uncle is a eye doctor and he said that although you can tell when someone is sick sometimes with an eye exam it is not a definitive treatment or diagnosis. Unless it is a problem with the eye.

My advice would be to call your Family doctor and make an appt because the not knowing is going to be difficult so make an appt and find out what is going on so that your daughter can feel better ASAP!
Pumpgirl03
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I am a very active 18 year old, nursing student.
For the past couple of weeks I have been extremely tired.  I sleep all night, and during the day when I am not attending classes.  I wake up in cold sweats, and feel faint all the time. Also a few days ago I blacked out twice.  I have always been concerned about diabetes because for years I have always had to have something to drink.  Where ever I go I have always kept a bottle of water or a soda with me.  I have also always urinated frequently and have hade many Kidney and Bladder infections.  But whenever I was in high school and would ask my doctor about diabetes they told me it was impossible because if I had juvenile diabetes I would have been violently ill with a virus, and I could not have Type II because I am not overweight.
My cousin was diagnosed with Type I when she was almost 30 years old. And Type II is very common on my mothers side.
I also have been drinking very heavy for the past six months.

Is it possible that I have been borderline Type I for years and now maybe my pancreas has given out totally because it has had to work double time to metabolize all the sugar in the alcohol.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, you may well have suggested exactly what has been going on. The tiredness over a long period of time could easily have been a symptom of hypoglycemia or diabetes, either of which would be made worse by the sugar in the alcohol. I would recommend a blood test ASAP. The passing out is of course dangerous, whether it be from low or high blood sugar. At this point, a glucose tolerance test should be done if a fasting blood sugar does not show diabetes. Frequently, hypoglycemics turn into type 2 diabetics as their pancreases continue to work overtime. A change in lifestyle right now might save you or at least slow down the process. If you have developed diabetes (your family history suggests this is possible), you need immediate medication in order to prevent worse damage. I would RUN, not walk, to my doctor and have a fasting blood sugar done. If the results are high, you can be put on medication. If low or normal, I would absolutely insist on a glucose tolerance test in order to discover whether the faintness is due to hypoglycemia. If driving a vehicle when dizzy, you could easily kill yourself or others. Both conditions are easily treatable, but not knowing is certainly dangerous.
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Avatar_n_tn
i am 15 years old and for the last 2 months ive found my self constantly tired and drinking alot of water and other fluids and i go to the bathroom alot to should i have my parents make a docters apointment ???
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Dear concernedteen,
Your symptoms maybe type 1 diabetes, however, I would recommend talking to your parents and making an appt. with your doctor.  Type 1 is very easy to diagnose. If it turns out that you do, please contact us. We have alot of resources that can help and  people are able to deal with this, including my son, who was diagnosed at eight. Please see a doctor a.s.a.p. just in case. Keep in touch and best of luck.  Please know we are working on a cure, thats our mission.
dm
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Our 19 year old college son has had juvenile diabetes since he was 15 months.  We did a good job taking care of him while he lived at home.  Now that he is at college he is drinking lots of alchoal and I am concerned about how this will complicate his diabetes down the road.  He seems to crave all types of liquor and wine.  Are there any guildlines for drinking with diabetes?  It is my understanding that it should not be done at all.  Since we cannot be with him what can I do to make him understand the seriousness of drinking/diabetes.  He is already on an ace-inhibitor for some kidney problems.  My second question would be what type of damage does alchoal do to type 1 diabetes?  I am very concerned about him.  He has also gained a lot of weight at college.  It would mean a lot to me to have some guidance.  He claims that clear alchoal does not affect diabetics.
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Avatar_n_tn
Our 19 year old college son has had juvenile diabetes since he was 15 months.  We did a good job taking care of him while he lived at home.  Now that he is at college he is drinking lots of alchoal and I am concerned about how this will complicate his diabetes down the road.  He seems to crave all types of liquor and wine.  Are there any guildlines for drinking with diabetes?  It is my understanding that it should not be done at all.  Since we cannot be with him what can I do to make him understand the seriousness of drinking/diabetes.  He is already on an ace-inhibitor for some kidney problems.  My second question would be what type of damage does alchoal do to type 1 diabetes?  I am very concerned about him.  He has also gained a lot of weight at college.  It would mean a lot to me to have some guidance.  He claims that clear alchoal does not affect diabetics.
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Avatar_n_tn
Our 19 year old college son has had juvenile diabetes since he was 15 months.  We did a good job taking care of him while he lived at home.  Now that he is at college he is drinking lots of alchoal and I am concerned about how this will complicate his diabetes down the road.  He seems to crave all types of liquor and wine.  Are there any guildlines for drinking with diabetes?  It is my understanding that it should not be done at all.  Since we cannot be with him what can I do to make him understand the seriousness of drinking/diabetes.  He is already on an ace-inhibitor for some kidney problems.  My second question would be what type of damage does alchoal do to type 1 diabetes?  I am very concerned about him.  He has also gained a lot of weight at college.  It would mean a lot to me to have some guidance.  He claims that clear alchoal does not affect diabetics.
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Dear msr,

I'm responding as a mother of a 27 year old son who has had type 1 diabetes for 19 years.  While I am not a physician and am speaking as a lay person, everything I have been told about alcohol and diabetes, alcohol, should be avoided.  Not only does it impair the ability to detect low bloodsugars, alcohol's primary ingredient is sugar. I have also dealt with this situation with my son.  Keeping open communication is so important, however because he is in college, I'm sure it's harder.  Is he far away?

In regards to "clear alcohol" being safe, alcohol is alcohol and he needs to understand this. If you feel he needs help, I would recommend, as a mom, to suggest counceling with either his physician or a diabetes nutritionist.  My son also found his bloodsugars whould rise and then drop rapidly.  While everyone is different, I have heard this from others also.

Take hope, as my son has gotten older, he takes great pride in being the designated driver. His true friends will be thankful.
I know at his age peer pressure can be very a very difficult thing to deal with, but he has to understand his health is more important, as you no doubt know.

I wish you and your son the very best and you will probably receive more comments.  Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

Sincerely, dm
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
It sure is frightening when kids use alcohol, and college seems to be a setting where many kids experiment.

Technically, those of us with diabetes *can* find acceptable ways to include alcohol -- in moderation -- in our lifestyle.  Here's an excerpt from the JDRF website www.jdrf.org.  (I clicked on Life with Diabetes and then did a search on Alcohol; this was one of several "hits")

Myth: People with diabetes can never drink alcohol.
Fact: Alcohol contains calories but no nutrients. Adults with type 1 diabetes do not necessarily have to rule out drinking alcohol, but they should talk with their doctor or nutritionist about how it fits into their meal plan, and about alcohol's effects on the body. For example, if a person drinks alcohol on an empty stomach, it can make his or her blood glucose level fall too low.

From what you describe, your son would benefit from frank conversations with his endo and whatever you can do to encourage him to follow up would be great.  He is correct that clear alcohol has no carbohydrates to affect his blood sugar directly, but if he mixes alcohol with juice or sugary mixers, he'd need to account for that.  Beer has plenty of carbohydrates.  

Unfortunately, many college students "break out" during college even if they've been quite responsible prior.  To the extent that you & your son can communicate without it becoming overly emotional, you might be able to brainstorm with him on ways to enjoy college life, including some alcohol, while ensuring that the potential dangers do not become inevitable.  

Good luck;  I hope you'll post again with any progress.  Many can benefit from reading successful (and not so successful) ways to reach college age kids.

Just to comfort you a bit.  I've had Type 1 for nearly 35 years, including my college years which occurred before we could do home blood testing.  I'm sure I drank more than I should have sometimes.  I completed college and grad school and am now a college professor.  I do drink alcohol now, but it's been decades since I drank "more than I should." Your son can create a successful future for himself even with moderate alcohol in the picture.
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i am 12 years old and i have been really thirsty lately and going to the bathroom alot.  im tired every day even though i go to bed early every night. i havnt really been keeping up with my weight so i cant tell you if im gaining or losing it.  somedays i will be really hungry and somedays im not hungry at all. do u think i might have diabetes.
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Avatar_n_tn
i have a symtom of headaches, dizzyness shaking a little, hunger and going to the bathroom a lot!! do u think this a symtom or do u think i should ask my docter!!!
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sorry but do u think that mabe because i dont eat at all or im always so hungry a symtom please try to get back to me a.s.a.p because i need to tell my parents if u think so thanks again !! ur a lot of help* thanks again*
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but one day i go alot then the next i dont go at all please help!\
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At the beginning of the year i was eating alot, always thirsty, constantly having to go to the bathroom and was always tired.  I went to the doctors and they did a urinalisis to see if i had type 1 diabetes but it was negative.  Oh also i had lost like five pounds and i already only weighed 95.  I am fifteen and have always been really skinny.  Before i was tested i fainted once in the shower and then all of the other symptoms started.  The symptoms never went away but they weren't as strong as they are now.  I am constantly tired, am always leaving class to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom, which can get embarrassing.  I also have trouble with my eyes and have trouble concentrating, and am constantly hungry.  So i am just wondering if I could have developed diabetes since the beginning of the year?  And should i ask my parents to take me to the doctor again?
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My son is 21 months old.  He is constantly thirsty wanting "juice" which is crystal lite. He plays hard outside and I was contributing the thirst this and him just growing. He hasn't lost any weight and his eating habits are the same.  He has maintained a weight of 28 pounds. I don't know if I am sounding like a paranoid mom, but am worried after seeing some of these symptoms. Just worried because I am pregnant with #2 and am starting to panic!!
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