It can be difficult to identify diabetes in your child purely based on the warning signs. If you suspect your child might have diabetes see your pediatrician as soon as possible. Early detection is a key in managing childhood diabetes. The American Diabetes Association lists several possible warning signs to watch for in children who may have diabetes. Excessive thirst or hunger, frequent bathroom visits, fatigue, headaches and irritability. Monitoring your child for these early warning signs can help you get early assistance for monitoring your child’s health as it relates to getting an early diagnosis for diabetes.
Excessive Thirst or Hunger
Drinking too much water is not something we usually worry about with our children. But it can be an early warning sign of diabetes. Children with diabetes tend to get excessively thirsty and will search out fluids like water and juices. If you notice your child drinking much more fluid than normal this could be a sign of diabetes.
Excessive hunger can also be a sign of diabetes, but we have all seen our child go through a growth spurt and eat everything they can get their hands on. It is something to mention to your doctor at a regular check up if you feel your child is eating much more than normal.
With or without excessive drinking, you might notice your child is urinating more than usual. Diabetes affects your kidneys and can make it hard for the body to maintain a proper fluid balance. Children who don’t drink excessively could still have frequent urination. Take a look at the color of your child’s urine as well. Dark colored urine can be a warning sign of dehydration and diabetes. Clear or extremely pale yellow urine can mean your child is drinking too much water or other fluids.
Tiredness is one of those things we come to expect from our children. Sometimes not sleeping enough or busy schedules can cause this fatigue. But if you notice your child is tired even after a full night’s sleep it might be a warning sign of diabetes. Be watchful of when they fall asleep and if they get tired quickly while participating in physical activities. You know your child and will be able to tell if their behavior is something out of the normal for them.
Children with diabetes may also have high blood pressure which can manifest itself as headaches in children. Keep an eye out for excessive headaches or dizziness in your child. An occasional headache happens to all children, but if you notice frequent headaches this could be a warning sign of diabetes. There are many other causes of headaches, and any time your child is having frequent headaches you should discuss these with your doctor.
If your child is having fluctuations in their blood glucose levels this can be seen through mood swings and irritability in your child. The low blood sugars that come on when the body is not managing glucose properly can leave your child feeling overly tired and irritably. Watch out for correlations between eating certain sugary foods and any irritability or mood swings in your child.
As a parent you never know if a warning sign is truly a warning sign or just a blip in the daily life of your child. Keep track of unusual activity and talk it over with your doctor. Any number of these warning signs could turn out to be nothing. Also, your child could end up having diabetes and not show any early warning signs. An open line of communication with your doctor at your child’s regular checkups will be important.