Catching diabetes early is key. The sooner you know your child has it, the sooner he or she can be treated and avoid serious complications.
But in order to catch it, you have to know what to look for. And if your child is exhibiting symptoms, they’re already on the path to problems. So if you start to see symptoms and are concerned that your child may have diabetes or another health issue (as many of the items on this list point to various diseases or illnesses and are not specific to diabetes), please take them to the doctor to have blood tests done rather than wait for more symptoms to show up.
Watch for the 11 signs and symptoms below to help get your child the diagnosis they need before the situation becomes more serious.
Increased heart rate
If your child complains about their heart pumping quickly or even hurting, something isn’t quite right. Of course, keep in mind that your child’s heart works faster than yours no matter what (hearts beat slower as you age) and that it will pump faster if your child has just been active or frightened. But if it persists and you’re concerned, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Get it checked out.
Extreme thirst or hunger
Again, keep in mind that the more active your child is, the more thirsty they will likely be. But if you start to see a spike in the amount your child drinks or how often they ask for a drink or complain of being thirsty, you may want to take your child to the doctor to be tested for diabetes.
Increased hunger can also be a result of diabetes, and the way to tell it apart from a growth spurt is if it accompanies weight loss rather than weight gain.
Extra trips to the bathroom and bedwetting
Along with drinking more water comes extra bathroom breaks. If you notice your child using the bathroom or wetting the bed more, or if your child or his or her teacher brings it up, it may be a cause for concern. Start paying more careful attention to how much and what your child drinks and how often they use the bathroom. Ask your child if these habits feel abnormal to them.
Abnormal weakness and fatigue
It’s normal to be tired if you haven’t had enough sleep or for various other reasons. It can also be hard to see the difference between boredom and fatigue in your child. But if your child is getting enough sleep and doesn’t seem to be interested in their normal activities or sleeps more in general, it may be time to start worrying about diabetes or some other health issue. If the symptom persists, see a doctor about it.
Reduced blood pressure
One of the things you can have your doctor check if you’re concerned about diabetes is blood pressure. If your child’s blood pressure is below 90/60, ask your doctor to run blood tests to check for diabetes.
Check out 6 more signs and symptoms of diabetes in your child on the next page.
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