It is very important to know the signs of Type 1 Diabetes. We didn't, so we were not looking for them. Now let me go ahead and tell you the signs and then we will talk about Boaz's signs and why these signs occur.
- Excessive thirst or hunger
- Weight loss
- Having to use bathroom a lot more, or suddenly wetting through diapers
- Constant, unexplained crankiness
- Frequent infections of the skin
More serious signs:
- Labored Breathing
- Fruity Smell to breath
Now, I don't want you to worry every time your child wets through their diaper (I sure do!) or is really thirsty, but I do want you to be aware of the signs so that it will not go unnoticed. With Boaz, I would have never guessed he had T1D.
There were only three signs that I caught (even though I didn't connect them with diabetes) before diagnosis:
- When he was a baby, he was the squirmiest you would ever meet. He started Occupational Therapy when he was only 1 month old so his OT knew this well. In the few months prior to diagnosis, we knew something wasn't quite right, yet we didn't think anything was wrong. At therapy, he just wasn't his bubbly, squirmy self, but we didn't think too much of it.
- Boaz was wetting through his diapers on a regular basis but as soon as we switched to Pampers, he no longer did so I just assumed that was a baby thing.
- One day, I picked Boaz up and I could feel his spine, which I had never noticed before. I suspected weight loss at that point (though I still was not thinking diabetes) and made note to mention it to the doctor when we went that week. Before we even made it to the doctor that week we were told that they suspected diabetes was in his future.
Now that I look back on it, I can spot other signs that we missed, which just makes me so thankful that God had His hand on Boaz!
Ok, now for the reasons diabetes causes these things:
- Excessive thirst or hunger: T1D can cause thirstiness when a child's blood sugar is high as a way to flush ketones out of its system. It may cause hunger if the child is low and needs to bring their sugar up.
- Weight loss: The body needs insulin to convert sugar to energy. When it does not have the insulin to do so it turns to fat resulting in weight loss and ketones.
- Using the bathroom a lot more is also a result of the body flushing out ketones
- Crankiness and fatigue: When you sugar is high or low, you do not feel like yourself and thus may be cranky or tired
- Diabetes often slows down the healing process with wounds, so you may get infections easily if left untreated
- The more serious signs may be symptoms of ketosis, which could be very dangerous. If your child has these symptoms, seek medical attention.