Juvenile Diabetes Symptoms and Signs

Carter, hanging out in the dryer. - December 2013
Carter, hanging out in the dryer. – December 2013

When it comes to Juvenile Diabetes symptoms and signs, they can vary greatly. Here’s how things happened in our house. My son was exhausted all of a sudden, given the fact that he was 16.5 months I thought nothing of it. This was my second child and I’d been through the growing phases of toddlers before. But as the exhaustion continued all of a sudden he started throwing up, yet even then I didn’t think anything of it because he wasn’t throwing up continuously. I was putting Carter down for a nap and gave him some milk, he drank the whole bottle (8 oz) so I got him some more. After drinking another 8 oz bottle he threw up. I thought maybe he was too full, hence the throwing up. When I placed him in the tub to wash him off I noticed how gaunt he looked. His eyes were sunken in and he had dark circles. All of a sudden he looked really thin to me, as I pulled him out of the tub and was dressing him, I stood him up and he fell over. His coordination was off, I took him to Urgent Care immediately. When at Urgent Care, I asked the doctor if my son, though the disease wasn’t present in mine or my husbands family could be a factor? I started putting two and two together on the car ride over and all of the symptoms, when put together sounded like diabetes.  I thought it was impossible to get diabetes unless someone in your family had it.  After the Urgent Care doctor assured me it wasn’t diabetes and he just had a virus that would go away in a couple of days I went home and monitored him.  One week later he wasn’t getting better, and he was more and more weak and uncoordinated, I finally decided to take him to the emergency room.  We were told there that Carter was in sever DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) as his blood sugar reading was 880 (Normal is between 80 and 120).  We ended up in the PICU for 2 days and the regular pediatric unit for an additional 3 for training.  Unfortunately, the only way to prevent DKA is to be aware of the symptoms of it.  If Juvenile Diabetes symptoms are caught early, you can save your little one.  One of the biggest signs in a child who is young (my son was diagnosed at 17 months) is extreme thirst, frequent urination, exhaustion, dehydration, fruity breath, confusion and lack of coordination.  If any of these symptoms are present, for peace of mind it is so worth taking you child to the hospital.  It may be nothing, but if it’s the early onset of Juvenile Diabetes, you will save your child a lot of pain, and yourself a lot of grief.

For more information about Diabetic Ketoacidosis, please refer to this link from the American Diabetes Association website.

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