Monday, 30 November 2009

When to suspect diabetes in children?

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are as follows:
  1. Passing more urine and more frequently
  2. Drinking water too much and more often
  3. Weight loss
  4. Weakness and lethargy
  5. Excessively hungry (sometimes loss of appetite)
  6. Infections such as ‘thrush’ (candidiasis)
  7.  Bedwetting at night in a previously ‘dry at night’ child
  Some of the symptoms mentioned above (excessive drinking, passing more urine, wet at night) may be difficult to notice in a very young child.
  These symptoms may be present for one week to six months prior to the presentation at the hospital.

  Some patients (about 25%) with type 1 diabetes may present with ‘Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)’ a more serious form of symptoms. In this case child will be unwell and comes with vomiting, tummy pains and dehydration (dry mouth, lips, sunken eyes etc). Some kids may be in ‘coma’ when they present with diabetes to their doctor.

 Diabetes is diagnosed based on the symptoms mentioned above and is confirmed with a blood test. Any time (random) blood sugar concentration of > 11.1mmol/L (200mg/dL) or a blood sugar after an over night fasting (fasting blood sugar) > 7.0mmol/L (126mg/dL) confirms diabetes. Doctors may also do a urine test (to check for glucose and ketones) and few other blood tests at the time of diagnosis.
Next post will be on 'treatment for type 1 diabetes'.

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