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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Childhood diabetes

From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Other symptoms for children might be fatigue, weight loss and increased hunger. The lack of sugar in their cells can cause children to become exhausted. If you begin to notice that your daughter is showing signs of fatigue but her activity has not increased, that is an area of concern. Also, some children may lose weight, as they're not able to store what they're eating in their body anymore without insulin. So weight loss can be another sign of diabetes.

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes tend to develop rapidly in young people; whereas, Type 2 diabetes symptoms develop over time and may be so gradual that you do not notice. For children with Type 2 diabetes, other symptoms might include blurry vision and darkened areas of the skin, particularly around the neck or in the armpits.

Young people who develop diabetes are at a higher risk of health challenges throughout their lives. Complications from diabetes may include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, increased risk for stroke and kidney disease, as well as other conditions.

Even if your daughter has not exhibited any other signs of diabetes, you should call her pediatrician or health care provider to determine next steps. He or she may recommend blood and urine tests. If your daughter is found to have diabetes, you likely will be referred to a pediatric endocrinologist for ongoing care. If she is found to be at high risk or on the cusp for diabetes, you also may want to meet with a specialist to develop a proactive plan to lower her risk for the future.

As scary as it might sound to have a child diagnosed with diabetes, the condition is manageable, and patients can go on to be active and have good quality of life.

 

― Dr. Ana Creo, Pediatric Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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