Juvenile diabetes begin in childhood or adolescence and if not treated properly it can result in serious health risks later in life including heart attack, eye disorders including blindness, damage to the nervous system or kidneys and poor circulation in the legs which can lead to loss to a limb.
However, if symptoms of juvenile diabetes are discovered early, then the disease can often be brought under control and the child can grow up to lead a normal life free of serious health complications.
Symptoms of juvenile diabetes type 1
In type 1 juvenile diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin. “Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into the cells. The body is unable to use this glucose for energy. This leads to the symptoms of type 1 diabetes” (1).
Some children will have no symptoms before being diagnosed while others will notice symptoms that come on suddenly.
Symptoms of juvenile diabetes type 2
In juvenile diabetes type 2 , the pancreas may still be able to produce insulin, but the amount produced may be too little or the body may have become resistant to its effects. This leads to the symptoms of juvenile diabetes type 2.
Risk factors for juvenile diabetes type 2 include being overweight, inactive, eating a low nutritional diet and having a strong family history of diabetes.
Juvenile diabetes is becoming more prevalent so it is important for every parent to understand the symptoms of this disease and have a child tested early if there is any concern about the presence of juvenile diabetes.
An early diagnosis may open up more treatment options and help the child manage their condition and avoid long term health consequences.
(1) Medline Plus (2010). Type 1 diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000305.htm