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Symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes

The symptoms of juvenile diabetes, also known as Type 1 diabetes, and Type 2 diabetes are extremely similar, but the two are caused by very different bodily malfunctions. It is important to know which type the individual is afflicted with in order to provide the right treatment, which also varies between types.

Juvenile diabetes is an as of now incurable (but treatable!) autoimmune disease in which the body is somehow triggered to attack innocent, insulin-producing cells in the pancreas called beta cells. (Medical professionals suspect the triggers may be hereditary or environmental, but have no conclusive evidence.) Juvenile diabetes is almost always first diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. A person with juvenile diabetes has the right amount of glucose, the body's main fuel, in his system, but lacks insulin, which carries glucose throughout the bloodstream. Without insulin, the body cannot be fueled, and essentially begins to waste away.

If your child has diabetes, he may display a host of tell-tale symptoms. One of the most noticeable juvenile diabetes symptoms is increased urination. The body is still producing glucose, but since insulin isn't transporting the glucose to the appropriate cells, it amasses. The kidneys attempt to resolve the problem by getting rid of the extra sugar the glucose build-up leaves, which causes frequent urges to urinate.

Increased thirst is another important symptom that parents usually assume accounts for their child's increased urination. Unfortunately, the real explanation for their child's sudden inability to drink enough is the fact that he is constantly letting anything he drinks out of his body via urination.

Children with juvenile diabetes are often constantly hungry no matter how much they eat, since without insulin to carry their body's fuel source, glucose, they are technically never actually fed.

Another telling symptom of juvenile diabetes is significant weight loss. Since people with Type 2 diabetes tend to be overweight, diabetes is usually associated with weight gain, but with Type 1 diabetes, circumstances are just the opposite. The child in question is not receiving any fuel in the form of glucose, so the body has nothing to create fat from. His appetite increases monstrously, but his weight drops at an entirely disproportionate rate - distinct potential warning signs of Type 1 diabetes.

Other symptoms logically stemming from those listed above but not necessarily present in children with juvenile diabetes include fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, a peculiar fruity type of odor in the breath, absence of menstruation in girls, and bed-wetting. Parents should be especially concerned when children who normally don't wet the bed at all begin to do so quite frequently.

Juvenile diabetes is a very serious, chronic disease that must be treated immediately. Do not try to excuse frequent thirst and hunger as the natural cravings of a growing child, especially when paired with any of the above symptoms. The onset of juvenile diabetes is extremely fast, and can be deadly, so the instant you suspect something is amiss with your child, get him screened by a professional and, if needed, properly treated without delay.

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