How To Tell If I Am Diabetic – Children’s Health Mar 10, 2020 10:35:36 AM CDT Dec 17, 2020 10:46:14 AM CST 5 Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) A pediatric endocrinologist helps parents understand this serious condition
Some children are not diagnosed with diabetes until they develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially life-threatening condition. If your child has diabetes or is at risk for diabetes because of family history or other factors, understanding DKA and its symptoms can help you react quickly and get your child the care he or she needs. Huai-Lin Lo, MD, pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Health℠ and assistant professor at UT Southwestern, shares important information about DKA.
How To Tell If I Am Diabetic
Diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, is a serious and potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes. Up to 70% of the time, when a child is first diagnosed with diabetes, it is because they have DKA.
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“Children who develop diabetes have low levels of insulin, a hormone that the body uses to absorb blood sugar — the main source of energy for muscles and other tissues,” says Dr. Lo. “When insulin is too low, the body can’t use blood sugar properly. Instead, the body starts burning fat for energy.”
The liver converts fat into ketones, a type of fuel. However, ketones are acids and when ketone levels are high in the blood, the blood becomes too acidic. This can be toxic and cause a wide range of problems.
When the body can’t properly use sugar for energy, it releases hormones that break down fat for fuel and produce ketones. In a person with low insulin levels, excess ketones build up in the blood faster than they can be used as fuel, leading to DKA. There are several reasons why a child may have high ketone levels:
It is necessary to know the signs and symptoms of DKA in children in order to recognize it early and provide timely, targeted therapy.
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“DKA has similar symptoms to some common diseases, which can make detection difficult,” says Dr. L o. “Know the signs and be sure to talk to your child’s doctor about these symptoms if you have any concerns.”
Signs and symptoms of DKA include frequent urination, increased thirst, increased hunger, unexplained weight loss, and flu-like symptoms.
DKA is a serious condition. Always seek medical attention from your pediatrician or other medical professional if your child has the above symptoms. Early recognition can help reduce the severity of DKA in a child and potentially save a child’s life.
Children’s Health’s nationally recognized diabetes program provides 24-hour care for children with diabetes. Find out how our experts can help diagnose and treat diabetes in children of all ages.
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Find out what’s new in diabetes care and hormone health. Sign up for the monthly newsletter from the Endocrinology for Children’s Health team. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic (lifelong) autoimmune disease that prevents your pancreas from producing insulin. It requires daily management of insulin injections and blood sugar control. Both children and adults can be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually start mild and gradually become worse or more intense, which can happen over days, weeks or months. If you or your child experiences these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Insulin is an important hormone that regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Under normal circumstances, insulin works in the following steps:
When you don’t have enough insulin, too much sugar builds up in your blood, causing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), and your body can’t use the food you eat for energy. This can lead to serious health problems or even death if left untreated. People with type 1 diabetes need synthetic insulin every day to live and be healthy.
Do I Have Diabetes?
Although type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are both forms of diabetes mellitus (as opposed to diabetes insipidus) that lead to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), they are different from each other.
In type 2 diabetes (T2D), your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or your body doesn’t always use that insulin as it should—usually because of insulin resistance. Lifestyle factors, including obesity and lack of exercise, can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, as can genetic factors.
Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, although it is becoming more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can get it.
Anyone can develop type 1 diabetes (T1D) at any age, although the most common age of diagnosis is between the ages of 4 and 6 and early puberty (10 to 14 years).
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In the United States, non-Hispanic white people are most likely to have type 1 diabetes, and it affects nearly as many people assigned as female at birth as those assigned as male at birth.
Although you don’t have to have a relative with type 1 diabetes to develop the condition, having a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with type 1 diabetes increases your risk of developing it.
Type 1 diabetes is relatively common. About 1.24 million people in the United States live with type 1 diabetes, and that number is expected to rise to five million by 2050.
Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children in the United States, although adults can also get the disease.
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Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually start mild and gradually become worse or more intense, which can happen over days, weeks or months. This is because your pancreas is producing less and less insulin.
If you or your child has these symptoms, it is imperative that you see your doctor and get tested for type 1 diabetes as soon as possible. The sooner you are diagnosed, the better.
If diagnosis is delayed, untreated type 1 diabetes can be life-threatening due to a complication called diabetes-related ketoacidosis (DKA). Get emergency medical help if you or your child experiences any combination of the following symptoms:
Type 1 diabetes develops when your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. This destruction can take place over months or years, eventually resulting in a complete deficiency (deficiency) of insulin.
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While scientists do not yet know the exact cause of type 1 diabetes, they believe there is a strong genetic component. The risk of developing the disease without a family history is about 0.4%. If your birth mother has type 1 diabetes, your risk is 1% to 4%, and your risk is 3% to 8% if your birth father has it. If both of your biological parents have type 1 diabetes, your risk of developing the condition is as high as 30%.
Scientists believe that certain factors, such as a virus or environmental toxins, can trigger your immune system to attack cells in your pancreas if you are genetically predisposed to developing type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is relatively easy to diagnose. If you or your child has symptoms of type 1 diabetes, your doctor will order the following tests:
Your doctor will also likely order the following tests to evaluate your general health and check for diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious acute complication of undiagnosed or untreated type 1 diabetes:
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An endocrinologist – a health professional who specializes in treating hormone-related conditions – treats people with type 1 diabetes. Some endocrinologists specialize in diabetes.
You should see your endocrinologist regularly to make sure your type 1 diabetes treatment is working properly. Your insulin should change throughout your life.
People with type 1 diabetes need synthetic insulin every day, several times a day, to live and be healthy. They should also try to keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
There are different types of synthetic insulin. Each one starts working at a different rate and stays in your body for a different amount of time. You may need to use more than one type.
Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)
Some types of inulin are more expensive than others. Work with your endocrinologist to find the right type of insulin for your needs.
In addition to a baseline insulin level (often called basal), you need to give yourself certain amounts of insulin when you eat and to correct high blood sugar.
The amount of insulin you need each day varies throughout your life and under certain circumstances. For example, you usually need higher doses of insulin during puberty, pregnancy, and when you are taking steroid medications.
That’s why it’s important to see your endocrinologist regularly — usually at least three times a year — to make sure your insulin doses and overall diabetes treatment are working for you.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)
People with type 1 diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels carefully throughout the day. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar range is the best way to prevent health complications. You can check your blood sugar in the following ways:
Your doctor will tell you what your target blood glucose level should be. This depends on several factors, including your:
A big part of treating type 1 diabetes is counting the carbohydrates (carbohydrates) in the foods and drinks you consume.
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