Signs of Diabetes

There are many signs of diabetes, including:

  • Urinating a lot. When there's not enough insulin to move glucose to the cells, the glucose stays in the blood, causing it to rise. Your child's body has to get rid of this extra glucose and spills it into urine. The glucose draws out the body's water with it, so your child has to go to the bathroom more than usual.
  • Drinking a lot. When your child's body loses fluid from high blood glucose, he may get dehydrated (dried out) and become thirsty. So a child with high blood glucose tends to drink more.
  • Eating a lot. Since glucose is not getting into the cells, the body does not get energy. The brain asks for more food, so people with high blood glucose may eat more.
  • Energy loss. The less glucose in the body's cells, the less energy a person has. People with high blood glucose are more likely to feel tired.
  • Weight loss. Without enough insulin, the body uses its fat for energy. As fat is lost, your child may lose weight, too. Your child may also lose weight from dyhydration casued by going to the bathroom a lot.
  • Headaches, stomachaches, back pain, nausea or vomiting. When the body uses fat for energy, blood glucose and urine ketones can rise and cause these signs. Deep, rapid breathing (called Kussmaul breathing) also can occur when ketones are very high. These are all signs of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
  • Blurred distance vision. The lens is the part of the eye that focuses your child's vision. When blood glucose levels get high, the lens can swell. The swelling can prevent your child's eye from focusing normally.
  • Repeated skin infections.  High blood sugar levels can make it easier for your child to get infections. 
    • High levels of sugar “feed” the germs that cause infections. This is particularly true for yeast infections. 
    • Infection-fighting cells lose some of their strength when blood glucose is high. This is especially true for bacterial infections of the skin that cause boils and abscesses.