Diabetes mellitus in a child: symptoms and signs at different ages, treatment

Childhood diabetes causes much more problems than it does in adults. This is understandable: a child with glycemia is more difficult to adapt among peers and it is more difficult for him to change his habits.

Therefore, sugar sickness in this case is more of a psychological problem than a physiological one.

It is very important to be able to “calculate” it at the very beginning. Knowing the symptoms and signs of diabetes in children is the most important task for parents.

Symptoms and signs of diabetes in children

In small patients, type 1 diabetes is mainly dominant. Unfortunately, this disease is mainly due to a genetic predisposition. The impetus for the development of pathology is given by some external factor, often infection. But the cause can be stress or toxic poisoning.

What are the signs that you can understand that a baby is developing a disease

Diabetes mellitus in a one-year-old child is very poorly diagnosed. A nursing baby, unlike older children, cannot tell about his health.

And parents, seeing his discomfort, often underestimate the danger of the situation.

Therefore, the disease is detected too late: when the baby is diagnosed with diabetic coma or ketoacidosis (acidification of the blood). This condition leads to dehydration and kidney dysfunction in infants.

Symptoms of diabetes in children under 1 year old are as follows:

  • from birth, the baby has various dermatitis and irritations. In girls, it is vulvitis, and in boys, diaper rash and inflammation in the groin and foreskin are observed;
  • constant thirst. The kid cries and is capricious. But if you give him a drink, he immediately calms down.
  • with normal appetite, the baby does not gain weight well;
  • frequent and profuse urination. At the same time, the baby’s urine is too sticky. It leaves a characteristic whitish, starchy coating on the diapers;
  • the child is often naughty for no apparent reason. He is lethargic and apathetic;
  • baby’s skin becomes dry and flaky.

Diabetes can develop in a newly born baby or in the first 2 months of his life. The danger of the situation is that diabetes progresses very quickly and without emergency intervention threatens a diabetic coma.

In a newborn, the symptoms are different:

  • severe vomiting and diarrhea;
  • frequent urination and dehydration.

“12817”] The disease can develop in a baby born at term, but with a low weight, or in a premature baby.

What are the symptoms of diabetes mellitus in babies 2-3 years old?

During this period, the signs of diabetes appear sharply and rapidly: in a few days (sometimes weeks). Therefore, you should not think that everything will go away by itself, on the contrary, you urgently need to go with the baby to the hospital.

Symptoms of diabetes at the age of 2-3 years are as follows:

  • the baby urinates frequently. The reason is that people with diabetes are always thirsty. If you notice that the child began to go to the toilet at night, this is a reason to be wary. Perhaps this is how SD manifests itself;
  • fast weight loss. Sudden weight loss is another sign of insulin deficiency. The baby lacks the energy that the body takes from sugar. As a result, the active processing of fat accumulations begins, and the child loses weight;
  • fast fatiguability;
  • susceptibility to infections;
  • kids with diabetes are always hungry, even if they eat normally. This is the peculiarity of the disease. Anxiety of parents should be caused by a loss of appetite in a 2-3-year-old baby, since this may be the beginning of the development of ketoacidosis. The diagnosis will be confirmed by the characteristic acetone odor from the baby’s mouth, drowsiness and complaints of abdominal pain.

The older the baby is, the easier it is to notice the initial symptoms of diabetes. But the main indicator, of course, is frequent urination (this is primary) and excessive thirst.

Clinical manifestations of the disease at the age of 5-7 years

The symptoms of diabetes in children of this age are similar to those of adults. But due to physiological reasons, diabetes in babies is more pronounced.

The clinical manifestations are as follows:

  • due to frequent drinking, the baby constantly has an urge to urinate: both day and night. So the child’s body seeks to get rid of excess glucose. There is a direct relationship: the higher the sugar, the stronger the thirst and, accordingly, the more frequent urination. The frequency of going to the toilet can be up to 20 times a day. Normally – 5-6 times. Psychologically difficult child and enuresis;
  • dehydration and sweating;
  • after eating, the baby feels weak;
  • tightness and dryness of the skin.

If a child is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, then in addition to the listed symptoms, the following signs will be added:

  • insulin resistance. In this case, the cells become insensitive to insulin and cannot efficiently metabolize glucose;
  • excess weight;
  • mild symptoms of diabetes.

With an excess of insulin, the baby will be prescribed anti-sugar medications. They will not change the level of the hormone, but will help the cells to metabolize it properly.

How does pathology manifest at 8-10 years old?

School-aged children have the highest risk of developing diabetes. Pathology is developing rapidly and proceeding severely. It is very difficult to identify it during this period.

The fact is that the disease has no characteristic signs. The child only looks tired and depressed.

Parents often attribute this behavior to fatigue due to the stress at school or to whims. And the child himself, not understanding the reasons for this condition, once again does not complain to his parents about his health.

It is important not to miss such early symptoms of pathology as:

  • trembling in the limbs (more often in the hands);
  • tearfulness and irritability;
  • unreasonable fears and phobias;
  • heavy sweating.

For a progressive disease, the following symptoms are characteristic:

  • the child drinks a lot: more than 4 liters per day;
  • often goes to the toilet on a small one. This also happens at night. But the hardest thing in this situation for the child is that he is forced to take time off from the lesson;
  • wants to have a snack all the time. If the child is not limited in food, he can transfer;
  • or, conversely, the appetite disappears. This should immediately alert parents: ketoacidosis is possible;
  • sharp weight loss;
  • complaints of blurred vision;
  • I really want sweets;
  • poor healing of wounds and scratches. Often, pustules form on the child’s skin, which do not heal for a long time;
  • bleeding gums;
  • the liver is enlarged (can be detected by palpation).

Observing such symptoms, parents should immediately take the child to an endocrinologist. The main thing is to identify the pathology at the very beginning and start treatment. This is very important, because if you look at the disease, the child will develop hyperglycemia.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia are as follows:

  • cramps in the arms and legs;
  • tachycardia;
  • BP is below normal;
  • acute thirst;
  • the mucous membrane of the mouth is dry;
  • vomiting and diarrhea;
  • stomach ache;
  • severe polyuria;
  • loss of consciousness.

It should be remembered that pathological changes in the form of complications that occur in the child’s body with glycemia are often irreversible. Everything possible must be done to prevent such a difficult situation.

The norm of blood sugar by age and the reasons for high rates

It should be noted that blood sugar values ​​directly depend on the age of the child. There is a rule: the more the baby is, the higher his glucose values.

So, the norm is taken (mmol per liter):

  • 0-6 months – 2.8-3.9;
  • from six months to a year – 2.8-4.4;
  • at 2-3 years old – 3.2-3.5;
  • at 4 years old – 3.5-4.1;
  • at 5 years old – 4.0-4.5;
  • at 6 years old – 4.4-5.1;
  • from 7 to 8 years old – 3.5-5.5;
  • from 9 to 14 years old – 3.3-5.5;
  • from 15 years and older – the norm corresponds to adult indicators.

You should know that the blood sugar values ​​in a newborn and in a baby under 10 years old do not depend on gender. The change in numbers occurs (and even that is insignificant) only in adolescents and adults.

Low rates in children under one year old are explained by the fact that a small organism is still developing. At this age, it is considered a normal situation when the crumbs after eating, the glucose levels increase sharply.

And after physical activity, on the contrary, they decrease. If a blood test reveals high blood sugar, the child is more likely to develop diabetes.

But the reason for the increase in blood sugar may be different:

  • improper preparation for analysis. The child ate before the procedure;
  • on the eve of the study, the baby ate too much fatty and carbohydrate foods. Both reasons are the result of parental illiteracy. It is important to know that the analysis is carried out only on an empty stomach;
  • sugar has grown as a result of a strong emotional shock (more often negative). This was due to the fact that the thyroid gland was functioning in an enhanced mode.

If the test was passed correctly and showed high sugar, the baby will be prescribed a blood transfusion.

It is especially important to monitor glucose levels in children over 5 years old with obesity or genetic predisposition. It has been proven that with poor heredity, diabetes can appear in a child at any age (up to 20 years).

How much do children pee with diabetes?

The frequency of urination is a very important indicator. It signals the state of the baby’s genitourinary system. Therefore, if violations of the usual regime are noticed, the cause should be identified as soon as possible.

In a healthy child (as he grows), the volume of daily urine increases, and the amount of urination, on the contrary, decreases.

You need to focus on the following daily rates:

AgeUrine volume (ml)Number of urinations
Up to six months300-50020-24
6 month-year300-60015-17
1 to 3 years old760-83010-12
3-7 years old890-13207-9
7-9 years old1240-15207-8
9-13 years old1520-19006-7

If there are significant deviations from these guidelines, this is a reason to worry. When the daily volume of urine has dropped by 25-30%, oliguria occurs. If it has increased by half or more, they talk about polyuria. Rare urination in babies occurs after vomiting and diarrhea, lack of fluid and overheating.

When a child pees very often, the reason may be:

  • cooling;
  • a large amount of alcohol consumed;
  • stress;
  • kidney disease;
  • worms.

The pediatrician should determine the cause of the deviation based on tests.

“12817”] Do not try to heal the child yourself. So, warming up his crotch (thinking that the baby is frozen), you will only aggravate the situation, since frequent urges can be caused by an infection of the genitourinary system.

Diabetic blush

Another name is rubeosis. It occurs due to impaired metabolism in the child’s body and weak blood microcirculation. With an unstable course of diabetes in babies, there is an unhealthy blush on the cheeks, redness of the forehead and chin.

Internal picture of the disease (VKB)

The VKB study helps doctors understand the internal state of a baby or adolescent. Such testing of the patient expands the understanding of his psychology.

VKB helps to find out how a child experiences his illness, what his feelings are, how he imagines the illness, whether he understands the need for treatment, whether he believes in its effectiveness.

WKB is often carried out in the form of testing and includes the following main components:

  • features of the baby’s psycho-emotional response;
  • objective manifestations of pathology;
  • intelligence;
  • personal experience of past illnesses;
  • knowledge about your physiology;
  • the concept of the causes of illness and death;
  • the attitude of parents and doctors to the patient.

Identification of VKB can take place in the form of conversations with the baby and his parents, or in a game format.

Features of the course of type 1 and 2 diabetes in young children

The difference between the flow of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is as follows:

  • at the onset of the disease, 5-25% of young patients have a lack of insulin;
  • the symptomatology of the pathology is poorly expressed;
  • the rapid development of complications of the myocardium and blood vessels;
  • with type 1 diabetes, autoantibodies can be detected, and this will complicate the diagnosis;
  • in 40% of cases, at the beginning of the pathology in children, ketosis is observed.

Children who are obese (or prone to it) should be screened for type 2 diabetes.

Analyzes and other diagnostic methods

Mandatory studies consist of:

  • analysis of blood and urine for glucose;
  • glycated hemoglobin test;
  • glucose tolerance;
  • Ph blood (from artery);
  • determination of insulin and C-peptide;
  • urine analysis for ketones;
  • Ultrasound of the pancreas, as well as AT-ICA in juvenile type diabetes mellitus.

Principles of pediatric diabetes treatment

As you know, with type 1 diabetes there is a low or no insulin synthesis. Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves replenishing the hormone deficiency. 

The therapy is carried out with insulin syringes. And here an individual approach is very important. The therapy is developed by a doctor supervising a small patient.

His height and weight, physical form and severity of the pathology are taken into account. If necessary, the doctor will adjust the therapy. Another important condition is to follow a developed diet.

The doctor will teach the parents and the child the correct calculation of meals, tell about the permitted foods and about those that cannot be eaten categorically. The doctor will talk about the benefits and necessity of physical education, and its effect on glycemia.

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