Diagnosing Diabetes in Infants
Type 1 diabetes can affect individuals of any age, including infants and children. If you find out your baby has diabetes, it is important to start taking action immediately to make sure he or she has a safe and healthy lifestyle and diet. Don’t stress; diabetes is rarely a life-threatening disease in infants, as long as parents know how to treat their child.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that prevents the body from producing enough insulin to breakdown glucose for energy. Some infants can also develop type 2 diabetes, a disorder of insulin-resistance causing blood sugar to rise. Infants with Down syndrome and Turner syndrome are especially vulnerable.
Signs and Symptoms
Crankiness: All babies have their cranky moments, but these are usually sporadic and can be easily treated with a nap or some milk. If your baby is perpetually cranky, he or she may be experiencing health complications from diabetes.
Sweating: Babies who sweat a lot may be exhibiting a symptom of diabetes.
Trembling: Diabetes can cause some infants to seem frightened or shaky.
Paleness or bluish lips and fingers: If your child has very pale skin or a bluish tint to his or her lips, fingers, or toes, this may be evidence of diabetes.
If your child has any of these symptoms, it is essential to get his or her glucose tested immediately. An infant’s brain development requires a continuous supply of glucose to the brain. It is the parents' responsibility to monitor their child’s glucose. If your child is easily dehydrated or urinates frequently, these can be signs of hypoclycema.
If your child is diagnosed with diabetes, monitor his or her insulin intake to reduce the chances of developing hypoglycemia. Dehydration is a major risk factor for young children and can result in ketoacidosis or a diabetic coma if untreated. Apple juice is a great quick-fix for dehydration.