Are you concerned that you or your loved one may have diabetes? Although the signs of diabetes can begin to show early, sometimes it takes a person a while to recognise the symptoms.

Type 1 diabetes has obvious signs and symptoms, as it develops very quickly within a few days and weeks rather than months.

However, in Type 2 diabetes, the symptoms are not very obvious and many people don’t have any symptoms at all. Depending on the age, children may experience milder symptoms.

Some diabetes symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination – the body’s way to tell you that the kidneys are trying to remove excess glucose in the blood.
  • Excessive thirst – the frequent urination will result in dehydration.
  • Extreme hunger and unusual weight loss – this could be because the body isn’t able to get the adequate energy from the food you eat.
  • Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odour on breath.
  • Drowsiness and increased fatigue.
  • Slow healing of wounds – high blood glucose levels can affect blood flow and cause nerve damage, which makes healing difficult.
  • Recurrent infections such as yeast infections – due to the yeast feeding on the glucose.

With proper treatment, the symptoms of both types of diabetes can be relieved very quickly. Early treatment will also reduce the chances of developing short and long-term health problems. If your child exhibits one or more of these symptoms, contact a doctor immediately for a diabetes test

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is when your blood glucose levels are too high for too long. DKA is most common at diagnosis, and people with Type 1 are often only diagnosed after they’ve gone into DKA.

DKA occurs when a severe lack of insulin means the body cannot use glucose for energy and starts to break down fat instead. Ketones are the by-product of the breakdown of fat and, if left unchecked, can build up and cause the body to become acidic.

The main symptoms of DKA include:

  • Heavy or laboured breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Stomach pains
  • Stupor or unconsciousness.

DKA is very serious and if left untreated can be fatal, if you or your child show any signs of one or more of these symptoms, go to the hospital immediately.