Diabetes particularly Type 1 diabetes is condition impacting the immune system wherein the insulin producing beta cells are destroyed leading to low production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed for the production of energy from glucose. Infant diabetes is a condition affecting babies and toddlers.
This is not a common health problem and only one percent of babies less than a year old suffer from this problem. This is one of the major reasons why parents fail to identify this infant health problem. However, to prevent complications arising from diabetes it is important to provide proper diabetes care to your child.
Although Type 1 diabetes is more common in babies, Type 2 diabetes caused by insulin resistance too can affect your child. Before we learn about the ways of coping with this problem it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of infant diabetes. Since the child is not able to communicate the problem, the parent may confuse it with some normal infant health problem. There are some distinct signs that can help detect diabetes in babies.
4 Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes In Infant
Frequent and Excessive Urination
Infant diabetes affects the child’s pancreas and it is no longer able to produce sufficient insulin. This in turn affects the glucose absorption leading to the rise in the blood glucose levels. The kidneys flush out the excess glucose through the urine. This causes frequent and excessive urination also known as polyuria by the baby. Check for frequently wet diapers as it could indicate infant diabetes.
Persistent Diaper Rash
Check for chronic diaper rash or yeast infections in babies that just refuse to go away. Diabetes slows down the healing time of wound and rashes. Hence, you can find chronic infections and rashes in babies.
Since the baby tends to urinate more and the yeast thrives on the sugar excreted through the urine, the diaper rash may just refuse to heal.
Excessive Hunger and Thirst
As the child urinates more to remove the sugar in the blood, the body will be dehydrated. This can cause excessive thirst as the body starts expecting higher water intake. Moreover when the insulin fails to produce the glucose needed for energy, the baby may feel hungry all the time. If your baby is constantly thirsty or excessively hungry, then watch out for infant diabetes.
Irritation and Lethargy
An overtly irritable and fussy baby is often a sign of some health problem. Due to the constant hunger and thirst the baby may be extremely irritable. The baby may appear lethargic and tired as the energy needed by the breakdown of the glucose is hampered. Increased fatigue and sleeping more than usual could be a sign of diabetes in babies.
If you observe these symptoms of infant diabetes, it is important to contact the pediatrician immediately. To manage the diabetes in infants the doctor will have to monitor the development stages along with the feedings and blood glucose levels at regular intervals. Insulin injection or pumps are used to regulate the blood glucose in infants.