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Warning Signs of Type 1 Diabetes


Each year 15,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the US. Prevalence of type 1 diabetes in Americans under the age of 20 rose by 23% between 2001 and 2009.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that is not caused by diet, lack of exercise or being overweight. Symptoms usually develop quickly over a period of weeks and unexplained weight loss is usually the first sign to be noticed. All adults should be familiar with the warning signs of type 1 diabetes and medical care should be sought quickly if symptoms are noticed in a child in your care. You might just save a child’s life!

These flu-like symptoms could also be type 1 diabetes:
• Extreme thirst
• Stupor, unconsciousness
• Frequent urination
• Sudden weight loss
• Increased appetite
• Sudden vision changes
• Fruity odor on breath
• Nausea or vomiting
• Drowsiness, lethargy
• Heavy, labored breathing

Susan Quigley, RN, BSN, NCSN