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Brain Changes & Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis in Kids

Complication called ketoacidosis can affect memory, thinking for six months, reports study

continued...

Cameron said he was concerned that repeated episodes of diabetic ketoacidosis might lead to cumulative damage.

Although this study only looked at a six-month period, Cameron said previous research hints these changes may be longer lasting.

Aaron Kowalski, vice president of treatment therapies for JDRF, said parents shouldn't be overly concerned by these findings. A number of studies have looked at brain function and diabetes, he said. "The question is whether diabetes has a long-term lasting effect on thinking and reasoning, and the data isn't there. Long-term studies suggest there is not a long-term effect," he said.

But the topic warrants further research, Kowalski added, and highlights the continuing need to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis from occurring. "DKA still kills people, so we need to do better. We need better tools. And we need to educate doctors more on the symptoms of type 1 diabetes," he said.

Signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • Extreme thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination, including bedwetting accidents in children who don't normally have them
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Mood changes
  • Drowsiness
  • Vision changes
  • Fruity breath odor

If you notice any of these signs, a simple finger-stick blood test at the doctor's office can diagnose type 1 diabetes.

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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