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Type 1 Diabetes: Recently Diagnosed - Symptoms

Your (or your child's) symptoms of type 1 diabetes probably developed quickly, over a few days to weeks. These symptoms are caused by blood sugar levels rising above the normal range (hyperglycemia) and include:

  • Frequent urination, which may be more noticeable at night. If your child has already learned to use the toilet, he or she may have started wetting the bed during naps or at night. The kidneys are trying to get rid of the excess sugar in the blood. In order to do that, they have to excrete more water. More water means more urine.
  • Extreme thirst and a dry mouth. This happens if you lose, through frequent urination, enough water to become dehydrated.
  • Weight loss. This happens because you are dehydrated. Weight loss may also happen if you are losing all of those sugar calories in your urine instead of using them.
  • Increased hunger. You feel hungry because your body is not using all the calories that it can. Many of them are being excreted in urine.
  • Blurred vision. Your vision may blur when sugar builds up in the lens of your eye. The sugar sucks extra water into your eye, which changes the shape of the lens and blurs your vision.
  • Fatigue. You feel tired for the same reason you feel hungry. Your body is not using the calories you are eating, and your body is not getting the energy it needs.

All of these symptoms will get better or go away when your blood sugar levels are controlled.

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If your blood sugar rose to very high levels at the time you were diagnosed with diabetes, you may have received treatment in a hospital for diabetic ketoacidosis, which is an emergency.

What symptoms might I have now?

Now that you are taking insulin injections, watch for signs of either high or low blood sugar. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) usually develops slowly over a few days or weeks. But it can also develop quickly (in just a few hours) if you eat a large meal or miss an insulin dose. On the other hand, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can develop within 10 to 15 minutes. Children, especially very young children, are at greater risk for harm caused by very low blood sugar levels.

Watch for the following symptoms of high or low blood sugar. You (or your child) may not have the same symptoms every time, and you may have symptoms that are not listed.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 05, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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If the level is below 70 and 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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