Diabetes in children and teens

If a child has diabetes, early diagnosis and treatment are key. Finding out your child has been diagnosed with diabetes may feel overwhelming at first, but the pediatricians at Wesley Medical Center are here to provide the best care for your child.

To find a physician and schedule an appointment, call (316) 962-3627.

What is type 1 diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 193,000 children and youths under the age of 20 in the U.S. are living with diabetes. The majority of these children and adolescents have type 1 diabetes, a health condition in which the body does not produce insulin. Children with type 1 diabetes need frequent care and must monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Symptoms of pediatric diabetes

In children, the symptoms of type 1 diabetes can develop quickly, even over a few weeks. Signs of type 1 diabetes in children include:

  • Feeling more thirsty and frequent urination — Children who are potty trained may wet the bed more often.
  • Extreme hunger — Lack of insulin in a child’s body may decrease their energy levels, leading to intense hunger.
  • Weight loss — If a child is eating normally, they may still lose weight rapidly. Unexplained weight loss is often the first sign of type 1 diabetes in children.
  • Fatigue — Not enough sugar in a child’s blood cells can make make them feel extra tired or lethargic.

Other symptoms of type 1 diabetes include irritability, changes in mood and blurred vision.

Diagnosing pediatric diabetes

If a pediatrician suspects that your child may have type 1 diabetes, a blood test will be administered. There are multiple types of blood tests for type 1 diabetes in children:

  • Random blood sugar test — Taken at a random time, this is the primary screening test for anyone who may have type 1 diabetes.
  • Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test — This test can indicate a child’s average blood sugar level for the past two or three months.
  • Fasting sugar blood test — After a child fasts overnight, a blood sample is taken to indicate their blood sugar level.

Treating and managing type 1 diabetes in children

Unfortunately, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Children with diabetes will need to take insulin, have their blood sugar levels monitored and see a pediatrician regularly.

For children with type 1 diabetes, it’s important to:

  • Maintain a healthy diet plan
  • Check blood sugar levels regularly
  • Make sure they are getting enough physical activity
  • Establish a normal routine for managing and handling their health condition

Pediatric diabetes care in Wichita

At Wesley Children’s Hospital, our expert pediatricians are dedicated to providing a high level of care for children and teens with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Our specialists are focused on improving your child’s health and ensuring that children with diabetes get the personalized care they need.