Symptoms

As type 1 diabetes is relatively common in Finnish children, it is important that all parents are aware of its symptoms.

Characteristic signs of diabetes include:

  • thirst (the child drinks a lot and even at night),
  • increased frequency of urination (the child goes to the toilet several times at night or starts to wet his/her bed again),
  • weight loss,
  • tiredness.

The symptoms may be difficult to identify especially in small babies. The symptoms may also be masked by other diseases such as common cold. Early puberty has been considered to be the typical age for the onset of type 1 diabetes. However, the prevalence of diabetes has lately increased especially in small children. In children under one year of age, the prevalence of diabetes is still low.

Treatment

As insulin is essential for life, patients with type 1 diabetes need daily insulin injections. Insulin cannot be taken orally as it is broken down in the gastrointestinal tract. With the modern methods, the injections are nearly painless.

Patients with type 1 diabetes need daily insulin injections.

The aim of the treatment is to maintain appropriate blood glucose levels and good physical health while disturbing the normal life as little as possible. To keep blood sugar at the normal level, food intake, exercise and insulin need to be carefully balanced.