Type 1 diabetes (type 1 diabetes mellitus) is a long-term (chronic) disease. It occurs when the pancreas does not make enough of a hormone called insulin. Normally, insulin moves sugars from food into tissue cells. The tissue cells use the sugars for energy. Lack of insulin causes excess sugars to build up in the blood instead of going into the tissue cells. As a result, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) develops. High blood sugar (glucose) levels can cause many complications.
Previously, type 1 diabetes was also called juvenile diabetes. It most often develops before age 30, but it can develop at any age. There is currently no cure for Type 1 diabetes, but it can be managed with treatment and lifestyle changes.
Your child may be more likely to develop this condition if he or she has a family history of diabetes.
Certain other factors may also make your child more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, such as:
Living in an area with cold weather conditions.
Exposure to certain viruses.
Certain conditions in which the body 's immune system attacks itself (autoimmune disorders).
Symptoms may develop gradually, over days or weeks, or they may develop suddenly. Symptoms may include:
Increased thirst (polydipsia).
Increased hunger (polyphagia).
Increased urination (polyuria).
Increased urination during the night (nocturia).
Sudden or unexplained weight changes.
Frequent, recurring infections.
Irritability or behavior changes.
Vision changes, such as blurred vision.
Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal.
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... child’s health care provider about:
Joining a support group for children with diabetes.
Talking with a diabetes educator.
SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:
Your child’s blood glucose level is higher than 240 mg/dL.
Your child has a change in mental status.
Your child develops an additional serious illness.
Your child has been sick or has had a fever for 2 days or longer, and he or she is not getting better.
Your child has any of the following problems for more than 6 hours:
Your child cannot eat or drink.
Your child has nausea or vomiting.
Your child has diarrhea.
Your child has pain during any physical activity.
Your child has a fever.
SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:
Your child has difficulty breathing.
Your child has moderate-to-high ketone levels.
Your child who is younger than 3 months has a fever.
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