Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in Adults and Children (Kids)

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children (kids) or in adults usually develop rapidly and may occur over a brief period of time. In kids, these symptoms sometime can cause vomiting which then may lead to misdiagnosis. At first glance, they may not seem related but actually they are. What else you need to know – keep reading!

In people with type-1 diabetes, the mechanism of body (particularly pancreas) to make insulin is no longer to work properly.

Insulin is a kind of hormone that very crucial to process glucose from food that you eat. You might also like to know more about the correlation between low testosterone and diabetes!

Once the body reduces the production of insulin or even completely stops producing it, the body is at high risk of having literally starving. As a result, you are easier to have fatigue, weight loss, and hunger, because you don’t get adequate energy that your body needs!

How do you get type-1 diabetes?

Doctors and experts still don’t know the answer with certainty for the exact cause of type-1 diabetes.  In many patients with this disease, their body immune system mistakenly fight the insulin that produced by pancreas. Some experts think that the combination of genetic problem and infection due to certain virus may have contribution in causing this process.

To completely understand how you get this disease, it’s much better to learn the role of glucose and insulin in your body.


Sugar in the body that taken from food must be converted into simple substance called glucose which then will be used to produce energy for the body. Most of glucose comes from foods that you eat, but sometime the body also gets it from the liver.

Sugar that you get from foods that you eat will go into the bloodstream. With the help of insulin, then glucose from the bloodstream can enter into cells of your body. Some of these glucoses are stored in the liver as substance called glycogen.

In addition, when you have lack of insulin such as while you eat less due to sick or have not eaten in a while – the stock of glycogen stored in the liver will be used and converted into glucose in order to maintain the normal range of your glucose level!


As mentioned before, hormone insulin is made by pancreas (an organ located below and behind your stomach). The following are some crucial points for the role of insulin:

  1. The insulin from pancreas will be released into the bloodstream.
  2. Then this hormone circulates in the bloodstream to allow sugar enters to many cells of the body.
  3. As a result, there will be less sugar in the blood stream. Therefore if there is lack of insulin, there will be greater chance of increasing blood sugar level.
  4. Normally, the release of insulin into bloodstream is equivalent to the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.

In people with type-1 diabetes, there is no any insulin in the bloodstream, as a result if left untreated will significantly increase the level of blood sugar and then can cause many complications.

Furthermore, you need to clearly understand that type-1 is different than type-2 diabetes (the most common type of diabetes). While in type-1 there is no insulin produced by pancreas, in type-2 there is still few insulin produced but it is not enough to meet the body needs.

Risk factors

Although the exact cause of the disease is not known yet, there are some factors or conditions that have been confirmed can increase the risk of developing type-1 diabetes. You are at higher risk of the disease if you (according to Mayo Clinic):

  1. Have a family history of diabetes. If you have a sibling, father, or mother with type-1 diabetes, you are at slightly higher risk of having the same condition.
  2. Genetics! Experts believe that there are some certain genes that may be closely linked to the increased risk of type-1 diabetes.

Other possible conditions that may contribute in increasing the risk of the disease include:

  1. Geographic issue! Some studies found that people who live in far away from the equator may have increased risk of the disease. Some statistics record that type-1 diabetes is more common in Sardinia and Finland. On the other hand, people who live in Venezuela have 400 times less likely to have the disease if compared to people who live in Sardinia and Finland.
  2. The exposure from virus. Exposure to cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr, or mumps virus may contribute to trigger the destruction of islet cells (cells in the pancreas that have crucial function to help produce insulin).
  3. Dietary factors, such as drinking early vitamin D and drinking water contaminated with excessively nitrates.
  4. Being delivered /born with jaundice.
  5. Getting infection that affects respiratory system just after birth.
  6. Children who born from mother with preeclampsia during pregnancy.
  7. Children who born from young mother (younger than the age of 25 at giving birth).

Additionally, the disease is more common in the age of before 20s. However, it can occur at any age! How about with the gender? The disease occurs almost equally in women and men. But the statistics show that the disease is less common in blacks than in whites.

Symptoms of type-1 diabetes in adults

The classic symptoms and signs of the disease are often subtle, but sometime they can get worse and become severe (particularly if left untreated). In adults, the common symptoms that occur may include (according to WebMD):

  1. Dehydration (increased thirst), dry mouth, and frequent urination! The more accumulation of sugar in the bloodstream can lead to an increase in urination. This high intensity of urination is purposed to remove excessively sugar from the bloodstream and the body. But when the kidneys help clear glucose via the urine, there is also a greater chance of losing more water. As a result you will feel thirsty and experience more dehydration.
  2. More likely to feel hunger (even you may feel hunger after eating), and fatigue. This occurs due to the lack of insulin in the bloodstream which then can obstruct the distribution of glucose taken from foods to the cells of the body. As a result, there is less energy produced and you are easier to get fatigue and have increased hunger.
  3. Weight loss! More sugar that wasted through urine in order to clear excessive glucose in the bloodstream also means a loss of more calories. This condition and dehydration symptom can be a great combination to cause weight loss problem.
  4. Frequent infections of vagina, urinary tract, or skin.
  5. Problems related to the vision (blurred vision).
  6. Nausea feeling, sometime it may also be followed with vomiting.
  7. Abdominal discomfort and pain.
  8. Some patients may also experience breathing problem / labored breathing.

Type-1 diabetes symptoms in kids (children)

In children (kids), most symptoms mentioned before also can occur. And they usually develop over a period of weeks and occur more quickly. According to Mayo Clinic, the following are some common symptoms of type-1 diabetes in kids that may occur:

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