Signs of Diabetes in Teens & Young Adults

Type 1 diabetes is a serious autoimmune disease in which the pancreas stops producing insulin—which is essential to getting energy from food. It affects people of all ages and is not related to diet or lifestyle. There’s no way to prevent type 1 diabetes and—currently—there is no cure.


Symptoms of type 1 diabetes in young adults

Signs of type 1 diabetes in young adults tend to come on quickly. Especially for teens, it can be easy to write off the symptoms as illness-related. One of the first early warning signs to look for is increased thirst and bathroom breaks. That’s because high blood sugar levels cause the body to pull fluid from tissues—which leads to dehydration. Your teenager may then drink more fluids and urinate more frequently. Some other symptoms of diabetes in teens include:

Increased appetite: If your teenager’s body isn’t able to get the proper energy it needs from food he or she may feel more hungry than normal.

Unexpected weight loss: If your child is losing weight—especially when eating more—it could be a sign that his or her body isn’t getting enough calories from their food.

Other diabetes symptoms in teenagers

What other warning signs should you be aware of? Look for sudden vision changes; feeling drowsy or lethargic; experiencing heavy or labored breathing; and your child falling into a stupor or unconsciousness. Type 1 diabetes can be life-threatening if it goes untreated. And the earlier you catch it the better, so please see your doctor if you think your teenager is experiencing symptoms.

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