Diabetes Symptoms

Expert Q&A

A urinalysis testing for ketone levels.
A urinalysis can test for high levels of ketones and glucose in your child's urine, both signs of diabetes. Photo by Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Q. My daughter is going to be two soon and I had her tested for sugar. The doctor was busy, so the nurse ran the tests and left it at telling us there was sugar in her urine. I was wondering if you could explain, as no one did. Melanie, NY

A. Having sugar or glucose in your urine, or glucosuria, is one of the signs of diabetes.

Diabetes Symptoms

It could also have been a mistake, especially if she has no other symptoms of diabetes, which can typically include:

  • urinating a lot (polyuria)
  • drinking a lot (polydipsia)
  • losing weight

Other symptoms can also include excessive hunger, being tired a lot, and being irritable.

Does she have any of these diabetes symptoms?

You should likely call your doctor to discuss the results and see if he or she wants to do a retest or do further testing for diabetes, including a blood sugar test.

Our screening quiz on symptoms of diabetes may also be helpful.

Also keep in mind that some kidney problems can cause glucosuria.

Recognizing Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes sometimes go unrecognized early on because parents think their children are urinating more simply because they are drinking more. Get your child evaluated by your pediatrician before you start restricting her fluid intake though, because if she does have diabetes and you don't let her drink, she will keep urinating and quickly get dehydrated.

Or parents may think that the increased urination is normal, as many kids do go through stages of frequent urination, like if they have pollakiuria or frequent daytime urination syndrome.

Unlike children with diabetes who frequently urinate large amounts of clear urine, children with pollakiuria just urinate very small amounts each time and they often don't wake up at night to urinate. They also don't lose weight, which is rarely normal in children.

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