November is National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month
Become familiar with the warning signs of diabetes. Knowledge is an important weapon against this disease and its complications.

Warning Signs of Type 1 Diabetes
These symptoms can occur suddenly and must receive immediate medical attention. 

  • Excessive thirst 
  • Frequent urination sometimes exhibited by bedwetting (in large quantities)
  • Blurry vision
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss even though eating and feeling hungry
  • Sweet, fruity odor on breath
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue 
  • Drowsiness, lethargy
  • Irritability/mood changes
  • Rapid, heavy breathing
  • Confusion, Stupor
  • Unconsciousness

Many of these symptoms can be related to illnesses that are not associated with diabetes. This should be discussed with a health care provider. 

Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.  Different factors, including genetics and some viruses, may contribute to type 1 diabetes. Although type 1 diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence, it can develop in adults. Despite active research, type 1 diabetes has no cure. Treatment focuses on managing blood sugar levels with insulin, diet and lifestyle to prevent complications.

Jordan Weiss, a nine-year old from Newton, Massachusetts, passed away in 2003 from complications related to undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes. To honor Jordan’s memory, the JBW Fund was established by his family to foster awareness and education of the warning signs of diabetes.  Sometimes the signs are obvious and sometimes the signs are subtle, limited and attributed to another illness. The latter was the case for Jordan.

Familiarizing yourself with the warning signs could help save a life. For more information, talk to your school nurse or visit: