Without insulin, sugar accumulates in your bloodstream. The kidneys, which would normally reabsorb sugar, quickly become overwhelmed.
“As the blood glucose rises past a level that can be reabsorbed by the kidneys, glucose is lost in the urine and more water is lost as a result,” says David A. Finken, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
Frequent urination, also called polyuria, is easier to detect in kids than in adults, especially in babies and infants. “Parents might notice more urine in the diaper, they’re changing diapers more frequently, the diapers seem heavier,” says Dr. Finken. “A kid who stopped wetting the bed at 3 years old is now wetting the bed at night. That can be an early clue.”
Without treatment, frequent urination can lead to dehydration and kidney damage among people with type 1 diabetes.