Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

Type 1 diabetes is different to its more common counterpart, type 2 diabetes

Whilst the major symptoms of diabetes are similar for type 1 and type 2, it is worth knowing the specific symptoms of type 1 diabetes as well as more general diabetes symptoms

The 4Ts – symptoms of type 1 diabetes

Some of the most noticeable and most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:

The main symptoms of type 1 diabetes are often referred to as the 4Ts of type 1 diabetes

Other symptoms which may accompany the above symptoms are:

Emergency diabetes symptoms

Seek urgent medical attention if diabetes symptoms combine with any of the following:

  • A serious loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A temperature
  • Pains in the stomach
  • A fruity, chemical smell on the breath (most often likened to pear drops or nail varnish)

The symptoms above could be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a dangerous condition that can be life threatening if medical treatment is not provided immediately.

Around 1 in 4 people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are suffering with ketoacidosis at the time of diagnosis. Recognising the 4 main symptoms of type 1 diabetes can help to get a diagnosis before ketoacidosis sets in.

How long does it take to develop type 1 symptoms?

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children and young adults tend to develop quickly over a few weeks or few days.

Type 1 diabetes is a dangerous condition if it is left untreated for too long. It is therefore important to seek a diagnosis from your doctor if you or your child is showing the symptoms of type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age. Adults may develop a specific form of type 1 diabetes known as LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood)

LADA tends to develop more slowly than type 1 diabetes in children and young adults and people with LADA may sometimes be misdiagnosed as having type 2 diabetes.

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Can a blood glucose meter help to diagnose type 1 diabetes?

A blood glucose meter may be helpful in indicating whether you or a family member may have diabetes.

It is not essential to have a blood glucose meter but it may be considered useful in a family with a history of type 1 diabetes or autoimmune conditions.

A blood glucose result, taken over 2 hours after eating, of over 7.8 mmol/l could indicate a presence of diabetes.

If high results are being recorded 2 hours after eating for consecutive meals, contact your GP who will be able to carry out a diagnosis

It is important that devices used to draw blood from fingers are not shared to prevent the risk of blood borne illnesses.

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