T1 Diabetes – The Four Ts Test

Discover the four most common signs of type 1 diabetes…

Many of the early symptoms of T1 diabetes can go unnoticed and can happen very quickly. They can occur over a matter of days or weeks, not months. This Diabetes Awareness Week, discover the Four Ts (the four most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes) and learn how to spot the signs of diabetes early:


Going to the toilet a whole lot more, especially during the night? You may even have experienced bedwetting when usually you would be dry. 


If you find yourself drinking a LOT more fluid and still feeling extremely thirsty, this could be a sign of type 1 diabetes. An unquenchable thirst can be an early warning sign that something isn’t quite right.


Type 1 diabetes can make you feel exhausted because it stops your body making the energy you need to function.


Have you lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time without meaning to? Do you look thinner than usual? Weight-loss is also a sign of type 1 diabetes.

What Are The Other Signs Of Diabetes?

Alongside the Four Ts, you might have some of these other symptoms:

  • Increased hunger
  • Wounds or cuts taking longer to heal
  • Genital itching or thrush
  • Blurred eyesight
  • Fruity-smelling breath (almost like pear drops)
  • Irritability
  • Appearing to be ‘drunk’ – stumbling over words or changed behaviour
  • Grunting while breathing or heavy breathing

I Think I Have Diabetes…

If you have any of the Four Ts, ask a parent to make you an urgent appointment with your GP. It’s important to keep in mind that having some of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have type 1 diabetes, but it can be easily diagnosed by a simple finger-prick blood test. This is a very quick, relatively painless process with an instant result.

Diagnosing type 1 diabetes early is important because, if left untreated, a person can become very unwell with DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). DKA is very serious and requires urgent medical care in hospital. So, catching type 1 diabetes quickly really can make a big difference. 

What Are The Signs Of DKA?

If you have any symptoms of DKA, you need immediate medical care and need to go to hospital. Signs of DKA are:

  • Heavy or laboured breathing
  • Excessive thirst
  • Stomach pains
  • Stupor, confusion, or unconsciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Need More Help? Head over to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) or Diabetes UK for more advice and information.