Warning Signs Of Type 1 Diabetes


Early diagnosis saves lives

Recognizing the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes is critical. Although Type 1 develops gradually, as the body’s insulin production decreases, blood glucose levels can become dangerously high once insulin production is outpaced. Symptoms may develop rapidly and can be mistaken for other illnesses such as the flu and a delayed diagnosis can have serious consequences.

Many people are familiar with Type 2 diabetes, but there is not enough awareness of Type 1. Learn about other forms of diabetes.

Who gets Type 1?

Anyone, at any age, can be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes — it is neither preventable nor curable. While the cause is unknown, studies prove that genes together with an environmental trigger result in the immune system turning on itself and destroying the body’s beta cells.

Early symptoms of Type 1 diabetes

  • unquenchable thirst
  • frequent urination
    • in babies and toddlers, heavy diapers
    • in children with no previous concerns, sudden bedwetting
  • weight loss (despite an increased appetite)
  • exhaustion and decreased energy levels
  • blurry vision
  • a fruity smell to the breath

More advanced symptoms

  • stomach pain
  • fatigue or weakness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • rapid, heavy breathing
  • loss of consciousness

What to do

If you recognize any of the symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. A simple in-office test for sugar in the urine is used for diagnosis. If that test is positive, then a drop of blood from the fingertip will confirm diabetes. Every day, thousands of adults and children around the world are diagnosed, but many go undetected. Early diagnosis cannot prevent Type 1, but it can head off potentially devastating, and even fatal, health concerns.


What is Type 1 diabetes? poster (English)

Que es la diabetes tipo uno? poster (Espanol)

Download printable versions of Beyond Type 1’s educational posters.