4Ts of Type 1 Diabetes

The 4Ts of type 1 diabetes are the 4 major symptoms which can be used to spot whether you or someone else may be suffering from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes.

Undiagnosed type 1 diabetes can be dangerous and around 1 in 4 people that are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes receive their diagnosis after a very dangerous condition called diabetic ketoacidosis has developed.

What are the 4Ts?
The 4Ts of type 1 diabetes are:

Needing to visit the toilet more often than usual, going during the night when you usually don't or having very short breaks between going to the toilet are all part of one of the main symptoms of type 1 diabetes.

If a child starts to regularly wet the bed, having not wet the bed for some time, it could also indicate a sign of diabetes.

We all get thirsty from time but thirst can be a symptom of type 1 diabetes. Some signs of unusual thirst may include:

  • Regularly getting up to drink during the night
  • Drinking a full glass or bottle of liquid and still being very thirsty
  • Having only gaps between bouts of thirst

When the body lacks insulin, as happens in type 1 diabetes, cells of the body cannot take in glucose from the blood for energy which can leave the body tired and unnourished.

Tiredness in type 1 diabetes may be spotted if someone who is usually active starts finding physical activity particularly difficult to carry out.

A lack of insulin means the body cannot get enough glucose from the blood into cells and so the body starts to break down fat and muscle into ketones to use as an alternative source of energy.

A symptom of type 1 diabetes is therefore exaggerated and/or unexplained loss of body weight.

What is ketoacidosis?

Ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition which can become life threatening if it is not treated immediately.

The warning signs of ketoacidosis include vomiting, dehydration and an unusual smell on the breath. If someone is displaying these symptoms, call for medical help.

Explore the 4Ts of Type 1