Think Type 1 Diabetes Think Test

TEST…… know what it stands for, recognise the symptoms, and treat early as time is critical in a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes 

A delay in the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes can quickly lead to a life-threatening complication called Diabetic Ketoacidosis or in short DKA. Early recognition of the symptoms and early treatment can prevent the development of DKA.


4 in every 10 Irish children with new onset Type 1 diabetes have DKA at the time of their diagnosis. This number has been increasing since 2016. Up to 2015 about 3 in 10 of our children had DKA at diagnosis.


Delays in diagnosis can  happen because the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are subtle.


We all need to know the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes so we can recognise them early and take action. The symptoms are the key indicators that you or your child might have Type 1 diabetes.


TEST which is easy to remember as an acronym represents the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.



Think of TEST  and do not delay!


  • Take a TEST –  contact your GP or local pharmacist.


  • Take a TEST –  ask for a simple finger prick blood glucose test (or bring a urine sample) which will greatly help make the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in a person feeling unwell.


If the test is positive, eg blood sugar over 11 mmol/l, you will need to go to your local hospital Emergency Department for early assessment and treatment.


Acting fast has great benefits – it will enable earlier diagnosis and treatment and can avoid the development of DKA.  Avoiding DKA can make the initial treatment much easier for children and their families and has short and long term benefits.


If you or your child has diabetes, don’t worry, while a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes is a life-long condition, there are thousands of Irish people and indeed worldwide with Type 1 diabetes living their lives to the full each day.

Type 1 diabetes occurs because the body stops producing the hormone Insulin which enables the body to use glucose (sugar) as fuel. As a result, in untreated diabetes the level of glucose in the body gets too high. If your child has these symptoms below it is important that you seek urgent medical help. Early diagnosis improves the long term outcome in diabetes. Late diagnosis can result in life threatening Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA).


There are 4 main symptoms to watch out for;


The symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children can be easily remembered by thinking of the word TEST:


  • Thirst Increased
  • Energy Reduced
  • Sudden reduction in Weight
  • Toilets Trips Increased

Minor Symptoms may include:


  • Increased Appetite
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Bed Wetting
  • Constipation
  • Mood Swings
  • Frequent Infections

If you think you or your child could have Type 1 diabetes, do not delay see your doctor or a pharmacist urgently.

Many ordinary people achieve extraordinary things every day while living with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes does not stop them… they are ONESTOPPABLE

Click here to read Leah’s Story who lives with Type 1 Diabetes

Leah is 21 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 11. She remembers being really exhausted and losing lots of weight. She was also drinking a lot of fluids. Her mother suspected diabetes because a number of other family members already had the condition – in fact, her cousin was diagnosed in the same week as her.

Click here to read Catherine’s  Story who lives with Type 1 Diabetes  

Click here to read Ruth’s Story Parent of Child with Type 1 Diabetes  

Click here to read Ciara’s Story Parent of  Child with Type 1 Diabetes

Click here to read THINK Diabetes Timely Detection 

Professor Edna Roche discusses the importance of early detection of type 1 diabetes in young children and teenagers.

What is DKA 

What is Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) and does everyone diagnosed with diabetes get DKA?

In type 1 diabetes the body stops producing insulin. Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas to enable glucose or sugar from food enter the body’s cells to be used as fuel. When the body stops making insulin , the glucose from food cannot be used and levels of glucose build up in the blood .  The body responds to these high blood sugar levels by excreting the extra glucose in the urine leading to the key symptoms of diabetes – passing large amounts of urine frequently resulting in dehydration and increased thirst. Diabetes can be diagnosed at this stage.


However, if the diagnosis is delayed and symptoms persist the body increasingly depends on a back up fuel supply and breaks down fat excessively to form acidic ketone bodies. These ketones build up in the body changing the body’s acidity and result in the life-threatening condition of diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an avoidable complication of diabetes. DKA can be avoided by starting treatment and replacing the missing insulin.


The majority of children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes do not have DKA at diagnosis and are diagnosed because of high blood sugar levels. However, a worrying proportion of our children and adolescents, more than 1 in every 4, have progressed to DKA at the time of their diagnosis.


The purpose of this campaign is to reduce the number of Irish children presenting with DKA by increasing awareness of the symptoms of T1D and encouraging early diagnosis.

Help us spread our message and Support this campaign now

Our goal is to reach at least 1 million people in Ireland, and we need your support today! Together we can make the difference

How Can you Help?

Follow us on our social media channels, like and share our message with your family and friends  “Think Type 1 Diabetes, Think TEST…  Thirst, Energy, Sudden, & Toilet Trips… Many ordinary people achieve extraordinary things every day while living with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes does not stop them ….  they are #ONESTOPPABLE”

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Click here to download the poster

Download the poster and place it on a school, GP, Post Office, Library, Shop Notice Board.

Click here to download the leaflet

Download the leaflet and share it with family and friends. #Onestoppable and read some of the extraordinary achievements of young people with Type 1 diabetes.


Campaign led by the ICDNR and Supported by Diabetes Ireland and by Novo Nordisk