Diagnosis of type 1 diabetes

If your pancreas is not making insulin, the glucose in the food you eat or drink cannot enter your cells to be converted into energy. The resulting build-up of glucose in the blood is what causes the early signs that you may have diabetes.


Below are the most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Once your diabetes has been diagnosed and you begin to take insulin to regulate your blood glucose levels, they should disappear.

Passing a lot of urine, especially during the night 

When you have type 1 diabetes and not enough insulin, your blood glucose levels will continue to rise. The kidneys will detect the excess glucose and will try to get rid of it in your urine.

Excessive thirst

As you urinate more, your body becomes dehydrated, and so in turn you feel thirsty and start to drink more. The more dehydrated you become, the thirstier you get.

Increased hunger 

You may feel very hungry a lot of the time. This is because the body is hungry for energy for its cells. 

Weight loss 

If your body cannot use the glucose to make energy, it will try to find the energy from another source. It does this by breaking down fat and muscle cells and converting them into energy. This leads to weight loss. 


You get around half your daily energy from glucose. Without insulin, glucose is prevented from entering your cells and it makes you very tired.  

Blurred vision 

Blurred vision can occur because high blood glucose can enter the lens of the eye, causing it to swell. This is usually temporary and disappears after you have started treatment.

Thrush and urine infections 

Bacteria, viruses and fungus love warm, moist and sugary environments, so when you have high blood glucose levels you are more likely to get infections. The most common are fungal ones, such as thrush, which can appear in the mouth or genital area.

Stomach pains, sickness and vomiting, difficulty breathing 

These are more serious symptoms and are a sign that your body is trying to get rid of  ketones – which we’ll discuss in more detail later in this section

Receiving the diagnosis

Getting a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can be very overwhelming with so much new information to take in. Watch below to see how some people felt when they received their diagnosis:

To download a transcript of this video please click here.

What symptoms of diabetes did you get when you were diagnosed? Feel free to share your experience in the comment section below.

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