Symptoms of type 1 diabetes tend to come on more quickly than the signs of type 2 and become dangerous if a diagnosis of the condition is delayed.

What are the major symptoms?

The main symptoms of type 1 diabetes have been dubbed the 4Ts of type 1 diabetes:

If you notice you or someone else has these symptoms, it’s important that they see their doctor who will be able to carry out a diagnosis of the problem.

If type 1 diabetes is able to develop, it can cause a dangerous condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, the signs of which are detailed later on this page.

Accompanying symptoms

Other symptoms which may also develop include:

Recognizing the symptoms

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes tend to come on quickly within children, often developing within days or a few weeks.

It is common for increased thirst and the increased need to urinate to come together, such as needing to both go to the toilet and drink during the night.

In adults, the condition tends to develop more slowly and, as a result, doctors may sometimes initially diagnose it as type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of ketoacidosis

If type 1 diabetes is allowed to develop, a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis can develop.

Symptoms of ketoacidosis include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Rapid or labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Smell of ketones on the breath – similar to nail varnish remover