TEST - Type 1 diabetes campaign

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.


General Info

Date Entered/Updated
31st Aug, 2021
Expiry Date
30th Sep, 2021