How is type 1 diabetes diagnosed?

A type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosis often happens suddenly or unexpectedly. Many times, the symptoms mimic those of another illness. When you visit your doctor, be sure to provide a thorough list of the symptoms you or your child is experiencing. 

If a person is displaying common symptoms of T1D, the following tests are usually done: 

The quickest option to identify high blood sugar, which is associated with T1D, is a random glucose test. This test simply measures a patient’s current blood sugar. This is often the first test done to diagnose T1D. 

The hemoglobin A1c test shows the average blood-sugar level for the past two to three months. 

Elevated ketones in the urine or blood indicate the body is not making enough insulin and is breaking down fat for energy. 

To confirm the diagnosis, a type 1 diabetes autoantibodies test is ordered. Autoantibody testing is used to accurately classify the diabetes type.

Learn more T1D basics

Recognize the early warning signs of T1D

Onset triggers associated with T1D

Therapies for treating type 1 diabetes