Diabetes, type 1 - Diagnosis 

Diagnosing type 1 diabetes 

It is important to diagnose diabetes as early as possible so that treatment can be started.

If you experience the symptoms of diabetes, you should visit your GP as soon as possible. They will ask you about your symptoms and may request a urine and blood test.

Urine and blood tests

Your urine sample will be tested to see whether it contains glucose. Urine does not usually contain glucose, but if you have diabetes, some glucose can overflow through the kidneys and into the urine. Your urine may also be tested for ketones (chemicals) which indicate type 1 diabetes.

If your urine contains glucose, a blood test can be used to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes. A sample of your blood will be taken in the morning, before you have had anything to eat, and it will be tested to measure your blood glucose levels.

If your blood glucose levels are not high enough for your GP to diagnose diabetes, you may need to have an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). This is also sometimes referred to as a glucose tolerance test (GTT).

After drinking a glucose drink, samples of your blood will be taken every half an hour, for two hours. The samples will be tested to find out how your body is dealing with the glucose.


Page last reviewed: 17/07/2012

Next review due: 17/07/2014

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