Do you know the four T's of type 1 diabetes?

8 May 2020

The Department of Health is encouraging Western Australians to be aware of the “four Ts” of type 1 diabetes; an autoimmune condition that prevents the body from processing some foods properly.

Boy drinking from a water bottle

The four T’s refer to the four most common early symptoms of type 1 diabetes, which can occur suddenly in people who are otherwise well. They are:

  • Thirst – being really thirsty and not being able to quench the thirst.
  • Toilet – needing the toilet a lot, even through the night. Children who have previously been dry overnight might wet the bed, or babies may have heavier nappies.
  • Tired – feeling more tired than usual.
  • Thinner – losing weight or looking thinner than usual.

If type 1 diabetes is left undiagnosed, people can become very unwell very quickly.

Western Australians are urged to act quickly and visit their doctor or call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 if they or someone they care for develop symptoms. If symptoms worsen people should attend their closest GP Urgent Care Clinic (external site).

Current evidence suggests that people living with diabetes are not at any higher risk of being infected with COVID-19 than the general population, however if people with diabetes are infected, symptoms such as increased blood sugar levels may affect their recovery.

Every year around 360 people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in WA. Approximately half are children.

It is unclear what exactly causes type 1 diabetes, but there is a strong genetic link.

Learn more about diabetes.