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 T1D Information for 

 WHY screen  for early Type 1 Diabetes?

 HOW do I screen  for early Type 1 Diabetes?

 WHAT are the stages  of Type 1 Diabetes?

Result: Screened   POSITIVE  

Result: Screened  NEGATIVE  

 WHY screen  for early Type 1 Diabetes?

In type 1 diabetes (T1D), the immune system destroys cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Insulin helps us use the energy from foods we eat. A person who has T1D needs lifelong daily insulin injections to stay healthy. Screening for T1D with a blood test for T1D associated antibodies (islet autoantibodies) can identify children who are at high risk of developing T1D and can prevent children from getting very sick.

1.  Most children with T1D (90%)  DO NOT have a family member with T1D.

2.  Most children who develop T1D are otherwise healthy.  


3.  Type 1 diabetes can be hard to recognize.

Symptoms of increased thirst, increased urination and lack of weight gain or weight loss can be hard to recognize. Because these symptoms can be subtle, early T1D can look like a growth spurt or even a change in thirst associated with a change in routine or the weather. Sometimes, parents simply don’t realize that their child is urinating more while at school or during the night. 

4.  Screening for T1D and having a healthcare team support your family if you screen positive can prevent your child from becoming very sick with DKA and needing treatment in a pediatric intensive care unit.   
Although rates vary across the United States, in Colorado nearly 60% of children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are sick enough to have diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and require treatment in the intensive care unit. DKA happens when the body doesn’t make enough insulin to allow sugar into cells for energy. The body starts breaking down fat for energy, and when fat is broken down, ketones are made. Ketones can build up to dangerous levels that can lead to a child being very sick.  Children detected by screening for T1D associated antibodies rarely progress to DKA. Prior studies at the Barbara Davis Center, including the TEDDY and DAISY studies have shown that 90% of children who know they have the T1D associated antibodies and are connected with a healthcare team avoid DKA at onset of diabetes.

5.  T1D Prevention trials may be available if your child screens positive. 

WHY screen

 HOW do I screen  for early Type 1 Diabetes?

There is only one set of markers in the blood —"islet autoantibodies"— that are associated with the development of type 1 diabetes. Clinical, consumer and research labs screen for T1D associated antibodies (and/or celiac disease) with a simple blood test.

To determine the best way to screen you or your child for T1D risk, or if you have already been screened and need help, please email us at or call 303-724-1275. 

VIEW / DOWNLOAD (PDF) Chart of U.S.-based Screening Programs/Laboratories

HOW do I screen

 WHAT are the stages  of Type 1 Diabetes?

Stages of T1D

Result: Screened  POSITIVE  

Please schedule a visit with your healthcare provider and ask them to check a blood glucose level and a hemoglobin A1C. A positive screening test needs to be confirmed by measuring all four T1D-associated antibodies (GAD-65 antibody, IA-2 antibody, insulin antibody, ZnT8 antibody). These antibodies should be measured from a blood sample collected from a vein with a needle in a CLIA-approved reference laboratory.


If you or your healthcare provider need help determining how to get this confirmation blood test, please provide your name, phone number and email address below.


If your child/you screened POSITIVE and confirmed POSITIVE, your child/you should be monitored for progression to type 1 diabetes.

Please provide your name, phone number and email address — and an Ask the Experts team member will contact you to make sure that you are connected with a Local Expert to help guide you through your next steps and provide you and your family with helpful resources. If a Local Expert is not available, we will provide remote support until a Local Expert is identified. 

Please provide NAME, EMAIL and PHONE
and Ask the Experts will contact you.            

Thanks for submitting!


Result: Screened  NEGATIVE  

A negative autoantibody result does not mean a person will never develop type 1 diabetes.

We recommend re-screening for T1D associated antibodies based on the person's personal and family history of autoimmune diseases, as shown below.

Autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system mistakenly attacks a part of your body. Common autoimmune diseases include: type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo and inflammatory bowel disease.

    of autoimmunity; and/or


  • FAMILY HISTORY of autoimmune disease


    of autoimmunity; and


    of autoimmune disease

For AGE <15yrs:

  • Repeat at recommended intervals as appropriate: 1-3, 4-6, 7-13 yrs

  • Repeat at ANY age if symptoms of hyperglycemia (also check glucose level and HbA1c)




If you have questions about:

  1. Interpreting screening results; or

  2. Determining a follow-up plan after receiving results; or

  3. Screening for type 1 diabetes or celiac


Please e-mail us at or call us at 303-724-7983 and a member of Ask the Experts will reach out to you.

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