T1D Screening and Prevention Program

Type 1 Diabetes Screening, Staging and Prevention

SIT Down T1D! 

Screening and Intervention to Delay Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is available via our telemedicine-based program called SIT Down T1D! The program is for children and adolescents under the age of 18 who are at risk for developing type 1 diabetes. These individuals usually have a family member with T1D, who, in most cases, will be a sibling.

The risk is high for children and adolescents with a family member who has T1D: they have a 1-in-20 risk of developing T1D, which is about 15 times higher than those without a family history.

Type 1 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in childhood. It is a life-threatening autoimmune disease characterized by the lack of insulin, causing excessively elevated glucose in a person's blood. Currently TID has no cure. Read more about type 1 diabetes here

This program at Texas Children’s Diabetes and Endocrinology Care Center is one of the first comprehensive clinical programs for screening, staging and delaying type 1 diabetes nationwide. Our goals are to delay type 1 diabetes, prevent diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and serve as a valuable resource to patients and families. 

The benefits of screening for T1D

We can identify people with early stages of T1D, even before symptoms and the need for insulin arise. One useful way is screening for autoantibodies, which indicate the autoimmune process in the pancreas has begun.

By identifying T1D early, it may be possible to prevent the onset of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), one of the most serious outcomes of diabetes that includes high blood glucose and ketone levels. A high amount of ketones causes the blood to become acidic (low blood pH), which creates a life-threatening situation (DKA) requiring immediate medical attention and treatment.

SIT Down T1D! Program Details

  • Telemedicine visit(s) take place with a Texas Children’s Diabetes and Endocrinology provider.
  • We provide laboratory screening for autoantibodies, staging of T1D, monitoring for progression, and counseling on Tzield (teplizumab) if eligible.
  • Tzield (teplizumab) is an FDA-approved medication now available for patients 8 years and older that has been shown to delay the onset of insulin-required T1D by approximately 2 years, on average. Tzield (teplizumab) is infused via IV and includes 14 consecutive days of treatment with close monitoring for side effects that include rash, headache, drop in white blood cell count (an expected result of the impact on the immune system), or infusion reaction. The infusion itself can take as little as 30 minutes, but the entire process from set-up to post-infusion monitoring may take about 2 hours each day.

Schedule a visit with our T1D screening and prevention program

  • Talk to your primary care physician about a referral for T1D screening and prevention at Texas Children’s.
  • Depending on your insurance, you may be able to schedule a screening on MyChart or by calling central scheduling at 832-822-2778.