Diabetes is a condition that affects how your body uses sugar (or glucose) for energy. It happens when your body either does not make enough insulin, a hormone that helps glucose enter your cells, or does not respond well to insulin. This causes high levels of glucose in your blood, which can lead to serious health problems.
There are different types of diabetes, such as type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Each type has its own causes, symptoms, and treatments. However, all types of diabetes can be classified into different stages, depending on how the disease progresses and affects your body.
Stages of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. This usually happens in childhood or adolescence, but it can occur at any age. Without insulin, your body cannot use glucose for energy, and you need to take insulin injections or use an insulin pump to manage your blood sugar levels.
According to experts, there are four stages of type 1 diabetes:
Pre-Stage 1: This is when you have a genetic risk for developing type 1 diabetes, but you do not have any symptoms or signs of the disease. You may have certain genes that make you more likely to get type 1 diabetes, especially if you have a family history of the condition.
Stage 1: This is when you have one or more antibodies in your blood that target the cells that make insulin. These antibodies are a sign that your immune system has started to attack your pancreas, but you still have normal blood sugar levels and no symptoms.
Stage 2: This is when you have two or more antibodies in your blood and your blood sugar levels start to rise above normal. This means that your pancreas is losing its ability to produce enough insulin, but you still do not have any symptoms.
Stage 3: This is when you have high blood sugar levels and symptoms of type 1 diabetes, such as increased thirst, hunger, urination, weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and infections. This is when you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and need to start taking insulin to control your blood sugar levels.
Stages of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It usually develops in adulthood, but it can also affect children and teens. It happens when your body becomes resistant to insulin or does not make enough insulin to keep your blood sugar levels normal. This can be influenced by factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, family history, age, ethnicity, and other health conditions.
According to experts, there are four stages of type 2 diabetes:
Insulin Resistance: This is when your cells do not respond well to insulin and your blood sugar levels start to rise slightly above normal. Your pancreas tries to make more insulin to overcome the resistance, but this can cause stress on the organ and lead to further problems.
Prediabetes: This is when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. You may not have any symptoms at this stage, but you are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. You can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthy, and exercising regularly.
Type 2 Diabetes: This is when your blood sugar levels are consistently high and you have symptoms of diabetes, such as increased thirst, hunger, urination, weight loss or gain, fatigue, blurred vision, and infections. This is when you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and need to start taking medication or insulin to control your blood sugar levels.
Type 2 Diabetes with Complications: This is when high blood sugar levels over time damage various organs and tissues in your body, leading to serious complications such as nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (nephropathy), eye damage (retinopathy), heart disease (cardiovascular disease), stroke (cerebrovascular disease), and foot problems (ulcers and amputations).
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456