Stages of diabetes mellitus: from prediabetes to type 1 and 2 diabetes, complications

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Stages of diabetes mellitus: from prediabetes to type 1 and 2 diabetes, complications

Diabetes mellitus is a disease that has many complications and, in some cases, may be asymptomatic.


Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are elevated. With the disease, the classical diagnosis is not made, but there is a great risk for the development of a chronic form. Disease symptoms:

  • hunger;
  • feeling of thirst;
  • frequent urination;
  • deterioration of vision.

Most often, the disease is between the norm and the pathology. Therefore, prediabetes in most cases spills over into type 2 diabetes. Reasons for the development of pathology:

  • excess weight;
  • passive lifestyle;
  • hereditary predisposition.

In women, the disease can develop against the background of past gestational diabetes.

Latent diabetes

Latent diabetes is a form of the disease that is asymptomatic. It is also called latent diabetes mellitus. The disease develops without signs, therefore, diagnostics is required to detect pathology. However, in some cases, the disease can be identified by the following signs:

  • peeling and itching on the skin;
  • dry mouth (thirst);
  • weight change (weight loss, obesity).

The latent form of the disease also causes some somatic disorders: apathy, loss of strength and mood, general weakness. In men, there is a decrease in sexual activity, libido.

To identify pathology, a glucose tolerance test (GTT) is used.


Diabetes is a form of the disease caused by disruptions in the production of insulin by the pancreas. The pathology is chronic. At this stage of the disease, blood sugar levels exceed the permissible limits. The disease is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • thirst;
  • feeling of dry mouth;
  • increased urination;
  • rapid weight loss (type 1);
  • rapid weight gain (type 2);
  • weakness, malaise.

Stages of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes mellitus develops against the background of a hereditary predisposition and is an insulin-dependent form of the disease. With this type of disease, constant administration of insulin is required due to a lack of hormone production by the pancreas. The form of type 1 disease is usually divided into several stages:

  • Stage 1 . Diabetes mellitus develops in people with a genetic predisposition to the disease (genetic predisposition). It is asymptomatic.
  • Stage 2 . Pathology develops against the background of provoking factors: infection, viral damage, the influence of drugs or chemicals. There is no symptomatology at this stage.
  • Stage 3 . At this stage, the b-cells responsible for insulin production are spontaneously destroyed. The disease is determined by laboratory diagnosis for the presence of antibodies to b-cells.
  • Stage 4 . Latent diabetes mellitus. During the administration of glucose, insulin production decreases. At this stage, there is malaise, conjunctivitis or furunculosis.
  • Stage 5 . Explicit diabetes mellitus. The disease progresses rapidly, causing weight loss, polyuria and polydipsia. If you do not seek help on time, diabetic ketoacidosis can develop .
  • Stage 6 . The production of insulin secretion is disrupted and completely stops. The disease is severe and chronic.

Identifying the disease at an early stage helps prevent its further development. In the last stages, diabetes mellitus is not cured, the patient needs constant monitoring and insulin administration.

In children, a clear sign of type 1 diabetes mellitus is urinary incontinence, especially at night.

Stages of type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is defined when insulin is produced within normal limits, but the body is unable to absorb it. The form of the disease often occurs in older people or those who are overweight. Often occurs due to malnutrition, especially in the elderly. Reasons for development 

  • genetic predisposition;
  • endocrine disorders;
  • disorders of the pituitary gland;
  • malfunctions of the thyroid gland;
  • pathological processes in the adrenal cortex;
  • complications after viral infections;
  • tumors in the pancreas.

There are many distinguishing features that can be used to determine the development of the disease. The most common and most important among men is balanoposthitis – the process of inflammation of the foreskin, formed due to increased urination. Type 2 diabetes symptoms 

  • itchy skin;
  • blurred vision;
  • thirst;
  • frequent urination;
  • fatigue;
  • slow wound healing;
  • paresthesia;
  • xanthomas are yellow growths on the body.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is divided into several stages, depending on the severity and course of the disease:

  1. Compensatory – the exchange of carbohydrates in the body is compensated by diet and proper nutrition. There are no complications. 
  2. Subcompensatory – compensation of carbohydrates occurs through the use of hypoglycemic drugs, insulin. Possible diabetic complications at this stage: 
    • retinopathy ;
    • nephropathy;
    • neuropathy ;
    • severe course of the disease;
    • labile course – hypoglycemia, coma.
  3. Decompensation is a severe course of the disease that requires constant replacement of blood glucose. Complications: 
    • retinopathy ;
    • diabetic foot;
    • autonomous neuropathy ;
    • cardiosclerosis;
    • renal failure;
    • heart failure;
    • gangrene of the legs.

Subdivision at the stage of compensation of pathology occurs to determine the degree of disturbance of carbohydrate metabolism in the body. This allows the most appropriate therapy to be prescribed.

The last stage of diabetes. Severe form of the disease. The danger

In severe cases, there is a sharp deterioration in the state of the body, which can lead to a diabetic coma:

  • ketoacidemic – there is a large accumulation of ketone bodies in the blood, which significantly reduces the level of insulin; 
  • lactic acid – an excess of lactic acid in the blood due to impaired metabolism; 
  • hypoglycemic – a sharp decrease in sugar levels; 
  • hyperosmolar – occurs against the background of various injuries, burns, which lead to dehydration of the body and insufficient production of insulin. 

Ultimately, with a severe course, the disease can be fatal.

How to recognize diabetes in the early stages?

The disease can be recognized in time by the corresponding symptoms. The main sign of the development of diabetes mellitus is frequent urination, regardless of the time of day. Urinary incontinence is observed at night . Increased thirst is also a hallmark of illness. Feeling hungry or increased appetite is an equally good reason for suspicion of diabetes. Another hallmark of pathology is vision problems – blurred, blurred, feeling of midges.     

In some cases, the disease can proceed without causing any symptoms or discomfort, therefore, an annual examination by a doctor or monitoring blood sugar levels will help to determine the disease in a timely manner.

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