What are the 4 Stages of Diabetes

Two prominent US based diabetes research groups have found that there are four different stages of type 2 diabetes. Called the dysglycemia-based chronic disease model, it hopes to make it easier for people and medical professions to prevent and treat diabetes.

The four stages are:
  1. Molecular (insulin resistance)
  2. Biochemical cardiometabolic risk (prediabetes)
  3. Biochemical disease (type 2 diabetes)
  4. Vascular complications (type 2 diabetes with complications)

This doesn’t mean that type 2 diabetes is no longer an applicable term. Instead, researchers want to view type 2 diabetes, vascular disease, prediabetes, and insulin resistance in one framework called dysglycemia-based chronic disease.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a common, life-long condition where a person’s blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high because of a problem with a hormone called insulin. Having consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to problems with your nervous, circulatory, and immune systems.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes:
  • Urinating frequently
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Slowly healing wounds

If left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to several serious complications including some life-threatening conditions.

Complications of type 2 diabetes:
  • Heart disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney disease
  • Vision loss
  • Dementia
  • Diabetic coma
  • Loss of limbs due to diabetic neuropathy

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes but it can occur in children as well as adults. It’s very rare for someone to be born with it. Usually it develops over time due to lifestyle factors like being overweight or having a family history of type 2 diabetes.

When someone has type 2 diabetes, their pancreas does not produce enough of the hormone that regulates blood sugar, insulin. Insulin is important because it helps fuel our bodies. When insulin isn’t working the way it should, your blood sugar and insulin levels rise.

Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are both forms of diabetes, but are different conditions with different causes. Type 1 is a genetic form of diabetes that starts early in life while type 2 is often developed later in life as the result of lifestyle factors. Type 2 diabetes is also more common and accounts for at least 90% of cases of diabetes.

  • Type 1: Your body attacks the cells in your pancreas, preventing it from being able to produce insulin naturally. Symptoms are usually sudden and are managed by taking insulin.
  • Type 2: Your body can’t make enough insulin or the insulin it produces does not work as it should. Symptoms are often gradual and can be managed in many different ways.

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
Management of type 2 diabetes involves several approaches. You will need to monitor your diet and exercise on a regular basis. Losing some weight and checking your blood sugar levels often will also help.

Your doctor may prescribe diabetes medications to take alongside a healthy lifestyle. Commonly prescribed medications for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Metformin Trulicity: Metformin is often the first line in medications for type 2 diabetes. It can be taken by patients with type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and by people who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Byetta(Exenatide): Another type 2 diabetes medication that is most effective when taken alongside diet and exercise.
  • Lantus Insulin: Lantus is a synthetic form of insulin that is mostly prescribed for type 1 diabetes but it can also be used by patients with type 2 diabetes.

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