The "5" Stages

of Diabetes

There are five stages of diabetes.


STAGE ONE is insulin resistance.


This is when your body develops a resistance to the effects of insulin. For most people living a Western lifestyle, this process begins in the early to late teens and progresses slowly for many, many years, usually decades before we ever know anything about it.  Stage one diabetes is characterized by normal blood glucose levels and normal blood insulin levels.


STAGE TWO is when the body compensates for the increasing insulin resistance.


Since the insulin is not working as efficiently as it used to, the body compensates by increasing production of insulin. This brings two results, one positive, one negative. The good thing is that increased levels of insulin keep blood glucose levels within normal levels. The bad thing is that the increased levels of insulin required to do that bring about damaging side effects. You see, elevated levels of insulin lead directly to an increased inflammatory response throughout the body.


Now, the inflammatory response is an important survival mechanism utilized by our immune systems to protect us from infectious agents, but when triggered over the long term, the inflammatory response mechanism can also turn on our own bodies, leading to hay fever, atherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Insulin promotes weight gain, in fact, it is called the “fat storage hormone.” It is through the years of stage two diabetes where most people add 10 to 100 lbs.  Stage two diabetes is characterized by normal blood glucose levels and increasing blood insulin levels.


STAGE THREE is when the pancreas can no longer increase insulin production to offset increasing insulin resistance.


You now have high levels of insulin, sometimes 2 to 3 times normal levels, and your blood glucose levels begin to rise above normal for the first time. This is when your doctor says, “You have diabetes.” In truth, diabetes started for you years and years ago.


Stage three marks the end of what I call the “honeymoon period.” Up to this time, your diabetes has not been serious enough to even get your attention. Sure, you don’t have as much energy as you used to and you get sore more often, but things are still okay by and large. Well, that’s about to change. Your body’s been under assault for decades now and it’s losing the battle. The proverbial chickens are about to come home to roost.  Scientific studies tell us that at the time of initial diagnosis of diabetes, we’ve already lost between 25% and 45% of our functioning beta cells, these are the insulin producing cells in our pancreas.  Stage three diabetes is characterized by rising blood glucose levels and high blood insulin levels.


STAGE FOUR is chronic diabetes, high insulin levels and high glucose levels.


This is the worst of all worlds. Not only are you now seeing the direct effect of high insulin levels (elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, and high blood pressure), but now the damaging effects of high glucose begin to take their toll as well. High glucose interferes with our immune system, so you get sick more often. You feel fatigued or weak as your body’s cells are starved of glucose, women get more yeast infections, and systemic candida infections occur. Risk of amputation increases as limbs lose their blood supply and nerves die, and you risk losing both your eyesight and kidney function. Both men and women see their sexual expression disappear as erectile dysfunction and vaginal dryness take their toll. All in all, not a pretty picture.  Stage four diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels and falling blood insulin levels.


STAGE FIVE is when your pancreas, after producing all the insulin it can for many years, finally gives up.


Insulin production plummets, sometimes quickly, and your glucose levels skyrocket. You now exhibit the sumptoms of a classic type 1 diabetic without the ability to even produce insulin. For most people at this stage, damage has been severe. Obesity is almost a certainty. Mobility is reduced to a minimum, sight is failing, sensation has been lost in the extremities and many have had multiple amputations. Some are on kidney dialysis.  Death follows within a few years.  Stage five diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels and low blood insulin levels.


Left unchecked, diabetes will reduce normal lifespan by 8 to 12 years, and the last 5 or 10 years will a time of severe health challenges.

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