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Study shows the diabetes time line

I liked the way this study shows what happens to the body over time before the ‘official’ diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

It gives an insight into how we can detect the early signs of diabetes to help prevent developing type 2 diabetes. The study shows the signs of diabetes are there years before the diagnosis.

The diabetes time line study

Researchers tracked over 6,500 British civil servants without diabetes for an average of 10 years. Throughout this time they were regularly checked for insulin sensitivity and fasting and non-fasting glucose levels. 505 of the participants developed type 2 diabetes.

The time line to type 2 diabetes

The researchers found:

  • A consistent trend in fasting glucose as early as 13 years prior to the diagnosis.
  • Fasting glucose levels rose rapidly 3 years before diagnosis.
  • Glucose levels after eating started to increase 3 years prior to diagnosis.
  • Insulin sensitivity began to decline 5 years before diagnosis.
  • Insulin production dropped rapidly in the 3 years before diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

The study conclusions

The researchers found changes in blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, and insulin secretion as much as 3 to 6 years before the diagnosis of diabetes.

Study author Dr Witte from the University College London said, “The main addition of this study is that it shows for the first time a clear picture of the time line to diabetes.”

The researchers fear that this may not help find ‘at risk’ patients any earlier. However, the earlier people can be identified as being ‘at risk’, the better off they should be.

The findings which support regular blood glucose testing and monitoring were published in The Lancet.

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2 Responses to “Study show diabetes time line”

  1. NotThePest says:

    I believe there is also a discoloration of the skin around the neck, especially the back of the neck, and on the sides of the face right above the cheek bones (Found in people of color).

    Velvety dark skin changes of the neck, armpit and groin, called acanthosis nigricans It is the skin collecting insulin that is not or that cannot be utilized by the body (Insulin Resistance)

  2. Steve says:

    Hi NotThePest,

    Thanks for the information and the link!


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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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