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All information on diabetes

At a glance

Diabetes mellitus refers to metabolic diseases that lead to an increase in glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia). The two main forms are type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition, there are still some rarer forms of diabetes, which include, for example, the so-called gestational diabetes (gestational diabetes).

Similar to kidney disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus often manifests itself gradually. The symptoms are usually, if at all, only discreetly present at the beginning. The disease is often only detected by chance during routine examinations. If these are not carried out regularly and in detail, it can happen that type 2 diabetes is detected late. Not infrequently, only the consequential damage caused by diabetes is the reason for the doctor’s visit.

Further information

Congenital diabetes mellitus type 1 is an autoimmune disease that leads to the destruction of insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that mediates the absorption of glucose from the blood into the cells of the body. In type 1 diabetes, therefore, there is an absolute lack of insulin, which leads to the fact that the remaining cells of the body can not absorb glucose.

The more common type 2 diabetes has a genetic component on the one hand and is also strongly associated with overeating and obesity on the other. Here there is a relative insulin deficiency. This means that although the cells of the pancreas release insulin, the remaining cells are resistant to this insulin. Insulin is therefore present, but does not work. Again, the consequence is that no glucose can be absorbed from the blood. This type of diabetes often remains fatally undetected for a long time, but leads to serious organ damage to the heart, circulation, kidneys, eyes and nervous system due to the changed metabolic situation.



Complications and subsequent diseases:

  • Nerve damage (polyneuropathy)
  • Damage to blood vessels (angiopathies)
    • Retinal damage (diabetic retinopathy)
    • Kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy)
    • Poor wound healing e.g. Diabetic foot
    • heart failure (heart failure), coronary artery disease (CHD) and heart attack
    • Increased susceptibility to colonization with germs (skin infections)
    • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depressive mood or depression
  • Acidification of the blood – diabetic ketoacidosis


Urine diagnostics

  • In the case of ketoacidosis – miction parameters heaped urination
  • Urine odour after fresh fruit or acetone in the presence of ketonuria (possible sign of metabolic acidosis, usually caused by starvation or unadjusted diabetes mellitus)
  • Testing for glucose and ketone bodiesto detect and correct changes in metabolic status at an early stage
  • Microalbiminuriatest for early diagnosis of nephropathy as a follow-up complication of diabetes mellitus



  • dietary change
  • regular physical activity
  • blood sugar-lowering tablets (oral antidiabetics)
  • Insulin therapy


Did you know?

  • The number of people with diabetes mellitus has doubled worldwide in the last 30 years
  • Type 1 diabetes is the most common chronic disease in childhood and adolescence

Smoking increases risk of developing type 2 diabetes by about 50 percent


  • Schwarz, J. et al. (2018): Diabetes Mellitus, URL:
  • German Diabetes Society (DDG): Diagnosis, therapy and follow-up of diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents, URL:
  • German Diabetes Foundation: Diabetes – what is it?, URL:
  • Häussler, B. et al. (2010): Weißbuch Diabetes in Deitschland, Georg Thieme Verlag, 2nd edition
  • NZZ, Zeyer, A. : Stopping the course of the disease, URL:
Status of information: 2022