T1D Facts

Stage 3

Stage 3 is what was previously thought to be the start of T1D. By this time, there are usually T1D symptoms due to significant beta cell loss.

Type 1 Diabetes: Stage 3

Info graphic showing the stages of Type 1 Diabetes, and how stage 3 fits in the picture.

In stage 3, the immune system has killed off a very large number of beta cells. In addition to diabetes-related autoantibodies and abnormal blood sugar levels, now the symptoms of T1D are usually present.

Thanks to nearly 160,000 TrialNet study participants to date, we now know more about T1D than ever before.

Today, T1D is better understood as an autoimmune disorder that begins years before symptoms appear.

With TrialNet screening, we can identify individuals who are in the early stages of T1D. Increased risk of developing symptomatic T1D is linked to the presence of diabetes-related autoantibodies in the blood. Having two or more of these autoantibodies is now classified as early stage T1D. Almost everyone in stage 1 and 2 will progress to stage 3 (clinical diagnosis).

In stage 3, individuals usually have the symptoms associated with T1D. This happens because the immune system has killed off a significant number of beta cells.

Even in stage 3, many people continue to make small amounts of insulin. Your body’s ability to keep making insulin, even in small amounts, is your best defense against complications and helps you better manage the disease. TrialNet offers clinical trials exploring ways to maintain beta cell function for as long as possible.

Current Research

If your screening results show you are in stage 3, you may be able to participate in a clinical study for people newly diagnosed. These studies are looking for ways to maintain beta cell function as long as possible.