diabinfo in Dialogue: Interactive Patient Forum on Diabetes

The first digital patient forum 'diabinfo in Dialogue' on February 6 addressed the new diabetes type classification and gave personal insights into type F diabetes, which stands for friends and family. The more than 130 participants actively took part and posed questions to the experts.

Clockwise from top left: Prof. Bernhard Kulzer, Moderator Birgit Brandt of, Sonja Bachmann and Marion Köstlmeier (both family members of persons with diabetes). Source:

The conventional classification into type 1 and type 2 diabetes was questioned by researchers from Scandinavia in 2018. Findings from the multicenter German Diabetes Study (GDS) shortly thereafter confirmed the possible distinction of five subgroups, which can already be made in the first five years after diagnosis. The analysis includes parameters such as the long-term blood glucose value HbA1c, age at diagnosis, body weight, the presence of autoantibodies (GAD), insulin secretion and insulin action.

The subgroups differ in terms of their risk of developing diabetes-related complications. In his presentation, Professor Andreas Fritsche, Tübingen University Hospital, clearly explained how the groups are characterized and how diabetologists can already incorporate these findings into everyday clinical practice.

Subtypes of prediabetes also identified
Even at the prediabetes stage, six subtypes can already be distinguished from one another, which differ in the development and progression of the disease. This has consequences for the possibilities of prevention – is a change in lifestyle sufficient or is early drug treatment necessary?

Type F diabetes: when family members develop diabetes
If a person is diagnosed with diabetes, this also affects family members, life partners or friends: the 'F' in the term ' type F diabetes', which is now heard more and more frequently, therefore stands for 'family and friends'. Professor Bernhard Kulzer, Diabetes Center Mergentheim, spoke to two women whose husbands had been diagnosed with diabetes – one of them type 1 diabetes, the other type 2 diabetes. What impact did the diagnosis have on family life? What is the best way to deal with fears of hypoglycemia or secondary diseases? How do you adjust your lifestyle so that it benefits the whole family?

Being informed about the disease is important and can alleviate possible fears. Staying in dialogue with each other and seeking support in exchanges with other affected people, for example in self-help groups – these are the keys to dealing with diabetes in a relaxed way.

Professor Fritsche's presentation as well as a summary of the topics of the panel discussion can be found on the diabinfo page Events (in German).

More information on the topic of type F diabetes (in German) is also available at