Diabetes is a serious condition that, if not properly managed, can cause your blood sugar to be too high.
Often, though, the body will let you know when you are getting close to developing diabetes. It sometimes does this through a condition known as “pre diabetes.”
In many cases, if you can get the condition under control while you are still in the pre diabetic stage, you can fully repair your health and avoid diabetes altogether.
The key, however, is detecting the condition early. The sooner you are aware of it, the sooner you can start doing things to take better care of yourself.
If you think you are in danger of pre diabetes or have an increased risk for pre diabetes, it is extremely important to educate yourself on the common pre diabetes symptoms. That way, if you notice any of them in your own life, you’ll know to get to a doctor right away.
Understanding what Pre Diabetes is
Before we dive in and share with you the common pre diabetes symptoms, it is important for you to understand what, exactly, pre diabetes is.
Basically, pre diabetes is diagnosed when you have somewhat elevated blood sugar levels. With this condition, your blood sugar is higher than it should be. Fortunately, however, it is not in the diabetic range.
The bad news is that it may get there if you do not take steps to better manage your health and control your blood sugar.
Who is at Risk for Pre Diabetes?
Sadly, many people develop pre diabetes at some point during their lifetimes. In most cases, though, it doesn’t just come from out of nowhere.
More often than not, people will have one or more of the risk factors for pre diabetes.
So, what are those risk factors?
Well, one of the big ones is being overweight or obese. Fat cells are less sensitive to glucose, and the more of them you have, the greater your chances of developing pre diabetes.
People with generally poor and unhealthy diets often have a higher risk of pre diabetes as well, due to the fact that unhealthy foods can negatively affect insulin sensitivity. While any unhealthy diet is bad, diets rich in carbohydrates, sugar, and red or processed meats are especially risky.
As mentioned, being overweight at all puts you at risk for prediabetes. However, this risk is compounded if you tend to carry most of your weight in the abdominal region. Therefore, if you are a woman with a waist size of more than 35 inches or a man with a waist size of more than 40 inches, there is a good chance that you are at an increased risk for prediabetes.
Another indicator that you could be at risk for prediabetes is if you have developed three or more conditions that have a negative impact on your metabolism. When you reach the “magic three,” you are said to have metabolic syndrome. Unfortunately, this syndrome can easily lead to insulin resistance, which, in turn, can lead to prediabetes and diabetes.
Your age can also impact your likelihood of developing prediabetes. While anyone can develop the condition, it most commonly affects people over the age of 45. So, while you may have gotten away with an unhealthy lifestyle in your younger years, the damage will often creep in during your later years.
Additionally, having a family history of type II diabetes ups your chance of getting prediabetes or diabetes. This is especially true if a close relative, like a parent or sibling, has or had the disease.
It also has to be mentioned that people who live high-stress lifestyles and people who have certain ethnic backgrounds are more likely to develop prediabetes. The backgrounds most commonly affected by prediabetes include:
- African Americans
- Asian Americans
- Native Americans
- Pacific Islanders
Of course, people of all backgrounds can be diagnosed with prediabetes, but, for reasons still unknown, diagnosis rates tend to be higher for people who fall into these ethnic categories.
If you have one or more of these risk factors, then you will want to be especially vigilant about protecting yourself against prediabetes and diabetes. There are many ways you can do that, some of which we’ll cover later. However, you also should make sure you are seeing a doctor regularly and getting checked for the condition. Early detection can often make a big difference in whether or not your prediabetes progresses to diabetes.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Pre Diabetes
All people should take steps to safeguard their health and prevent serious conditions like prediabetes. This is especially true for those who, as discussed above, are at an increased risk of developing prediabetes.
The good news for people in both categories is that there are a great many things you can do to reduce your chances of developing prediabetes.
The most important things, however, are to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. These two simple steps can help you in a multitude of ways.
By eating healthily and exercising regularly, you will more than likely lose weight if you have excess weight to lose. That, in turn, will lower your risk of prediabetes.
Likewise, a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and healthy, natural foods can help to prevent prediabetes by improving your blood sugar levels. Exercise can also help to regulate blood sugar levels.
While a healthy diet is always going to be any balanced, moderate one, you can always see a doctor or a nutritionist if you need some help figuring out what to eat. These professionals can often provide you with meal plans, which can help you to regulate your eating and understand healthy portions.
Your doctor or nutritionist can also give you advice on what types of exercise to pursue. Really, though, anything that gets you moving and burning calories is a great start.
If you can just get diet and exercise under control, you can greatly reduce your chance of developing prediabetes. However, you should still be aware of the common pre diabetes symptoms just in case this condition still manages to make its way into your life.
What are the Warning Signs of Pre Diabetes?
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of pre diabetes and how you can protect yourself from it. With that said, though, it is still very important to be aware of the common pre diabetes symptoms, especially if you are at an increased risk for the condition.
It is important to note, however, that symptoms, their prevalence, and their severity will vary greatly from one person to the next.
Some people may not have any symptoms or may have very mild symptoms. Others may have several symptoms or even very severe symptoms. Symptoms can be a good thing, though, because they can alert you to a problem.
Just remember that, in addition to being on the lookout for pre diabetes symptoms, you should also be seeing a doctor regularly, especially if you have a heightened risk of pre diabetes.
With all of that said, it is time to explore some of the potential warning signs of pre diabetes.
Chances are that you have never heard this term before. It is not something that many people are familiar with. It is, however, a somewhat common sign of pre diabetes.
Acanthosis nigricans is said to occur when you develop thick, darkly colored patches, which may feel velvety to the touch, on various parts of the body. These patches tend to develop when your blood sugar is out of control.
And, while they can develop anywhere, they are most commonly found on the neck, knuckles, groin, and armpits. The good news is that, if you get your blood sugar under control, they typically go away quite quickly.
People with prediabetes often find themselves dealing with extreme thirst. This is because the body is working hard to flush out excess sugar in the blood, which requires liquids.
Thus, you may find yourself drinking and drinking (and peeing and peeing) to no avail if you have prediabetes.
You will only worsen this problem if you drink sugary sodas or juices in an attempt to quench your thirst. Your best bet is to drink plenty of water and see a doctor right away.
You Develop Gout
If you are ever diagnosed with gout, which is a type of arthritis related to excess uric acid build-up, make sure to see a doctor right away. Not only will you need to treat your gout symptoms, but you’ll also want to be checked for pre diabetes.
These two conditions go hand in hand, and gout sufferers are much more likely to develop prediabetes and, eventually, diabetes. This is especially true for those who are obese or overweight. In any case, prompt medical attention is needed whenever gout is suspected or confirmed.
You are Struggling with Extreme Fatigue
If you find yourself yawning during the day and struggling to keep your eyes open, prediabetes could be to blame. This condition often causes extreme fatigue. This happens because your cells cannot get the glucose they need. In turn, your body reacts by shutting down and asking you to sleep.
Extreme fatigue, of course, can have many other causes, such as an infection or not getting enough to eat. However, if you can’t pinpoint any particular cause for your sudden tiredness, it is a good idea to check in with a doctor to get to the root of the issue.
Unexplained Changes in Vision
Prediabetes and out of whack sugar levels can sometimes cause scary changes in your vision. If you find your vision blurred or spotty, especially if you have never had any vision problems in the past, it is time to get to a doctor.
Like extreme fatigue, vision changes can have all kinds of different causes. However, prediabetes is definitely one of the more common ones. Thus, you definitely should not ignore what your eyes are trying to tell you.
Your Skin Feels Tight and/or Waxy to the Touch
We’ve already mentioned one way in which prediabetes can affect the skin, but that’s not the only way.
People with this condition may also develop tight, waxy skin, especially on the fingers and toes. This condition is known as digital sclerosis and happens as a result of high blood sugar.
By the time you develop this condition, your blood vessels have already been damaged by high blood sugar levels. Thus, the condition is likely somewhat advanced, and very prompt medical attention will be needed.
You’re Losing Your Hair
People lose their hair for all kinds of different reasons. Plus, some hair loss is normal on a daily basis.
When hair loss becomes extreme, however, or picks up out of nowhere, it’s time to see a doctor. Often, hair loss can be caused by prediabetes and the insulin resistance it causes.
And, even if pre diabetes isn’t to blame, you will still want to know what is causing the issue so that you can put a stop to it.
You’re Losing Weight without Trying
Most of us would be thrilled if we suddenly started dropping pounds without any effort. However, unexplained weight loss is rarely a good sign, healthwise.
Sometimes, prediabetes can stop your cells from actually absorbing the sugar that you eat. This can lead to sudden, unexplained weight loss, as well as near-constant, gnawing hunger pangs.
Often, people find that they’re eating more and losing weight. And, while that might sound like a dieter’s dream, it can have serious health consequences if it’s happening because of prediabetes. Thus, get yourself to a doctor right away if you develop this symptom.
As you can see, your body will often let you know, in all kinds of ways, when something isn’t right. If you think you may be experiencing these signs of prediabetes, be sure to see a doctor right away. Remember, take care of your health above all else, and your body will thank you.