Prediabetes is not an illness but a serious warning sign that you may have type 2 diabetes in the future. In prediabetes, your blood sugar level is above-normal levels, but not enough to diagnose as type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes means that you have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes for ten years. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults has prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, many don’t know they have it.
The good news is that if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, you can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, a heart condition, and stroke by reducing excess weight, exercise, and changing your diet.
Signs & Symptoms of Prediabetes
You can have prediabetes for ages but have no visible signs. However, it’s necessary to speak to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have the following symptoms.
1. Blurry vision or double vision
Blurry vision or double vision is one of the initial signs of prediabetes: high blood sugar makes the lens of your eye to swell and change its shape, which will affect your ability to see. If you experience any vision changes, contact your doctor, and get your blood sugar levels tested.
2. Dark patches on the skin
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, Most people with prediabetes experience dark skin patches that appear on the back of your neck, groin regions, and armpits, which is caused by excess insulin in your blood. The affected skin will look different from that surrounding skin, and it looks velvety and thicker. This skin condition is termed acanthosis nigricans. If you notice darker patches at the back of your neck, groin, and armpits, see your doctor for proper checkup.
3. Frequent urination
Frequent urination is often one of the apparent initial symptoms of prediabetes. When your blood sugar level is high, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, the glucose in your urine will then attract in more water. Hence, you pee more often, resulting in increased thirst and water intake that will cause frequent urination. The only way to be sure if your frequent urination is caused by prediabetes is to get your blood sugar levels are tested.
4. Increased thirst
It’s normal to feel thirsty after consuming salty food, performing physical activities, or when it’s hot. However, sometimes frequent excessive thirst can be symptoms of prediabetes due to high blood sugar, which creates an imbalance and loss of water through excessive urination. Nevertheless, if your urge to drink remains persistent, you should consult your doctor.
5. Excessive Hunger
Persistent hunger soon after you eat is also a typical symptom of prediabetes due to extremely high blood sugar levels, which cause fluctuations in your hunger hormone levels and may make you feel hungry more often. If you are worried about your sudden, persistent hunger, you should consult your physician.
6. Slow wound healing
Prediabetics may experience slow wound healing because of prolonged high blood sugar levels that have to weaken the immune system. Therefore the body cannot fight off infections. Also, high blood sugar levels may narrow the blood vessels, slowing down blood circulation, including limiting the required nutrients and oxygen from getting to wounds or small cuts, causing it to take longer to heal.
How to stop prediabetes from developing to type 2 diabetes
You can restore your blood sugar level to a normal level by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Here are some tips to help prevent diabetes:
- Eat healthy food such as vegetables, lean proteins, fruits, and whole grains.
- Lose a few pounds of excess weight if you are overweight. Losing 8 to 10% of your weight can make a huge difference.
- Exercise regularly. Try to do at least 30 minutes exercising daily, five days a week. You can start with a shorter time and slowly increase the time to half an hour if you need to.
- Stop drinking soda and start drinking more water
- Stop smoking
- Get enough sleep daily
- Treat blood pressure and high cholesterol. Take the medication as directed. Depending on other risk factors, your physician may prescribe medications to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure or to prevent diabetes.
If you assume that you may be experiencing any signs of prediabetes, speak to your doctor. Early examination and speedy treatment can significantly reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.