Do you have a history of diabetes in your family? If so, you may not only be destined for the condition but you may already have pre-diabetes. According to an article on the Dr. Oz website, 1 in 4 Americans are pre-diabetic, which works out to around 79 million people. For a lot of pre-diabetic people, symptoms present of diabetes while other people experience milder symptoms.
Prediabetes is when you have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal levels, but are not yet high enough to be considered to be diabetes. When a doctor diagnoses you with this condition, it can sometimes be called impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG).
For many people, there are no symptoms or sign of pre-diabetes. And without the help of a doctor, the condition goes undetected until it launches into full scale diabetes.
Acanthosis nigricans, which is a condition where you get darkened areas of skin, is the most common symptom of pre-diabetes. With acanthosis nigricans, the areas most often affected are the elbows, the neck, the knees, the armpits and the knuckles.
Classic symptoms of type 2 diabetes that can also present with pre-diabetes include:
- frequent urination
- blurred vision
- increased thirst
Having prediabetes does not mean that you will definitely get type 2 diabetes. In fact, with early treatment you can get your blood glucose levels back into the normal range. According to a recent study mentioned on MedicineNet, only 11% of people with prediabetes developed type II diabetes.
You should know that prediabetes can cause some of the same long-term effects on the body that full fledged diabetes has on the body. In fact, it actually increases your risk of heart disease by around 50 percent.
Just like with regular diabetes, there are things that you can do to prevent your health situation from getting worse. You can even prevent it from going into full-blown type two diabetes. The main at home treatment option is lifestyle modification.
If you can lose a little weight or start getting in some moderate exercise, then you are on the path to making your health better. In many people, just 30 minutes of exercise a day and a healthier diet will result in some weight loss and the return of blood glucose numbers to their normal levels. Some studies show that all you need is to lose 5% to 10% of body weight to see a positive change in your blood glucose levels.
When To See A Doctor About Prediabetes
If you have concerns about the possibility of being pre-diabetic, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss it – especially if you are exhibiting the type 2 diabetes symptoms. Your doctor can actually give you a blood glucose screening to determine if you already have the condition.
Some risk factors for pre-diabetes include:
- leading a sedentary, or inactive, lifestyle
- age 45 or older
- overweight, with a BMI over 25
- high blood pressure
- history of gestational diabetes when you were pregnant or gave birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- family history of type 2 diabetes
- African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian-American or a Pacific Islander ethnicity
- previously diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome
- sleep less than six hours or more than nine hours each night
- high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) is below 35 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) — 0.9 millimoles per liter or mmol/L — or your triglyceride level is above 250 mg/dL (2.83 mmol/L).