Signs of Prediabetes in Adults: Beware!
Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are high but not yet in the diabetes range. For the vast majority of people, prediabetes eventually progresses to full-blown diabetes if it’s not reversed. If you’re concerned that you may have prediabetes, there are a few things you can do to check for it and get started on treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss the warning signs of prediabetes in adults and what you can do to prevent it from progressing.
What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes in adults is a condition in which blood sugar levels are high but not yet out of the normal range. It is a precursor to type 2 diabetes and can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including diet, weight, and genetics. If left untreated, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes over time.
Some of the most common signs include:
1. Higher than normal blood sugar levels despite healthy eating habits;
2. Regular highs and lows in blood sugar levels;
3. Periods of extreme hunger or overeating followed by periods of not being able to eat at all;
4. Frequent urination due to increased thirstiness or fatigue;
5. Increased use of insulin or other diabetes medications.
The Symptoms of Prediabetes
1. Increased Thirst and Frequent Urination: One of the common symptoms of prediabetes is feeling constantly thirsty and having to urinate more frequently. This happens because high blood sugar levels can cause the kidneys to work harder to remove the excess glucose from the bloodstream, leading to increased fluid intake and subsequent urination.
2. Fatigue and Lack of Energy: People with prediabetes may experience persistent fatigue and a general lack of energy. This can occur due to the body’s inability to effectively use glucose for energy, leading to a feeling of tiredness and sluggishness throughout the day.
3. Increased Hunger: Prediabetes can cause a rise in appetite and cravings, as the body’s cells are not receiving enough glucose to meet their energy needs. This can lead to overeating and weight gain, further exacerbating the risk of developing diabetes.
4. Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain: Some individuals with prediabetes may experience unexplained weight loss, despite an increased appetite. On the other hand, others may gain weight due to insulin resistance, where the body struggles to effectively utilize insulin, resulting in higher blood sugar levels and weight gain.
5. Blurred Vision: Fluctuating blood sugar levels can affect the lens of the eye, leading to temporary changes in vision. Blurred vision or difficulty focusing on objects can be a warning sign of prediabetes and should be promptly evaluated by an eye care professional.
6. Slow Wound Healing: High blood sugar levels can impair the body’s natural healing process, making cuts, bruises, and infections take longer to heal. If you notice that your wounds are taking an unusually long time to heal, it could be a sign of prediabetes.
It’s important to note that prediabetes may not present any symptoms at all, which is why regular screenings and check-ups are crucial for early detection. If you experience any of these symptoms or have risk factors for diabetes, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.
How to Test for Prediabetes
If you are over age 20, have a family history of diabetes, or are obese, your doctor may recommend that you test for prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If left untreated, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes.
There are several ways to test for prediabetes. Your doctor may suggest one or more of the following tests: fasting blood sugar level (FBS), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), or a 2-hour glucose tolerance test (GTT).
The FBS is the most common test used to diagnose prediabetes. It is done by having you fast overnight and then measuring your blood sugar levels before and after eating. The HbA1c is a measure of how long it has been since your blood sugar levels went up. The GTT measures how well you control your blood sugar after drinking a sugary drink.
If you have prediabetes, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and reducing calories, exercise, and alcohol intake.
There is currently no cure for prediabetes, but there are treatments that can help manage the condition. Treatment goals for prediabetes vary depending on the person’s age, health history, and other factors. However, some general goals include losing weight if you have prediabetes and reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Treatment guidelines for prediabetes may include:
Losing weight if you are overweight or obese: If you have prediabetes, losing weight can help improve your blood sugar control and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Weight loss may also reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions. Talk with your healthcare provider about how to lose weight if you have prediabetes.
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Reducing calories: Eating fewer calories can help you lose weight and improve your blood sugar control. You may need to talk with a healthcare provider about specific calorie restrictions if you have prediabetes.
Eating healthy foods: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and fish (especially omega-3 fatty acids) to promote good blood sugar control and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
Exercises: Exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Start by doing moderate exercise 30 minutes a day five days a week followed by 30 minutes more on days six through ten. As you become more fit, increase the time spent exercising.
If you or someone you know is struggling with prediabetes, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible. Prediabetes, especially in adults, is a serious condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes if left untreated. Early intervention can prevent many complications down the road. Monitoring your blood sugar levels is key to identifying this condition early. So, make sure to keep track of your results and take action when needed. Thank you for reading!