- Most symptoms of prediabetes are the same as type 2 diabetes
- The symptoms of prediabetes can include fatigue, increased thirst, increased urination, blurry vision, and slow healing wounds
- If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor
Prediabetes is a serious medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the CDC, over 96 million adults in the United States alone have prediabetes. If you have prediabetes, your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. If left untreated, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, which can cause serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness.
The good news is that prediabetes is often reversible. Making small changes to your diet and lifestyle can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. But first, you need to know if you’re at risk. Here are 9 symptoms of prediabetes you shouldn’t ignore:
1. Increased Thirst and Frequent Urination
If you find yourself drinking more water than usual or making frequent trips to the bathroom, it could be a sign of prediabetes. When your blood sugar levels are high, your body tries to get rid of the excess sugar by flushing it out through your urine. This increases the amount of water your body needs to make urine, which can lead to increased thirst and urination.
Feeling exhausted all the time is another common symptom of prediabetes. When your blood sugar levels are too high, your body can’t use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps keep your blood sugar levels in check by transporting sugar from your bloodstream into your cells for energy. If insulin isn’t working properly, your cells can’t get the energy they need, which can leave you feeling tired and run down all the time.
3. Blurry Vision
If you’ve noticed that your vision has become blurry or foggy, it could be a symptom of prediabetes or diabetes. High blood sugar levels can damage the tiny blood vessels in your eyes, causing them to swell and leak fluid into surrounding tissues. This can cause blurred vision or even complete vision loss if left untreated
4. Slow-Healing Wounds
When you cut yourself or bruise yourself, do the wounds take longer than usual to heal? If so, it could be due to high blood sugar levels depriving your wound of oxygen and nutrients it needs to heal properly.
5. Dark patches on the skin
Patches of skin that are darker than the surrounding skin are called acanthosis nigricans, and they’re often a sign of insulin resistance—a key factor in prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. These patches usually occur on the neck, armpits, or groin area.
6. Weight loss
Despite eating more food than usual, you may notice that you’re losing weight unexpectedly. This is because when your cells can’t use insulin properly, they can’t take in glucose from the bloodstream, leading to starvation and weight loss even when food intake is normal or increased.
7. Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
High blood sugar can cause nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), which can lead to numbness or tingling in the hands and feet (called peripheral neuropathy). If you notice any numbness or tingling in your extremities, it’s important to talk to your doctor about it.
8. Frequent infections
Prediabetes can weaken your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight off infection— leading to more frequent infections such as yeast infections or urinary tract infections (UTIs).
9. Excessive hunger
If you’re always hungry or eating more than usual, it could be warning signs of prediabetes. When your blood sugar is high, your body doesn’t use glucose for energy the way it should. This can lead to hunger and overeating.
To sum up
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away. They can do a simple blood test called the A1C test to check if you have prediabetes. If you do have prediabetes, there are things you can do to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, including exercising for 30 minutes most days of the week, eating a healthy diet, losing weight if overweight, and quitting smoking. Talk to your doctor about ways to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Prevention is always better than cure!