Did you know that one out of every three Americans is prediabetic? Those with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, yet not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. If left untreated, this condition will develop into type 2 diabetes in at least five years. However, before this stage is reached, long term damage to the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys may begin to take place. Thankfully, with proper treatment, prediabetes can be fully reversed. So, if you think you or somebody you know may have this condition, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. For your reference, the following are the main symptoms and risk factors of prediabetes.
Oftentimes, patients experience no symptoms of prediabetes. In fact, according to the CDC, only 10% of people ever realize that they have prediabetes. However, when symptoms do occur, they are typically similar to less-severe versions of type II diabetes symptoms, such as
- Darkened skin on the neck, armpits, elbows, knees, or knuckles
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision.
Because these symptoms often do not occur, it’s typically more helpful to pay attention to the risk factors of prediabetes.
Prediabetes Risk Factors
There are many factors that can put you at a higher risk of prediabetes. They include
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Living an inactive lifestyle
- Being overweight
- Having a waist size of more than 40 inches for men
- Having a waist size of more than 35 inches for women
- Eating a diet consisting of red meat, processed meat, and sugary beverages
- Being over the age of 45
- Being of African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent
- Having gestational diabetes in the past while pregnant
- Having Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Sleeping irregularly or having sleep apnea
- Having high blood pressure
- Having low levels of HDL cholesterol
If you have any of these risk factors, ask your doctor for a simple blood test to determine your chances of developing diabetes. Otherwise, you might run into some troubling complications.