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Prediabetes Symptoms, Treatments, and All that you Need to Know

Prediabetes Symptoms, Treatments, and All that you Need to Know

Prediabetes or borderline diabetes is a condition not many are aware of. A big reason for it is that prediabetes symptoms and signs are not very serious, at least at first. However, if unchecked, it can develop into type 2 diabetes and other sinister conditions. Hence, it is important to know about it. Let’s take a look into prediabetes symptoms, treatment, and more.

Prediabetes vs diabetes: What is the difference?

The first question which pops into the heads of many is this: what is the difference between diabetes and prediabetes? Well, for starters, diabetes and prediabetes are both insulin-related conditions. Insulin is basically a hormone, which is produced in the pancreas and is responsible for the production and supply of glucose to the body cells, which use it for energy. Many use the term ‘borderline diabetes’ for prediabetes. But the main questions to be answered are: What is prediabetes? What are the symptoms and signs of prediabetes? How is prediabetes different from diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. In the case of the former, it is usually a type of diabetes a person is born with. However, Type 2 diabetes is a condition that develops over time.

Now, when the blood sugar level is high, yet not high enough to be categorised into Type 2 diabetes, that condition is known as prediabetes. It is also known as borderline diabetes or glucose intolerance.

Even though prediabetes is different from diabetes, it is a warning sign. That means, that if unchecked, undiagnosed, and untreated, prediabetes can become Type 2 diabetes.

What are the signs and symptoms of prediabetes?

In most of the cases, prediabetes symptoms are not visible. However, if you pay attention to the details, there are signs that you can figure out.

The first prediabetes symptom is dark patches on certain areas of the body. Check these:

  1. Neck
  2. Elbows
  3. Armpits
  4. Knees
  5. Knuckles

Now, while these areas already are darker than the rest of the body, only you can figure out if the darkness looks abnormal as compared to what it earlier was. Any abnormal colouring or change in the body is alarming and should be looked into. In this case, the darkening of the aforementioned body areas can be one of the prediabetes symptoms.

Apart from the external sign mentioned above, there are other prediabetes symptoms. Watch out if you are experiencing any of these things:

  1. Blurred vision
  2. An increase in hunger
  3. Frequent thirst pangs
  4. Fatigue and lethargy more than the usual
  5. Frequent urge to urinate (due to increased thirst)

At first glance, these symptoms don’t even look serious enough. However, as mentioned, these can only be self-diagnosed, i.e. only you can figure out if any patch on your body is darker than the usual, or if your hunger, thirst, and fatigue have suddenly seen a spike. Any such change should alert you enough to get a doctor’s appointment.

What happens if you ignore prediabetes symptoms?

You should also be aware of type 2 diabetes symptoms. Given prediabetes is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, if unchecked, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes are relevant as well. Here they are, in addition to the above-mentioned prediabetes symptoms:

  1. Hampered healing; any cut or scratch takes longer time to heal
  2. Tingling and numbing sensations in hands and feet
  3. Increased sugar levels lead to frequent urination, which can lead to yeast infections and itching

If you experience any of these symptoms in combination with each other, and your body is warning you that it is much more than the normal changes, it may be a case of prediabetes. Consult a doctor.

What causes prediabetes?

Along with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes symptoms, it is also essential to know what causes or triggers it, and what are the risk factors involved. This is important because the symptoms occur in sync with the causes, only causes are a predecessor to the symptoms, in prediabetes or any other condition:

Here are a few things which can induce higher blood sugar levels and subsequently prediabetes:

  1. Excessive drinking and smoking
  2. Excess consumption of high-sugar drinks
  3. Raised stress levels
  4. No workout routine or exercises
  5. Obesity, especially abdominal obesity
  6. Genetic possibility of high sugar levels and diabetes
  7. Hypertension or high blood pressure
  8. Higher levels of cholesterol
  9. High levels of blood fat
  10. Lack of sleep or a condition called obstructive sleep apnea

The aforementioned are the causes and risk factors that induce prediabetes. Further, the risks are higher with age, especially for the ones who are above 45.

Why is it necessary to diagnose prediabetes early?

Prediabetes, if not diagnosed, can lead to Type 2 diabetes. However, there are further complications that can occur. Prediabetes can lead to multiple heart and blood vessel issues such as:

  1. Kidney and heart diseases
  2. Diabetic retinopathy, cataract, or glaucoma, which may happen when excessive blood sugar damages the eye vessels. It can even lead to loss of complete vision. This is the reason doctors recommend once-a-year eye checkup to all the diabetic patients.
  3. Diabetic neuropathy, which can lead to complete loss of sensation in hands, legs, arms, and feet, affecting your mobility completely.

It’s extremely important to diagnose early on, so that prediabetes symptoms can be stopped from developing into these serious conditions.

What is the treatment for prediabetes?

The best treatment for prediabetes is prevention. This means healthy changes in lifestyle. From your food habits to healthy workout practices, to stress management and sleep cycles, everything will help control your blood sugar and prediabetes.

Following are the treatments that doctors would prescribe if you have prediabetes:

Healthy food habits

This is essential so that you consume more healthy and nutritious food rather than junk and fried foods. This also ensures that you lose weight and manage a healthy number of kilos on your weighing scale.

Exercise

Again, once you have sorted your food habits, it is essential to start an exercise routine. Even though one may feel that it is not required, it is. In an environment where everyone is working on the desks and travelling in a seated position, it is essential that we keep out limbs going for flexibility and optimum weight management. Try to work out for at least 30 minutes every day. You can give yourself rest once a week. Try to stick to the routine.

Stop smoking and drinking

As harsh as it sounds, stop. Smoking and drinking, no matter how good the sensations may be, do more harm than good, and there is no antidote to reverse the effects. The best thing would be to entirely stop. This is not a day’s job. Hence, to avoid withdrawal symptoms, especially if you have been smoking and drinking for a long time, join communities that can help you quit. This will make sure your prediabetes symptoms go down drastically.

Check your blood pressure and cholesterol

As we said, prediabetes can be triggered by higher levels of cholesterol and hypertension. If you have both the conditions, make sure your lifestyle changes include countering these conditions as well. Additionally, go for regular checkups or conduct at home to know that your levels are under control. It will control the prediabetes symptoms.

Be punctual with your medication

This goes without saying. Whatever conditions you are suffering from, especially those that are risk factors for prediabetes, take your medicines on time. Remember, prediabetes is majorly higher levels of blood sugar and has not yet developed into type 2 diabetes. If you treat your risk factors right, prediabetes may never turn into diabetes, thus taking one thing off your plate.

Prediabetes is treatable. Prediabetes symptoms are familiar, and thus easier to treat because they have not yet developed into diabetes. It may be induced from various risk factors, most of which emanate from an unhealthy lifestyle, but can be treated by countering it by entering a healthy lifestyle phase. The treatment of prediabetes is in your hands, just like diagnosing it; though confirming it is still the work of a doctor.

Did we miss out on anything? Do share your prediabetes experience with us, if you have ever had it. Share more if you had it and cured it with your healthy habits and lifestyle. We’re all ears.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Prediabetes / https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prediabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20355278 / Accessed on 11/05/2020

What Is Prediabetes? Here’s What You Need to Know / https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/pre-diabetes/pre-diabetes / Accessed on 11/05/2020

All about borderline diabetes (prediabetes) / https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311240 / Accessed on 11/05/2020

Prediabetes vs. Diabetes: What’s the Real Difference? / https://www.goodrx.com/blog/prediabetes-vs-diabetes-whats-the-difference/ Accessed on 11/05/2020

What are the early signs of type 2 diabetes? / https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323185 / Accessed on 11/05/2020

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Written by Nikita Updated कल
Medically reviewed by डॉ. स्नेहल सिंह