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:
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:
- Blurred vision
- An increase in hunger
- Frequent thirst pangs
- Fatigue and lethargy more than the usual
- 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: