Pre-diabetes is a condition where the blood sugar levels of an individual are higher than usual but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes (T2D). It is a warning sign that the person is at an increased risk of developing diabetes in the future. Pre-diabetes often does not show any symptoms, but there are some early signs to watch out for.
- Frequent urination – When the blood sugar levels are higher than normal, the kidneys work harder to filter the sugar out of the blood. This can cause an increase in urine production, leading to frequent trips to the bathroom.
- Increased thirst – As the body loses more fluids through frequent urination, it can become dehydrated, leading to an increased need for water. This is especially noticeable if the person feels thirsty even after drinking plenty of water.
- Feeling hungry all the time – When the body cannot use insulin efficiently, it cannot convert glucose into energy, leading to feelings of hunger even after eating. This can cause people to overeat, leading to weight gain and an increased risk of developing diabetes.
- Fatigue and weakness – When glucose is not absorbed properly, it cannot provide the necessary energy to the cells. This can lead to feelings of tiredness and weakness, even after getting enough sleep.
- Blurry vision – High blood sugar levels can cause the eye’s lens to swell, leading to changes in vision. If an individual notices sudden changes in their vision, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Slow-healing wounds – High blood sugar levels may also damage the blood vessels, which causes poor circulation and slower healing. This can be especially noticeable in wounds that take longer than usual to heal.
If a person notices any of these early signs of pre-diabetes, they should consult with their doctor. A blood test is the ultimate method to confirm whether someone really has pre-diabetes, and steps can be taken to prevent it from progressing to type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity can all reduce the risk of the condition progressing.
- Weight loss – Even a modest slim down of 5-10% of BMI can significantly reduce an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Eating a balanced diet – A diet that is low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep blood sugar levels stable.
- Regular physical activity – Exercise helps the body use insulin more efficiently, leading to better blood sugar control. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
In conclusion, pre-diabetes is a warning sign that a person is at a high risk of developing T2D. While there may not be any noticeable symptoms, frequent urination, increased thirst, hunger, fatigue, weakness, blurry vision, and slow-healing wounds can all be early signs of the condition. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity can prevent pre-diabetes from progressing to chronic disease and improve their overall health and well-being. If you notice any of these early signs, seeking medical help and following the doctor’s recommendations is critical.
A great companion in your health journey is the Diabetes:M management app, where all newly diagnosed pre-diabetes patients can easily track every aspect of their condition. The information generated in the app is available for sharing with medical professionals with a few clicks. Discover more here.