Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people every year. However, what most people don’t know is that, while they might not be diabetic, they may be at risk of—or have prediabetes. About 88 million adults (more than 1 in 3) have prediabetes.
What Is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes means you have high glucose levels, but not high enough to be considered diabetic. That means you can still prevent getting diabetes with some lifestyle changes and careful monitoring. If you suspect you have insulin resistance or have high fasting glucose levels, here are a few warning signs of prediabetes you’ll want to look out for.
Let’s be honest… Most of us feel tired from time to time. But usually, there’s some reason for it, whether it be kids waking up in the middle of the night or simply staying up too late. If you find that no matter how much sleep you get, you’re still exhausted, then there may be something wrong with your glucose levels. The insulin in your body needs to effectively convert the food and drinks you consume into energy. If that glucose isn’t getting used, you will be more tired than usual.
2. Excessive Thirst
Feeling like no amount of water or other drinks can satisfy your thirst? You may have high blood sugar. When you have too much unused glucose in your system, your body tries to get rid of it. Since your kidneys can’t reabsorb the glucose, it returns it to your bloodstream. From there, it’s shifted to your urine, where it pulls more water from your blood. In sum, unused glucose makes you urinate more and dehydrates you, causing you to feel extremely thirsty. This uncomfortable cycle will continue unless you lower your glucose levels.
3. Increased Hunger
Being more hungry than usual is another sign of prediabetes, but also one that you could possibly dismiss. There are so many factors that can affect hunger and diet, which is part of the reason why prediabetes is hard to self-diagnose. However, if you notice that you are especially hungry lately and eating only satisfies that feeling for a short amount of time, you may have prediabetes. The reason you will feel extra hungry is that your muscles don’t receive the energy they need, so your muscles and other tissues send your brain a message that you’re hungry in hopes of getting the energy they desperately need.
4. Itchy Skin
Another prediabetes symptom that can be easily missed. There are a lot of other factors besides diabetes that can cause itchy skin, like dry skin (due to weather or other factors) or yeast infections. That being said, high glucose levels can cause poor circulation, which reduces blood flow to your skin. This can cause your skin to be really itchy, especially in your legs. This lack of circulation can also affect your skin’s collagen and cause a variety of other skin problems.
5. Cold Hands and Feet
As with itchy skin, cold hands and feet are a result of poor circulation — which can be caused by diabetes. If your hands and feet feel cold even when the temperature is warm, or they have difficulty warming back up after you’ve been in the cold, it could be a sign that you have prediabetes.
6. Dark Skin on Neck
While this is an unusual symptom of diabetes, it can also occur in people who have prediabetes. Called acanthosis nigricans, these dark patches are most commonly found on your neck (especially in the folds of your neck), but can also be found on other areas of the body. These velvety-feeling dark spots develop for the same reason as the symptoms above: too much glucose in your system. Because your body isn’t using insulin effectively, your blood sugar levels get too high and can cause visible symptoms.
7. Recurring Infections
Unfortunately, people with prediabetes or diabetes are prone to more infections. Some of these infections include bacterial infections (like styes or boils) and fungal infections (such as yeast infections). The reason you are more prone to infection is because high glucose levels lower your body’s immune system defenses, causing these infections to happen and recur often.
In most cases, you won’t have any symptoms of prediabetes. Luckily, managing prediabetes is easier than managing diabetes, since your body usually hasn’t experienced some of its more damaging effects. To help your body achieve healthy glucose levels, use natural supplements like Level Blood Sugar Support. And for peace of mind, you can ask your doctor to do blood tests to check for diabetes the next time you have a check-up.
Taking a proactive approach to your health and watching for symptoms of prediabetes is the best way to prevent diabetes and live a healthier, longer life.