Being declared as a prediabetic is a wake-up call where major changes are necessary. When a fasting blood test finds sugar levels that are between 100-125 mg/dL, then a person is diagnosed with prediabetes symptoms. While it is not an official diagnosis, it is a term that many doctors use to tell their patients they are on the path to be a diabetic. Fortunately, it is a condition that can sometimes be reversed or delayed before it develops into diabetes which puts patients at a high risk for heart disease.
Quickcare or ER?
Red flags that will send you to the ER:
- A constant thirst that cannot be quenched.
- Frequent urination.
- Blurred vision.
- Extreme fatigue.
- Altered mental status.
- Blood sugar levels that are 600 mg/dl or greater.
Diagnosing Prediabetes Symptoms
What Will Your Doctor Ask?
Your doctor will want to know your symptoms of prediabetes. Many prediabetes symptoms overlap with other disorders. Therefore, your doctor will ask specific questions to get a better insight for a diagnosis. Be as honest and detailed as you can with your answers. Some of the first questions will be about your medical history, and if you had anyone in your family with prediabetes symptoms. Diabetes can be inherited, states endocrineweb.com.
The doctor needs to know about your lifestyle, including eating habits and physical activity. Tell the doctor if you smoke or drink alcohol. He/she will inquire about how you sleep and your energy levels throughout the day. Other questions may include how often you go to the bathroom or the frequency of your menstrual cycles (females).
Your physician will record all the medications you take—including herbal supplements. If you have gained or lost weight recently, tell the doctor. He/she will ask if you have any pain or discomfort, or experience any unusual sensations.
What Will Your Doctor Look for?
Unfortunately, many people do not exhibit signs prediabetes symptoms. During the physical exam, your doctor may see signs that point to other disorders. He/she will note if you look tired, have dry skin, hair, and nails, and if you have any skin discoloration.
While these are not necessarily prediabetes symptoms, it may give the doctor a clue to your general health. If you are over 45 or overweight, the doctor will take these into account. These features often make people more susceptible to prediabetes.
The determining factor for diagnosing prediabetes symptoms are blood tests. The fasting blood glucose test can only be administered after you have fasted overnight. You will also get a hemoglobin A1C, which will estimate your sugar levels for the past couple of months. If your fasting blood glucose level is 100-125mg/dL, or your A1C is between 5.7% and 6.4%, the doctor is inclined to make a diagnose of prediabetes.
What Is the Treatment for Prediabetes Symptoms?
Because doctors do not give insulin to patients when their blood sugar levels are not consistently above 150 mg/dL, there is no insulin treatment for prediabetes. However, most doctors recommend lifestyle changes for their prediabetic patients. These changes can often reverse the path to a diabetes diagnosis.
Modifying your eating habits is essential for curbing prediabetes symptoms. Along with his/her recommendations, your physician may refer you to a registered dietician for nutritional education. Your dietician will show you how to make better food choices and the right portions.
Food that is high in sugar and carbohydrates will be eliminated or restricted. You will enjoy leaner cuts of meat, low-fat dairy, and plenty of fresh produce.
Along with changing your eating habits, your doctor will recommend that you become more physically active. Before you go out and buy a gym membership, consult your doctor about the best exercises that will benefit you. He/she might refer you to a certified fitness trainer, who will help you develop a reasonable exercise regimen that best fits your body.
Even if you go for a 15-30 minute brisk walk every day, you will have noticeable benefits. Eating right and getting active can reduce your weight, and possibly reverse your prediabetes symptoms.
Sometimes, physicians will prescribe medication for their patients with prediabetes symptoms. Metformin is a drug that lowers the body’s resistance to insulin. It also influences the way the liver stores glucose. If your doctor prescribes this medication, you will still need to make changes in your lifestyle to reduce prediabetes symptoms.
It will usually be a year before your doctor tests your blood again for prediabetes. You may choose to use a glucose monitoring device to check your progress. These small devices and test strips are available in most pharmacies.
Prediabetes Symptoms Treatment Duration/Recovery Time
Since patients are all unique, everyone responds differently to treatments for prediabetes symptoms. Some people report a positive change in their prediabetic symptoms within a few days of modifying their diet and physical activity. Periodic check-ups with your doctor will monitor your progress.
General Information about Prediabetes Symptoms
In the past, prediabetes was called “borderline” diabetes. While prediabetes is not an official disorder, it addresses symptoms that could potentially lead to Type II diabetes. Prediabetes symptoms that are untreated may also contribute to cardiac problems or stroke.
When the pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream, it helps your body’s cells convert glucose (sugar) into fuel for energy. If you have prediabetic symptoms, your cells will not respond to insulin correctly, which is called insulin resistance. Your fasting blood glucose test will register between 100-125 mg/dL. Under these circumstances, the doctor will consider a prediabetes diagnosis.
While no one knows why some people develop insulin resistance, experts have identified risk factors. If you are over 45, overweight, inactive or have a family history of diabetes, you are prone to have prediabetic symptoms. Only a blood test can indicate a prediabetic diagnosis.
Just because you have a family history of diabetes does not mean that you must succumb to the disease. Prediabetes symptoms can turn into Type II diabetes quickly. Unfortunately, some people show no symptoms at all before it is too late.
If you have any of the risk factors or notice any prediabetic symptoms, it is imperative that you see your doctor. With the right lifestyle changes, you may minimize your chances of developing diabetes.
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