5 Indicators that you may be experiencing prediabetes

Prediabetes is a term used to describe a state in which blood sugar levels are elevated beyond normal but haven’t reached the threshold for a diabetes diagnosis.

5 Indicators that you may be experiencing prediabetes

Prediabetes denotes a state where blood glucose levels exceed the normal range but fall short of the diagnostic criteria for diabetes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 200 million individuals worldwide are affected by diabetes. In India alone, statistics from the International Diabetes Federation reveal that there are close to 50 million diabetics. With the incidence of diabetes and its associated complications on the rise, health experts stress the critical importance of awareness among both individuals and administrations regarding diabetes.

Prior to the onset of diabetes, individuals often experience a condition known as prediabetes. Health professionals commonly refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG). These conditions indicate an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

One common challenge is that many people are unaware of whether they have prediabetes. Here are five signs that may indicate a prediabetic condition.

1. Belonging to a high-risk category for Type 2 diabetes

Individuals with a family history of diabetes are at an increased risk of prediabetes or may already have it. Additionally, those who have experienced gestational diabetes or have given birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds are more prone to prediabetes. Age over 45 and a sedentary lifestyle also elevate the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

2. Manifestation of diabetes symptoms

While most people with prediabetes do not exhibit any symptoms, some may notice increased thirst, frequent urination, or unexplained fatigue, which are common symptoms of diabetes.

3. Inadequate sleep patterns

Regularly sleeping for less than six hours per night or experiencing sleep disturbances heightens the likelihood of having prediabetes. Poor sleep quality may result from hormonal imbalances due to elevated blood glucose levels.

4. Health issues associated with prediabetes

Your overall health or certain medical conditions may indicate elevated blood sugar levels. Being overweight or obese (with a body mass index over 25) increases the likelihood of prediabetes. Additionally, conditions like high cholesterol, heart disease, or polycystic ovarian syndrome could suggest the presence of prediabetes.

5. Presence of dark patches on the skin

Individuals with prediabetes may develop acanthosis nigricans, characterized by dark, thick patches on areas of the body, typically where skin creases or folds.

What should you do?

Those on the verge of diabetes or with early signs often assume they are in the clear. However, the reality is that long-term damage from diabetes, particularly to the heart and circulatory system, can begin at this stage.

Discovering that you have prediabetes presents an opportunity to enhance your health and halt the progression toward diabetes. Implementing healthy lifestyle changes—such as adopting a nutritious diet, incorporating regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight—can help restore blood sugar levels.