Did you know that right now, your body could be sending you warning signs that your blood sugar is higher than normal, and you might not realize it? When your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes, this is a condition known as prediabetes. So why is prediabetes a big deal? This is because 75% of people with prediabetes eventually develop full-scale type 2 diabetes – even though prediabetes is fully reversible!
Statistics reveal that more than 88 million U.S adults live with prediabetes – and 90% of them don’t know they have it. That’s “more than” 1 in 3 adults! Or they simply brush off the symptoms as minor health problems — sometimes for months and even years! But diabetes is anything but minor, and early diagnosis and treatment can mean the difference between living a long healthy life, and suffering from health problems like nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke and blindness.
In today’s video, we’re going to talk about the top 12 prediabetes symptoms. Make sure you watch till the end, because some of these symptoms will come as a real surprise! Also, we’ll reveal the 7 steps anyone can take to reverse prediabetes. So let’s get right into it. As always, this video is educational and does not constitute medical advice, we are not doctors.
12. Higher Than Normal Blood Glucose Levels
Prediabetes is characterized by higher than normal blood glucose levels. This means the fasting blood glucose level is in the 100 to 125 milligrams per decilitre range, and the hemoglobin A1C level is between 5.7 and 6.4 percent. Pre-diabetes is also referred to as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), or impaired fasting glucose (IFG).
11. Unexplained Tiredness
People with prediabetes already have insulin resistance, which means the body is not able to efficiently convert the glucose in the blood into energy. The result is unexplained fatigue. People with prediabetes may feel exhausted even when they are not physically exerting themselves.
To learn about insulin resistance, watch our video “top 13 foods to reverse insulin resistance“.
10. Wounds Heal Slowly
Prediabetics may experience slow wound healing. Over time, high blood sugar can damage the lining of your small blood vessels, and cause poor circulation. As a result, minor bruises and cuts can take longer than normal to heal.
9. Inexplicable Mood Swings
Healthy glucose levels are needed for mental well-being. When blood sugar levels in the brain are higher than normal, the excess sugar makes a person more anxious, irritable, angry, and unable to concentrate. When stress increases, it becomes harder for insulin to work properly, and blood sugar rises. However, when blood sugar returns to a normal range, these symptoms often resolve.
8. Hunger and Weight Gain
Persistent high blood sugar makes it harder to do the one thing that can really help prediabetes, which is losing weight. It’s tough for insulin-resistant cells to take glucose from your blood, so sugar levels build up. Insulin resistance also makes you more hungry, so you eat more. Extra blood glucose signals to your pancreas to make more insulin, but more insulin encourages your body to store the extra sugar as fat. And so the cycle continues.
Other research also show that prediabetic people with a preference for evening activities, going to bed late, and not getting enough sleep put on more weight. Just losing 5 to 10% of total body weight can reduce blood sugar levels significantly.
7. Frequent Urination, Excessive Thirst.
When your body has excess glucose, your kidneys are not able to re-absorb all the blood sugar and return it to your blood vessels. As a result, sugar leaves your body through urine, and this makes you go to the bathroom more frequently. Consequently, your body craves more water, and this causes you to be constantly thirsty. It’s a vicious cycle.
Coffee and tea drinkers may urinate more frequently due to consuming more caffeine. If this stimulus is not present, frequent urination may indicate prediabetes.
6. Numbness and Tingling of Feet and Hands
Studies show that prediabetes can damage nerve fibers and cause nerve deterioration – without the onset of type 2 diabetes. There appears to be a two-way relationship between impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and neuropathy: a substantial proportion of individuals with idiopathic neuropathy have prediabetes, and a substantial proportion of those with prediabetes have peripheral neuropathy. See our previous video “11 best vitamins for your nerves“.
5. Issues with Digestion
Researchers have observed a higher frequency of gas, bloating, early satiety, nausea, heartburn, and constipation in people with prediabetes. This may be due to vagus nerve damage, as a result of high blood sugar causing chemical changes to nerves over time. The vagus nerve regulates how quickly your stomach empties, and when it’s damaged, food stays longer in the stomach than it should. This is a condition called gastroparesis.
If digestion issues continue or cannot be explained by eating habits and other conditions, it is best to have a doctor carry out a prediabetic assessment.
4. Aching Joints
People with prediabetes have excess body weight, which puts extra stress on the joints, particularly in the lower body, and increases the risk for osteoarthritis (OA). A recent report from the CDC found that 32 percent of adults with prediabetes also have arthritis. Researchers found that “approximately half of adults with both prediabetes and arthritis are either physically inactive or have obesity, further increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes”.
3. Skin Conditions
Some people with insulin resistance and prediabetes may experience acanthosis nigricans – a darkened area of skin on the back of your neck, armpit, groin, or elsewhere that feels like velvet. Skin tags on the eyelids, neck, armpits, and groin, is another symptom of high blood sugar.
2. Blurred Vision
Prediabetes can increase your risk of vision loss (retinopathy). This is because high blood sugar causes the lens of the eyes to swell, and impairs the ability to focus. However, the blurring goes away when you get your blood sugar back into optimal range. This symptom is often linked to prediabetes after a diagnosis.
1. Kidney Damage
People with prediabetes often have unrecognized chronic kidney disease (CKD). In one large study, more than one third of the people with prediabetes were found to have signs of kidney disease. In addition, the stage of kidney disease is 3 or 4, the same as people with diabetes. (Stage 5 is the worst; that’s when a person needs either dialysis or a kidney transplant.)
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? Next, what steps can be taken to reverse prediabetes?
The steps to reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are the same.
Here are the 7 steps to lose weight and reduce blood sugar levels:
-Cut added sugar and sugar substitutes.
-Eat whole, unprocessed foods – for a good list, see our video on top 16 anti-inflammatory foods.
-Get the right nutrients – such as dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, including ALA (alpha-lipoic acid), berberine, magnesium, zinc, chromium, and vitamin D3.
-Get Regular Exercise – A brisk 30-minute walk daily works wonders.
-Get Enough Quality Sleep – Practice good sleep hygiene.
-Manage stress – keep your hormones, including insulin, in balance.
-Measure your progress.
For detailed information, See our link “Reversing Type-2 Diabetes in 7 Steps” below.
Lastly, who is at risk for prediabetes?
If you are over 45 years of age, carry excess belly fat, lead a sedentary lifestyle, or have family members with diabetes, consider getting tested to know if you have prediabetes.
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And now over to you! Do you have prediabetes symptoms? Have you ever been tested for prediabetes?
Leave your comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
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