With 12.2% of American adults and a growing number of children with diabetes, you might call it an epidemic. Each year over a million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in adults alone. (1)
Diabetes is a dangerous, destructive, and often painful disease. The older you get, the more likely you are to develop it. That’s why it’s important to know the symptoms of insulin resistance.
In addition to those already with the full-blown disease is the number of people with impaired glucose tolerance (“pre-diabetes”), a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not consistently high enough to qualify as diabetes. This means that, if left unaddressed, the risk of pre-diabetes developing into diabetes is very high. (2) It’s estimated that 33.9% of American adults (84.1 million people) have pre-diabetes. (3)
Food is broken down into glucose (sugar) in the body, then insulin (a hormone secreted by the pancreas) transports and facilitates its use as energy in cells. With several potential contributing factors, sometimes not enough insulin is produced or cells don’t respond to it. Diabetes is the condition in which sugar builds up in the blood rather than being burned as fuel.
Impaired glucose tolerance doesn’t announce itself. No one wants diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes include:
- increased thirst and urination
- increased hunger
- blurred vision
- numbness, tingling, or pain in the feet or hands
- sores that do not heal
- unexplained weight loss
- dry skin
- increased risk of infections, including yeast infection.
Further, people with diabetes are at higher risk for other serious health conditions, including:
- heart disease
- high cholesterol
- kidney disease
- metabolic syndrome
- neuropathy (nerve damage)
Diabetes doesn’t develop overnight; it’s often a long process during which the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar fails. Most people with pre-diabetes don’t know they have it, as it’s often asymptomatic.