If you watch television, read magazines and newspapers, or surf the net, then chances are you know that the United States is suffering from an epidemic of diabetes. In fact, it is said that 56 million Americans suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes, and more and more are sliding toward pre-diabetes every single day. If you live an unhealthy lifestyle, stay sedentary, or suffer from weight problems as many Americans do, you may worry that you could come down with type 2 diabetes – a type of diabetes that is characterized by adult onset. What you may not know is that, if you get checked at your doctor regularly, you may be diagnosed with what is known as pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition in its own right, but one characterized by the fact that it has not yet progressed into full blow diabetes. If you worry about diabetes – either because you suffer from health problems or because you have a history of type 2 diabetes in your family – first speak with your primary care physician about changing your lifestyle. Next, be sure to get checked out at the doctor regularly because they may be able to diagnose pre-diabetes in you and get your health turned around.
If someone has pre-diabetes symptoms (also sometimes known as “impaired glucose tolerance” (IGT) or “impaired fasting glucose” (IFG)), their blood glucose levels are above normal, but not high enough to have reached the plateau that indicates diabetes has set in. If your doctor talks to you about pre-diabetes, he or she may very well describe the condition as the “grey area” between normal blood sugar levels and diabetic blood sugar levels. It is extremely important that people with pre-diabetes get diagnosed. For one, of course, pre-diabetes can lead to full blown type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, it can also lead to other problems, such as cardiovascular problems.
So how do you know if you should worry about pre-diabetes? Well, if you suffer from any of these risk factors and start to notice pre-diabetes symptoms, you should be wary and get checked out by your primary care physician. These risk factors, all of which point toward insulin resistance, include a family history of type 2 diabetes, high glucose levels, heart disease, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low HLD (good) cholesterol, and overweight or obesity. Further, women who have had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), have had babies weighing over 9 lbs., or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) should be hyper alert to pre-diabetes symptoms.
Remember, health problems associated with diabetes can occur before diabetes is diagnosed, so be on the lookout for pre-diabetes symptoms if you find yourself suffering from any of these conditions. Luckily – or perhaps unfortunately, depending on how you look at it – because diabetes is considered “America’s most dangerous epidemic,” most doctors are now intimately familiar with the symptoms and risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes. Still, if you get checked out and worry that you are suffering from pre-diabetes symptoms, bring this concern up with your doctor. He may run additional tests to confirm or deny your suspicions, or he may lay your fears to rest.
Whatever you do, never ignore pre-diabetes symptoms. If caught and treated, pre-diabetes may never have to develop into full blown diabetes. If not treated, pre-diabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes or cause heart problems. Heart disease is the top killer of people in the United States, and its risk should never be taken lightly. If you feel at all bad, consult with your primary care physician. If caught early enough, pre-diabetes symptoms can be treated and your health can be turned around.