A swift type 2 diabetes diagnosis is better than leaving high blood sugar levels run amok. There is such a thing as pre-diabetes, and the sign could be in your hands.
The Mayo Clinic defines pre-diabetes as “higher than normal blood sugar” levels, but “not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes “yet”.
The “yet” is very important in the sentence above, as people with pre-diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you have pre-diabetes, the damage to “your heart, blood vessels and kidneys may already be starting”.
One possible sign of pre-diabetes is darkened skin on the knuckles – something you can visibly notice.
Other body parts that may darken in skin tone include the neck, armpits, elbows and knees.
What causes pre-diabetes?
The Mayo Clinic attributes “a lack of regular physical activity” alongside “being overweight” to the development of pre-diabetes.
It’s also suggested that there may be a “genetic” link, as the condition tends to run in families.
People with pre-diabetes don’t process sugar (glucose) in a healthy way. Instead of the sugar being used as energy by the cells, it builds up in the bloodstream.
Those at risk of pre-diabetes include smokers, people over the age of 45, and those who eat a lot of red meat.
Other risk factors include people who have a waist measurement of 35 inches (for women) or more, or 40 inches or more for men.
Some conditions associated with pre-diabetes are high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
When pre-diabetes begin to develop into full-blown type 2 diabetes, there will be warning signs.
Take notice if you experience an increased thirst that can’t be quenched.
While grabbing one more glass of water, squash, or tea, do you tend to pop off to the toilet a lot more?
No matter how much you eat, do you struggle to feel full, and do you still feel tired?
All of those signs – increased thirst and urination, excess hunger, and fatigue – are classic symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Do speak with your doctor about your concerns, as the condition really does need to be well managed.
Should blood sugar levels continue to rise, there’ll likely be numerous consequences.
For example, high blood sugar levels can lead to heart disease, putting you at a higher risk of a heart attack.
If you have darkened knuckles, as well as speaking to your GP to order a blood test, you could make lifestyle adjustments.
Pre-diabetes doesn’t have to turn into type 2 diabetes if you make the necessary changes.
The Mayo Clinic recommends eating healthy foods and losing excess weight – try to aim for an ideal BMI (body mass index) range.
This can be achieved by eating less and exercising for at least 150 minutes every week.
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