Early Warning Signs of Diabetes
You could be diabetic without knowing it. Even more likely, you might have prediabetes, or impaired glucose intolerance, which means that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but do not fall within the range of diabetes. In fact, the majority of people with this generally asymptomatic condition are completely unaware that their bodies are experiencing physiologic stress. It’s important to be vigilant for the subtle, early warning signs of prediabetes because, with modest lifestyle changes, the condition can be halted before it progresses to full-blown type 2 diabetes, which can have serious health consequences, including heightened risks of heart attack, stroke, blindness, and nerve injury that necessitates amputation.
What to watch for
Like most people, you’re probably very busy, and you might be inclined to disregard slight changes in how you feel, mainly because they seem so harmless and subtle. While one isolated incident is not necessarily a cause for alarm, you should check with a doctor if you notice any combination of the following symptoms:
- You feel overly tired or weak, even though your exercise and eating habits have remained consistent
- You are much thirstier or hungrier than usual, and yet you’ve lost weight without trying
- Your vision is blurred
- You’ve experienced recurrent skin or gum infections
- You urinate more often than you have in the past
- Your cuts and bruises take a long time to heal
- Your hands, feet, and/or legs tingle
Additionally, there are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, you should pay especially close attention to the above symptoms if you:
- Are age 45 or older
- Have high blood pressure
- Do not exercise regularly
- Are overweight
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Have low HDL (good) cholesterol or high triglyceride levels
- Had gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than nine pounds
What you can do
There are several proactive steps you can take to lower your chances of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as improve your overall well-being. Perhaps unsurprisingly, healthy eating habits can provide a wide range of benefits. By incorporating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products into your diet, you might find it easier to lose weight and possibly lower your blood pressure and cholesterol level as well. Likewise, by increasing your physical activity (a good goal is 150 minutes of brisk walking, swimming, or cycling each week), you can improve the condition of your heart, lungs, and general health.
To learn more, or if you would like to consult with a physician about the signs of diabetes, blood glucose testing, or for any other reason, please feel free to contact or visit the South Tampa Immediate Care walk-in clinic today.