Individuals who are considered prediabetics have higher than normal blood sugar levels. However, the levels are not quite high enough to be considered diabetes. Some physicians may refer to prediabetics as people who have impaired glucose tolerance. Those who fall into the prediabetics category have the potential for developing Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives, usually within 10 years of experiencing high blood sugar levels. However, the development of diabetes is not entirely inevitable if proactive steps are taken to stabilize blood sugar levels. Prediabetes usually does not have any noticeable symptoms until the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
Elevated Blood Glucose Readings
The primary symptom of prediabetes is an elevated blood glucose level. Glucose tests are generally part of routine yearly exams, especially for people with a high risk of developing diabetes. Blood glucose levels on the fasting glucose test from 100mg/dl to 125mg/dl typically indicate prediabetes. Blood glucose levels of 140mg/dl to 199 mg/dl on the oral glucose test may also point to diabetes.
If an individual with prediabetes becomes extremely thirsty, the onset of Type 2 diabetes may be imminent. This thirst will typically be insatiable.
Individuals who have high blood sugar levels may also experience extremely frequent urination. At first, some may suspect a kidney or bladder infection. The need to urinate may significantly disrupt daily activities and make sleep nearly impossible because of frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom.
Extreme Hunger and Weight Loss
People experiencing the potential onset of Type 2 diabetes may be extremely hungry and may eat more than normal. However, despite their hunger and increased nutritional intake, they may actually lose weight.
Those with prediabetes may also experience blurry vision and fatigue. After the onset of Type 2 diabetes, people may have frequent infections and have difficulty healing from minor injuries.
Individuals with prediabetes can delay or prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes. The American College of Endocrinology asserts that a diet high in fiber and low in fat and routine exercise may prevent prediabetics from becoming diabetics. Those prediabetics who are a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes due to medical status or family history may be prescribed metformin and acarbose to help maintain normal glucose levels.