The American Diabetes Association states that the symptoms an individual should look for in relation to diabetes are a sense of extreme hunger, an increase in fatigue, blurry vision, frequent trips to the bathroom, excessive thirst, unusual weight loss and being irritable. The American Diabetes Association further warns that if any of these symptoms are present, the individual should consult a physician at once.
According to the ADA, there are millions of Americans who currently have pre-diabetes. What this means is that they have one or more of the symptoms of diabetes, but that their blood glucose level, when tested, has not reached a level to be considered as diabetes. Pre-diabetes is serious, however, because many individuals will develop diabetes within 10 years after being diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes can be addressed with diet and exercise, which can potentially prevent diabetes from occurring in the patient.
Individuals who are over the age of 45 who have excess weight are at risk, as are those over 45 who have a history of diabetes in the family. However, overweight children can develop both diabetes and pre-diabetes if there is either a family history of diabetes or if they exhibit signs of ill health that may include a birth weight of over 9 pounds, high blood pressure and membership in a culture in which there is a large population with diabetes.
There are two types of tests that are commonly performed by physicians to determine if pre-diabetes or diabetes exists. One is called an "FPG," or a "fasting plasma glucose test," which is conducted following an overnight fast. With the FPG, glucose is tested in the morning.
The second test is called an "OGTT," or an "oral glucose tolerance test." With this test, the individual is tested in the morning following a fast and then given a beverage that is rich in glucose. Once the drink is consumed, the glucose in the blood is tested again.
In an individual without diabetes, the glucose in the blood is less than 100mg/dl. In a person with pre-diabetes, the blood glucose reaches between 100 and 125 mg/dl, and in a person with diabetes, the blood glucose level exceeds 126 mg/dl. These results pertain to FPG testing.
With the OGTT test, after the individual drinks the glucose-rich drink and the blood is tested, the glucose levels show less than 140 mg/dl for a normal person, between 140 mg/dl and 199 mg/dl for a person with pre-diabetes and 200 mg/dl or above for a person with diabetes.