Pre-diabetes is the stage before full-fledged diabetes develops. Statistics reveal that nearly a quarter of all Americans live in this pre-diabetic stage. Affected individuals will notice their blood sugar levels significantly increase. In most cases, a pre-diabetic person will eventually develop diabetes. But changes to diet and exercise, coupled with medications, can prevent this.

Higher Blood Sugar Levels than Normal

A pre-diabetic person will have higher blood sugar levels than normal. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), these levels are, on average, 100 to 125 mg/dl. Some experts claim blood sugar levels below 100 mg/dl may also indicate pre-diabetes. Weight and genetics play a role in the likelihood of developing diabetes, so people who are overweight and those with family histories of diabetes should consider regular testing.


Regular Exhaustion

People who feel exhausted regularly may consider this normal, especially if they live active lives. But exhaustion associated with the pre-diabetic condition is quite different. Busy people get tired naturally because of physical activity. A pre-diabetic person, on the other hand, feels tired without physical exertion -- even when well-rested, they continue to feel fatigued. Pre-diabetics may feel especially tired after meals. This is linked to pre-diabetes, although other health conditions can cause this symptom as well.


Wounds Heal Slowly

The human body naturally heals and forms fresh skin over wounds and cuts. But a pre-diabetic person will find that his or her wounds and cuts fail to heal as quickly as they did before. This is more common in diabetes than pre-diabetes, although pre-diabetics may experience slow wound healing as well. 


Inexplicable Mood Swings

Healthy glucose levels in the body contribute to mental and physical wellbeing. Pre-diabetes can sometimes cause mood changes, including depression. However, mood swings are common symptoms of many different conditions, as well as normal life changes. As such, this symptom may go unremarked and does not necessarily indicate pre-diabetes unless it is noticed in conjunction with other related signs. 


Vision Problems

A person with pre-diabetes may start to notice problems with their vision, such as blurry sight or reduced night vision. It is normal for eyesight to change when people get older, so this symptom is often linked to pre-diabetes after a diagnosis. Nevertheless, it is important to inform a doctor about any changes in vision, to receive proper treatment.


Unexpected Weight Increases

An increase in blood sugar levels has a direct relation to body fat. When an individual who starts gaining weight without overeating or for no apparent reason, it is possible pre-diabetes is to blame. Even reducing calories and exercising more may not help if this is the cause. Losing this weight is difficult and requires medical intervention in some instances.


More Frequent Urination

Urination every few hours and up to four times a day is normal. A person with pre-diabetes, however, may feel an urge to go more frequently. While people who drink tea and coffee regularly may urinate often, their action is the result of consuming too much caffeine. When this stimulus is absent, frequent urination may indicate pre-diabetes.


Issues With Digestion

Pre-diabetes changes the way the digestive system functions and can trigger stomach aches, indigestion, and heartburn at night. Some people feel bloated and experience bouts of diarrhea or even constipation. If digestion issues are ongoing or cannot be explained by eating habits or other conditions, it is best to seek a medical opinion and have a doctor carry out a pre-diabetic assessment.


Excessive Thirst And Hunger

People with pre-diabetes feel more hungry and thirsty than usual. Exercise or salty foods normally make a person feel thirsty, but constant thirst raises the possibility of pre-diabetes or diabetes, which blood tests can confirm. Pre-diabetes can also cause people to feel hungry following a filling meal. Close monitoring of food and water intake can help identify the condition. For example, someone not overly active or consuming excessive salt who need to drink three or four liters of water a day may have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Cravings for sugary foods can also indicate the condition.


Joint Aches

People with rheumatoid arthritis often complain about aching joints, and this symptom can affect pre-diabetic people, too. Individuals who feel extra stiff after waking up every morning should request an examination for either or both of these conditions, as should those experiencing pain throughout the day. Treatment will vary depending on the diagnosis.


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