Often, prediabetes has no signs or symptoms.
Darkened areas of skin, a condition called acanthosis nigricans, is one of the few signs suggesting you are at risk for diabetes. Common areas that may be affected include the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles.
Classic red flags of type 2 diabetes to watch for include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
When to see a doctor
Consult your doctor if you're concerned about diabetes or if you notice any type 2 diabetes signs or symptoms — increased thirst and frequent urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.
Ask your doctor about blood glucose screening if you have any risk factors for prediabetes, such as:
Jan. 26, 2012
- You're overweight, with a body mass index above 25.
- You're inactive.
- You're age 45 or older.
- You have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- You're African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian-American or a Pacific Islander.
- You developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant or gave birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms).
- You have polycystic ovary syndrome, a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity.
- You have high blood pressure.
- Your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) is below 35 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) — 0.9 millimoles per liter or mmol/L — or your triglyceride level is above 250 mg/dL (2.83 mmol/L).
- You regularly sleep fewer than six hours or more than nine hours a night.
- Prediabetes FAQs. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/pre-diabetes-faqs.html. Accessed Oct. 4, 2011.
- Insulin resistance and pre-diabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/DM/pubs/insulinresistance/. Accessed Oct. 4, 2011.
- Standards of medical care in diabetes — 2011. Diabetes Care. 2011;34:S11.
- Diabetes mellitus (DM). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine_and_metabolic_disorders/diabetes_mellitus_and_disorders_of_carbohydrate_metabolism/diabetes_mellitus_dm.html?qt=diabetes%20mellitus&alt=sh. Accessed Oct. 7, 2011.
- Chaput JP, et al. Sleep duration as a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance: Analyses of the Quebec Family Study. Sleep Medicine. 2010;10:919.
- Glucose. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/glucose/tab/test#. Accessed Oct. 7, 2011.
- Karam JG, et al. Update on the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Current Diabetes Reports. 2011;11:56.
- DeFronzo RA, et al. Pioglitazone for diabetes prevention in impaired glucose tolerance. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;364:1104.
- Natural medicines in the clinical management of diabetes. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Oct. 4, 2011.
- Ratner RE, et al. Treatment recommendations for prediabetes. Medical Clinics of North America. 2011;95:385.
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