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Signs and Symptoms of Pre-Diabetes

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 1/21/2011

Can you list the signs of pre-diabetes? Here we will list and explore the signs and symptoms of pre-diabetes.

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    Pre-diabetes is the term used for blood sugar that is higher than is considered normal, but not yet at a level to be considered type 2 diabetes. Within ten years this condition will often become type 2 diabetes without intervention. Knowing the possible signs of pre-diabetes is important in being able to recognize it and in turn work on preventing it from becoming type 2 diabetes.

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    Gastrointestinal Symptoms

    Those with pre-diabetes may experience heartburn, especially when they are sleeping. Digestive issues are also possible, such as gas pain, stool issues, and bloating. Frequent stomach aches are possible. Patients may cycle between experiencing constipation and diarrhea. Patients may also be hungry, seemingly all of the time, regardless of how much they eat. Patients may crave sweet foods after every meal even when they are full.

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    Fatigue

    Patients may feel tired regardless of how much sleep or exercise they get. After a meal, patients may feel tired and groggy, regardless of having plenty of rest.

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    Mood

    For no good reason, the patient may experience frequent bouts of depression. The patient will be fine and have a stable mood one minute, and then all of the sudden, he or she will feel sad without any real reason or cause. Patients may also become very grumpy when they do not eat. This may be accompanied by shakiness and nausea.

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    Skin and Joints

    Some patients will experience a sore throat and headaches. Constant joints aches are possible, and when the patient wakes up in the morning, he or she may experience joint and muscle stiffness. Toe numbness may occur, as well as “burning” feet when the patient is standing up for prolonged periods of time. When sitting for prolonged periods of time, the ankles may become swollen, and have a general feeling of water retention or puffiness. The patient's heels may become cracked and dry, and this may get worse when the patient goes barefoot.

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    Dizziness and Breathing Issues

    Patients may have breathing issues, especially during the night. They may also have sleep apnea. Feeling lightheaded and being dizzy is also possible, especially after eating something sweet.

    Patients may awake in the middle of the night experiencing a pounding heart. They often also feel cold or nauseated. This occurs more often when consuming high-sugar meals.

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    Dental Symptoms

    Patients may have gingivitis, despite flossing and brushing the teeth every day. Patients may also have bad morning breath, even though the patient had brushed prior to going to bed.

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    Other Symptoms

    There are other signs of pre-diabetes that patients may experience. The patient may have low HDL cholesterol levels with high triglycerides. He or she may also have high blood pressure.

    They may have frequent yeast infections. Bruises or cuts they develop do not heal as quickly as they should.

    Vision may be blurry and it seems to get worse. Seeing at night may be difficult as well.

    Patients may have trouble losing weight, even with plenty of exercise and a healthy diet.

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    Resources

    WebMD. (2010). Prediabetes. Retrieved on January 12, 2011 from WebMD: http://diabetes.webmd.com/prediabetes

    Mayo Clinic. (2010). Prediabetes. Retrieved on January 12, 2011 from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prediabetes/DS00624