Five Shocking Signs of Prediabetes That You Might Not Know

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According to the Philippine Association of Diabetes Educators, almost 500 Filipinos are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM ) everyday. You probably even know of someone who is suffering or even died from this chronic disease.

With these in mind, every Filipino must realize that even though genetics play a vital role in disease progression, there are certain measures that one can adopt to prevent diabetes from ruining our lives. Regular exercise, balanced diet, regular diabetes screening and use of supplements are just some of the things that a person (regardless if he has diabetes risk or not) can try to prevent debilitating diabetes complications like blindness and amputation from ever occurring.

Prevention is still better than cure, but more often than not, our body slowly develops diabetes without even showing obvious manifestations like excessive hunger, excessive eating, excessive thirst, significant weight loss, blurred vision, frequent urination and lethargy.

Prediabetes is the term being used to describe a phenomenon wherein a person’s body is already not responding well to insulin but blood glucose levels are not high enough to suffice a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. Listed below are some of the five prediabetes signs and symptoms  commonly taken for granted by people.

Please take note that these signs are not exclusive signs of prediabetes because they could be indicators of another disease worthy of a physician consultation.

 1. Sleepiness after eating

 After completing a meal, our body normally converts the food we ate into blood glucose which can be used by different body cells. But if you have diabetes or prediabetes, the normal cycle will be greatly interrupted: your blood glucose level will reach its peak and your insulin supply will not be enough to let your body absorb it, a process which can make you drowsy or sleepy right after eating.

2. Red, swollen, tender and bleeding gums

Normal body processes will be disrupted once your body gets diabetes even during its early stages. One of the important body processes is wound healing so once you get diabetes, incidences of red, swollen, tender and bleeding gums will be more frequent.

3. Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.

If you have prediabetes or diabetes, your body will experience frequent attacks of hyperglycemia or excessive blood sugar levels. This can be harmful for your blood vessels and once the blood that supplies the peripheral nervous system is disrupted, numbness in hands, feet and legs will  be more evident.

4. Bad breath

Though diabetes doesn’t lead to bad breath all the time, there are two possible explanations why such a link between the diabetes and halitosis (bad breath) can exist. Excess blood glucose may hamper our body’s normal defense system against bacteria which can gradually colonize in the mouth and release nasty odors. Dehydration is also one of the tell-tale signs of diabetes and the drier your mouth, the higher is the possibility that bad breath will occur.

5. Blackened skin around the eyes and knuckles

This is normally seen to patients with early cases of insulin resistance. According to Web MD, acanthosis nigricans  is a condition that results in the darkening and thickening of certain areas of the skin especially in the skin folds. The skin becomes tan or brown and is sometimes slightly raised and described as velvety. Most often the condition, which typically looks like a small wart, appears on the sides or back of the neck, the armpits, under the breast, and groin. Acanthosis nigricans usually precedes diabetes.

Diabetes can betray us only if we don’t do our part in educating ourselves about diabetes-related information and developing positive health habits that not only help us to combat diabetes but also increase our resistance for other fatal chronic diseases. Let us fight diabetes together so that we can build our future free from worries about skyrocketing health care costs. You can always start developing positive health attitudes to fight diabetes but if you really want  change to occur, you better start NOW.


Diabetes and Your Skin.Reviewed by Norman Levine, MD on March 03, 2010. WebMD.

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