The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 96 million American adults (more than one out of three) have prediabetes. Even more sobering is that most of those people – 8 out of 10 – have no idea they’re prediabetic.
If they do not address the condition, many people with prediabetes could develop diabetes within five years.
Type 2 diabetes can make people more susceptible to skin infections, such as sties, boils, and infections around your nails and hair follicles. It can make people vulnerable to yeast-like skin infections and itching. It can cause nerve damage and foot problems, as diabetes makes the blood vessels in the feet and legs narrow and hard, which makes it hard for blood to circulate.
Patients with diabetes frequently have high blood pressure, leading to heart problems or stroke. Type 2 diabetes can damage kidneys to the point where they shut down.
Carrying extra pounds (and a lack of exercise) makes someone more likely to get Type 2 diabetes. It’s important to note that not everyone with Type 2 diabetes is overweight and that there is a genetic component to the disease. However, an active lifestyle that includes healthy eating can make everyone less likely to develop the disease, even if it runs in their family.
There are no obvious symptoms that you are pre-diabetic or on the verge of becoming diabetic besides a higher-than-normal blood glucose level.
Sometimes, people who are prediabetic experience symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, such as:
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Extreme hunger, even though you are eating
- Blurry vision
- Cuts/bruises that heal slowly
- Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands and feet
The good news is that many prediabetics can protect themselves from the disease by making key lifestyle changes.