How to Recognize Prediabetes

diabetesPrevention Magazine has published an important guide to identifying signs of prediabetes. Considering that 90% of people who have prediabetes don’t know it, that information is vital for many.

Here is what you need to know:

Prediabetes is a borderline condition in which your blood sugar is consistently high but not high enough to be considered diabetes. The easiest way to determine if you have it is to get a simple blood test. The most accurate one is the A1C test, which determines the percentage of glucose (sugar) that’s attached to the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin in your blood.

A score of 5.9 and below is considered normal. Anything between 5.7 and 6.4 is considered prediabetes, and 6.4 and above is full-blown diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that everyone age 45 and older get their blood sugar checked.

Although tests such as the A1C can certainly tell you if you’re headed for trouble, it’s also important to pay attention to other clues. Red flags like excessive thirst and frequent urination are worth taking seriously. Some other signs that warrant a call to your doctor, and probably a blood sugar test, include:

Shiny, scaly patches on your skin

If you’re prediabetic, you might experience patches of reddish, brownish, or yellowish skin called necrobiosis lipodica, according to Nebraska-based board-certified dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD.

Gout

It’s on the rise worldwide, and research has found that people who have it are more apt to develop diabetes, probably because both conditions often crop up in people who are obese.

Hair loss

Hair loss can be caused by many things, but it is also associated with insulin resistance, which is the hallmark of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Extreme fatigue

It’s not normal to constantly struggle to make it through the day. Insulin resistance could be to blame, because if sugar lingers in your bloodstream it’s not going into your cells where it’s used for energy.

A healthy diet and exercise can lower and stabilize your blood sugar. According to a 2013 study from Johns Hopkins University, people with prediabetes who lost just 10% of their body weight within six months of being diagnosed slashed their risk of developing diabetes within three years by 85%.

Read the full article: 6 Signs of Prediabetes You Need To Know. Follow Prevention Magazine on Twitter @PreventionMag.