Here's a fact: Most people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes had pre diabetes symptoms that if known, could have alerted them to make diet and lifestyle changes before their diagnosis. Most physicians only pay attention to fasting blood sugar when watching for diabetes. For instance, if a patient's blood sugar is between 110-125, mg/dL, it indicates prediabetes. But blood sugar results can test in normal ranges even as diabetes is developing.
If people with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis knew ALL of the pre diabetic symptoms for which to watch, it could help them avoid being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is defined medically as the state in which fasting blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Blood sugars in the prediabetic range (between 100 - 126 mg/dl) indicate insulin resistance is developing, and a metabolic syndrome diagnosis is more likely in the future.
Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which chronically elevated blood sugar and insulin levels have resulted in an inability of body cells to respond to them normally. IR is the driving factor as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and diabetes are all linked together on a continuum.
Medical information about pre diabetes comes from medical associations such as the American Diabetes Association. The ADA guidelines say that prediabetes is a function of a fasting blood sugar is between 100-125 mg/dl. However, I am convinced that signs of prediabetes can be spotted even when blood tests indicated blood sugars below 100 mg/dl.
I saw this in my own life. Eight years ago, I had many of the pre diabetic symptoms listed below, but my fasting blood sugar was still classified as "normal" because it stayed under 100 mg/dl. My physician at the time never said a word about my blood sugar, and the labs listed it as “normal.” I think I would now have diabetes if I had relied on that test alone as an indicator of my state of health.
I think the pre diabetes symptoms listed below indicate that a person’s insulin resistance is increasing. If you have these symptoms, I strongly urge you to consider that you may be carb-intolerant and in need of a change in diet. The presence of many of the symptoms below is a good indication you are on a path toward a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
|Symptom||Yes or No|
|A constant feeling of being tired. No matter how much you sleep, or exercise to gain strength, you feel fatigued.|
|Frequent bouts of depression for no reason. You’ll be fine, and then you feel sad all of a sudden, without any cause.|
|Unexplained weight gain. Your eating habits haven't changed, but suddenly you've put on 10 pounds. In addition, you are having difficulty losing it, even when you exercise and eat less.|
|Blurred vision that seems to be worsening, and trouble seeing at night.|
|Headaches and a sore throat that comes and goes.|
|Dizzy spells, and a feeling of being lightheaded sometimes, especially after having sweets. (This indicates reactive hypoglycemia.)|
|Breathing issues during sleep; you may have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.|
|Digestive issues. You get frequent stomach aches and are constantly dealing with gas pain, bloating and stool issues, cycling between diarrhea and constipation.|
|Heartburn which may be worse during the night. You may have gotten a diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).|
|A groggy, sleepy feeling after meals, even when you have plenty of rest. You may fallen asleep at your desk at work, or during a meeting.|
|The dentist tells you that have gingivitis, even though you brush and floss every day. You often wake up with a nasty taste in your mouth, even though you brush before bed.|
|You have elevated blood pressure and blood tests indicate you have high triglyceride levels, and low HDL cholesterol levels.|
|After every meal, you really crave something sweet, even if you are already feeling full.|
|Frequent yeast infections, and cuts or bruises you get don’t seem to heal quickly.|
|Constant hunger, no matter how much you eat. You often think, "How can I be hungry? I just ate!"|
|Constant joint aches, and muscle and joint stiffness when you wake up in the morning. You may even have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis.|
|Your feet burn and your toes feel numb when you stand for long periods of time.|
|Swollen ankles, and a general feeling of puffiness or water retention, especially if you sit for long periods of time.|
|If you don’t eat, you get really grumpy. You may also feel nauseous and shaky.|
|Waking up in middle of the night with your heart pounding. Often you also feel nauseated or cold. It happens more often if you've been eating high sugar meals. This again indicates hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.|
Many of these pre diabetes symptoms could also indicate an allergy to grain based foods, such as wheat and rye. They may indicate problems with gluten sensitivity, and many may be relieved by following a gluten free diet. I also think these symptoms can indicate the development of an autoimmune condition such as Celiac disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
As serious as these sound, it just takes some simple changes to reverse these pre diabetes symptoms. You need only lower your carbohydrate intake, and add high intensity interval exercise to your life, and I strongly suggest that you eliminate all gluten from your diet.
I also suggest that you pick up a glucometer and some testing strips at your local pharmacy and start tracking your food intake and blood sugar (glucose) levels so you can determine which foods cause your blood sugars to spike. Keeping track of your personal blood glucose baseline and the effects of various foods on your blood sugar is a great way to monitor your insulin resistance and pre diabetes symptom treatments over time.
Not only can pre diabetes symptoms be reversed, but people who have already been diagnosed can reverse many Type 2 diabetes symptoms with a change in diet. My ebook "Conquer Type 2 Diabetes with a Ketogenic Diet" coauthored with Dr. Keith Runyan, gives the details on using a ketogenic diet to reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Dietary changes are a powerful tool for reestablishing good health. Reducing your total carb intake (avoiding starches, sugar and grain consumption) and choosing to eat a higher fat, moderate protein diet are the key to reversing insulin resistance and prediabetes.
While it seems difficult at first, you can do this and you will gain great rewards for making those changes as they are extremely effective. I recommend that you buy a good, science based book on low carb diets and read the whole thing. The right side column of this webpage includes some recommendations of books to read.
The Conquer Type 2 Diabetes with a Ketogenic Diet book is available! Click on the link or book cover above to purchase.