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"What are some pre-diabetes warning signs?"
I'm 31 and my family has a history. I'm a pretty heavy guy. What should I look for?
As a rule, pre-diabetes is a condition with few if any symptoms. Diabetes itself has several symptoms that you could be on the look out for, including increased thirst, increasing consumption of fluids, increased urination, and increased frequency of urination occurring at night. Symptoms of advanced diabetes include visual problems, decreased sensation in the hands and feet, kidney disease, and problems with peripheral vascular system and nervous system. If you are overweight or obese, there are several things that your doctor can monitor to determine your risk for or progression towards diabetes. The simplest of these is your blood glucose concentration, which is mildly to severely elevated in diabetes mellitus. Another test is the oral glucose tolerance test. This is a test where after a fast the patient is given a predetermined amount of glucose (a simple sugar) and the rise in blood sugar at given time points is measured. In diabetic or pre-diabetic persons, the response to the oral glucose load is abnormal and the blood sugar becomes elevated. The final test that can be used to assess diabetes, but is not an established diagnostic criterion, is the hemaglobin A1C. This is a form of hemaglobin (the major chemical inside red blood cells) that has sugar chemically bonded to it. The hemaglobin A1C is elevated in persons with diabetes and is a good measurement of what a person's blood sugar has been like over the past month or so. If you are overweight and have a family history of diabetes, your risk of developing this disease may be high. The best way to prevent diabetes or pre-diabetes is to loose weight, exercise regularly, and improve your diet to include healthy foods. You should see a primary care physician regularly to discuss your risk for diabetes and other weight-related comorbidities. Only consultation in person with a primary care physician or endocrinologist can give you an accurate idea of your risk for diabetes and recommend what diet or lifestyle changes you can make to avoid this disease.
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