Borderline diabetes symptoms are the things to watch for if you think you might be prediabetic. I call them the big five because doctors mention them the most.
The first two are increased thirst and frequent urination. The word diabetes literally means "siphon out".
Diabetes has been diagnosed for thousands of years by the increased urine and intense thirst that go along with the disease.
Here is what happens. Beta cells in your pancreas are pumping out insulin, the hormone that carries glucose into cells, but the cells are resisting insulin's efforts. That is insulin resistance.
Or your beta cells are damaged and cannot respond to the call for insulin as fast as they are supposed to.
The end result is the same: too much sugar traveling in your blood. Your body responds by siphoning it out through your kidneys. That takes a lot of water.
So you are extra thirsty, and you go to the bathroom often. A urine test would show high sugar content. This is why ancient doctors called diabetes the "sweet urine disease."
Those are two of the five warning signs. Third is fatigue. If your cells are resisting insulin, they are still hungry even though plenty of glucose is present, making you tired.
Blurred vision is number four. This symptom comes and goes as your blood sugar fluctuates. Eyes are very sensitive, making them a great warning sign that your blood sugar is not normal.
Number five is the newest of the borderline diabetes symptoms. Are you sleeping less than six hours a night? High blood sugar might be the reason you cannot sleep longer.
These are the big five borderline diabetes symptoms:
You may not notice any of these borderline diabetic symptoms but still have prediabetes.
There is another list. The more things you find here that fit you, the higher your chance to become prediabetic.
Is your BMI (body mass index) over 25, a lot over? Is your exercise level little to none?
That means you are sedentary and overweight - two of the four symptoms in the metabolic syndrome, which leads to insulin resistance.
If you also have high triglycerides and high blood pressure you have the whole metabolic syndrome.
Age and family history matter too. Are you over 45? Does a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle have type 2 diabetes? That increases your risk by half again.
Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome or who have had gestational diabetes during a pregnancy are on this list too.
Genetics increase your risk as well. If your racial origins include native American, black, Hispanic, or Asian roots, you are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
If you are over 45 and in any of these risk groups, get your blood sugar tested every year whether you have borderline diabetes symptoms or not.
Doctors are finding that screening for high blood sugar in people who have high blood pressure is a great way to find prediabetes in the early stages.
It matters because if you are prediabetic there are steps you can take, things you can do to lower your blood sugar and avoid becoming a type 2 diabetic.
You can do nothing about genetics, family history and age, but you can end the metabolic syndrome and lower your insulin resistance.
A lower body mass index (it doesn't have to be perfect, just lower), increased exercise and some diet adjustments might do the trick. For a lot of people those things are enough.
The secret is to find out if you are borderline diabetic, and the only way to really be sure is to get your blood sugar tested.
Understanding the borderline diabetes symptoms can help, but nothing beats seeing the numbers and knowing for sure.
Do not let the diabetic tidal wave knock you off your feet and carry you away. Heed the warnings and do the wise things.
Ignorance is not bliss, it is dumb. I can say that because I tried it. Please do not make my mistake.