According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of American adults have prediabetes and most of them — 90% — don’t know it. That’s an important statistic because people with prediabetes can make lifestyle changes and avoid developing Type 2 diabetes, which is a more serious condition with the potential for more devastating consequences.

Reasons to wonder if you have prediabetes

Prediabetes doesn’t usually have symptoms, so it’s entirely possible for you to have it for years and have no idea. However, there are some things that raise the risk of prediabetes and may be reason for concern, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Large waist size
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history of Type 2 diabetes
  • History of gestational diabetes or a baby weighing over 9 pounds at birth
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

There are other factors that can raise your risk, as well, such as your race or ethnicity and your age. However, having these risk factors and having prediabetes doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop Type 2 diabetes. There are steps you can take to limit the possibility.

Some people do have symptoms

Although you can have prediabetes and not have any symptoms at all, some people do experience certain subtle symptoms. If you’ve noticed any of the following signs, you may have prediabetes.


Gout is a type of arthritis, but it is also associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a risk factor for both gout and diabetes, which could explain the association. Regardless, if you’ve had gout, you’re at a higher risk for prediabetes.

Shiny, scaly, or darkened patches of skin

If you notice patches of skin that look red, brown, or yellow, you may have necrobiosis lipodica, which is associated with prediabetes. Another condition, acanthosis nigricans, makes your skin look velvety and dark and could indicate an over-abundance of insulin in your blood.

Extreme fatigue

Fatigue is a symptom of multiple conditions, but if you have risk factors for prediabetes and you notice that you’re struggling just to make it through an ordinary day, you may be experiencing insulin resistance. When you have prediabetes, sugar builds up in your bloodstream instead of being used by your cells for energy, which could make you feel excessively tired.

Hair loss

Like fatigue, hair loss is a symptom of many different conditions, but it is associated with insulin resistance. If you’ve noticed that you’re losing more hair than usual, and you have other symptoms of prediabetes, or you have risk factors for it, you may want to make an appointment with Dr. Rozehzadeh to discuss blood glucose testing.

What to do if you think you may have prediabetes

There are things you can do, too, and most of them are proven to lead to better overall health. For example, a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains combined with increasing your activity level modestly — such as taking a brisk, 30-minute walk each day — improves your overall health. Eating healthy and exercising can help you lose weight, which lowers another risk factor.

If you have one or more of the risk factors for prediabetes, make an appointment to discuss your concerns with Dr. Rozehzadeh at Complete Primary Care. Call to set it up or use the online booking tool here on the website.

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