Pre-diabetes warning signs

Published On: Feb 16 2012 11:00:18 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 16 2012 11:03:00 PM EST

A new study projects that in the next eight years, 77 percent of men and 53 percent of women will have diabetes or pre-diabetes. There are warning signs to look for that could help people change their future.

Chef Tom Haynes didn't know all the warning signs of diabetes. 

"My diabetes was out of control. I had to stab myself 13 times a day with insulin," said Haynes.

Pre-diabetes happens when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis.

Here are some red flags to watch out for before it's too late:

The first is feeling really tired after you eat. When people are drowsy after dining, it could mean their diet is too high in simple carbs like sugar and sweet drinks.  Eating more complex carbohydrates like whole wheat, veggies and fruit will help the body to work harder to break down the sugars and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Next, if people are overweight and cutting calories isn't helping them drop pounds, it could mean the body is becoming insulin resistant. Instead of trying to lose a lot of weight at once, try to eat a little at a time. Studies show losing 5 to 10 percent of body weight and regular exercise prevents or delays diabetes by 60 percent.

Finally, pay attention to the shape of your body.  People who are pear shaped don't have to worry as much as people who are shaped more like an apple.  Men with waistlines of 40 inches or more could be at risk for diabetes and women with waistlines of 35 inches or more are also in the danger zone. 

Doctors often order two different tests to detect pre-diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people who are overweight and more than 45 years old should be tested for pre-diabetes during routine doctor visits.  People who are younger than 45 and overweight should be tested if they have diabetes risk factors like high blood pressure or family history.


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