Diabetes Prevention (Type 2 Diabetes)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Type 2 Diabetes Warning Signs

Quick GuideBlood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels

Blood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels

What are symptoms of prediabetes?

In general, prediabetes is not associated with any specific symptoms. However, there may be indicators of problems in blood sugar metabolism that can be seen years before the development of overt diabetes. Health-care professionals in the field of endocrinology are now routinely looking at these indicators in patients who are high risk for developing diabetes.

Irregular menses (menstruation) and premenstrual syndrome

There is an association between the lengthening of the menstrual cycle and the risk for developing diabetes, particularly in obese women. In a national study of nurses, those who had a cycle length of greater than 40 days were twice as likely to develop diabetes then those who cycled every 26 to 31 days. The association is thought to be related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which also is known to be associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance may be a precursor for type 2 diabetes.

Impaired Fasting Glucose

By definition, diabetes is associated with a fasting blood sugar of greater than 126 mg/dl. There is another group that has been identified and referred to as having impaired fasting glucose. These people have a fasting blood sugar value of between 110-126mg/dl. The main concern with this group is that they have an increased potential to develop type 2 diabetes when compared to the normal population. The actual percent increase varies depending on ethnicity, weight, etc.; but it is significantly higher, regardless of absolute numbers. In addition, it is known that people with impaired fasting glucose also are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

Inflammatory Markers

The role of inflammation is an area of extreme interest in regard to disease development. For example, we have begun to understand the importance of inflammation and heart disease. We now know that inflammation may play an important role in the development of diabetes as well. An inflammation marker known as C-reactive protein has been shown to be increased in women at risk for developing the metabolic syndrome, and in both men and women at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Recent studies have shown shifts in the blood levels of a number of markers for inflammation during the progression from no disease, to prediabetes, and then to full-blown diabetes. This research highlights the importance of inflammation as part of the mechanism of diabetes development.

Other Risks

Other risks for the development of diabetes include endothelial dysfunction (abnormal response of the inner lining of blood vessels) and retinal artery narrowing (narrowing of the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/14/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Diabetes Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Diabetes Prevention - Risk Factors

    Are you concerned that you may have the risk factors for diabetes? What steps have you taken to decrease your risk?

    Post
  • Diabetes Prevention - Symptoms

    What were your symptoms associated with diabetes?

    Post View 1 Comment
  • Diabetes Prevention - Medications

    What medications are you currently taken, or have taken in the past to help prevent type 2 diabetes?

    Post
  • Diabetes Prevention - Diet

    What diet changes have you found to help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes?

    Post
  • Diabetes Prevention - Experience

    Please share your experience with preventing diabetes, for example, diet or other lifestyle changes such as exercise.

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors