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Prediabetes: Medical History and Physical Exam - Topic Overview

If your doctor suspects that you have prediabetes, he or she may ask the following questions about your family and medical history:

Your doctor will do a physical exam to:

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  • Measure your height and weight. For children and teens, height and weight will be compared with what is considered normal for their age groups.
  • Measure your waist circumference and determine your body mass index (BMI).
  • Check your blood pressure twice: first while you are standing and again while you are sitting.
  • Check your thyroid gland. Your doctor will check this gland by feeling it while you swallow. Thyroid problems sometimes occur in people who have diabetes.
  • Listen to your heart and lung sounds and check your blood flow (pulse) in your arms, legs, and feet. Your doctor also may listen to the blood flow in your neck (carotid) arteries for evidence of plaque buildup from atherosclerosis.
  • Check for a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans, which is associated with insulin resistance.
  • Check for signs of Cushing's syndrome, a rare disorder that develops when the body is exposed to too much of the hormone cortisol. Some people with diabetes also have Cushing's syndrome. Symptoms include a large percentage of body fat in the abdominal area (central obesity), skin that appears very tan, and the appearance of reddish stretch marks on your skin.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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Prediabetes: Medical History and Physical Exam Topics

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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