In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our January-February 2011 issue, we asked WebMD's diabetes expert, Michael Dansinger, MD, to answer a question about the link between prediabetes and diabetes.
Q: At my last checkup, my doctor told me I have prediabetes. Does that mean I'll ultimately develop diabetes?
A: Almost everyone who develops type 2 diabetes develops prediabetes first. But not everyone who has prediabetes...
Blurred or distorted vision or difficulty reading that does not
Macular edema or other changes in the retina cause
these symptoms. Temporary vision problems can crop up when your blood sugar
level is high.
flashes of light in your field of vision.
Retinal detachment or bleeding into the fluid within
the eye (vitreous gel) causes these symptoms.
Partial or total loss of vision, or a shadow or veil across
your field of vision. Retinal detachment or bleeding into the vitreous gel also
causes these symptoms.
Pain in your eye.
Neovascular glaucoma can cause this problem.
For more information, see the topic
The only sign of
diabetic nephropathy in its early stage is tiny
amounts of protein in your urine (microalbuminuria). A urine test for protein
is the only way to identify this problem. Frothy or foamy urine can be a sign
of excess protein. As kidney disease gets worse, you may have:
Swelling (edema) in your feet and legs and, if severe, throughout
Kidney damage affects your body's ability to rid itself
insulin. This results in
low blood sugar levels. It also may mean that your doctor may want to adjust
your insulin dose. As the disease gets worse, kidney failure develops. You may
be tired, lose your appetite, and lose weight.
information, see the topic
You may have
chest pain (angina) or leg pain during exercise if you have
macrovascular disease. But you may not have any
symptoms until you have a
heart attack or
stroke or develop
peripheral arterial disease. Because diabetes can
affect the nerves, you may have no pain during a heart attack. This is called a
"silent heart attack."1
For more information, see the topics:
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension).
Coronary Artery Disease.
Heart Attack and Unstable Angina.
Peripheral Arterial Disease of the Legs.
peripheral neuropathy include:
Tingling, numbness, tightness, burning, or shooting or stabbing
pain in the feet, hands, or other parts of your body. Usually, symptoms start
in the toes and are worse in the evening. Bone and joint deformities can
develop, especially of the feet (Charcot foot and/or foot drop).
Reduced feeling or numbness, most often in the feet.
Reduced sweating, especially in your feet and legs.
Greatly reduced or greatly increased sense of pain from a light
touch or change in temperature.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and 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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