Diabetes mellitus can affect both men and women. While men are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, this condition often causes more serious health problems for women.

Approximately 15 million women in the U.S. have diabetes, which is about 1 in every 9 adult women. Besides the distressing symptoms of diabetes, this disease can put women at a higher risk of multiple complications, such as heart disease, blindness, and depression.

For this reason, spotting the warning signs of diabetes in women is crucial. Although there’s no cure for this condition, women can manage diabetes successfully, provided they catch the early signs before they lead to unwanted complications. This article dives into the diabetes symptoms that women should look for and how they can tackle the associated risk factors.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Women

Men and women with diabetes will likely experience many of the same symptoms. However, several diabetes symptoms are unique to women. Getting familiar with both groups of symptoms can help you identify diabetes early on and avoid potentially life-threatening complications.

Yeast infections

High blood sugar levels create the ideal breeding ground for fungus. The more blood glucose there is, the more yeast can multiply. The overgrowth of the Candida fungus can lead to yeast infections.

The symptoms of vaginal yeast infections include vaginal itching and discharge, soreness, and painful sex. Oral yeast infections are characterized by a white coating inside the mouth or on the tongue. They can cause difficulties in eating and swallowing.

Women who notice frequent oral and vaginal infections should see a doctor for a blood test to check their blood glucose levels immediately. Once they manage their blood sugar, yeast infections should significantly decrease in frequency.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Most women will likely get a UTI in their lifetime. Still, women with diabetes are at an increased risk of this infection. Diabetes is a risk factor for UTIs since it reduces the body’s ability to fight bacterial and fungal infections. Plus, too much sugar in the urine creates ideal conditions for bacterial growth.

A UTI develops when bacteria enter a woman’s urinary tract, resulting in painful urination and cloudy or bloody urine. If women don’t treat these symptoms promptly, they might lead to kidney disease.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Experts are still not 100% sure what causes PCOS. They have determined several risk factors, including a family history of PCOS. This condition is also associated with insulin resistance, which can be a cause or a symptom of PCOS.

Insulin resistance is also a hallmark of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. People with insulin resistance fail to respond correctly to the insulin produced by beta cells, the pancreas’s insulin-producing cells. As a result, these cells will create more insulin to persuade the muscle and fat cells to take up glucose and the liver to keep storing it.

Over time, the body’s cells will wear out and fail to produce enough insulin to overcome the resistance, resulting in higher blood glucose levels.

The most common signs and symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, acne, weight gain, and infertility.

Decrease in sex drive

Diabetes can lower women’s interest in sex and the ability to enjoy it.

High blood sugar levels cause fatty deposits inside blood vessels, impeding blood flow. When this issue affects the genital area, it decreases women’s sexual responses. In addition, nerve damage caused by diabetes can result in vaginal dryness, making intercourse uncomfortable or even painful.

Diabetic neuropathy may also affect sensation in the vaginal area, leading to symptoms like vaginal dryness.

Frequent urination

Frequent urination is the first among the signs and symptoms both men and women with diabetes share. It occurs when the body instinctively tries to eliminate the excess sugar coursing through the bloodstream. If you start urinating more frequently for no apparent reason, it might be time to talk to your doctor and do a blood test.

Increased thirst

Besides excess sugar, urinating more frequently expels water from the tissues. As a result, women can become dehydrated and constantly feel thirsty. To make matters worse, people often quench their thirst with sugary drinks, thus further adding to their blood sugar levels.

Weight loss

Diabetes is a common reason for unexplained weight loss. Since cells can’t get enough energy from sugar, they resort to burning the body’s fat and muscle for energy, resulting in weight loss. The weight loss can be rather dramatic, with some women losing up to 10% of their body weight in less than six months.


You could feel exhausted for many reasons, from the more obvious ones like lack of sleep to your diet and stress levels. However, if you feel inexplicably exhausted, diabetes might have something to do with it. After all, this condition impedes your body from effectively using its primary source of energy – blood sugar.

Blurred vision

Blurred vision is among the most ignored diabetes symptoms in women. It results from high blood sugar leading to fluid forming in the eye’s lens. This, in turn, can damage the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, which manifests as blurry vision.

Numbness in the extremities

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), more than half of people with type 2 diabetes experience numbness or tingling sensations in their arms, legs, and feet. This numbness results from high blood sugar reducing blood flow to the extremities and gradually damaging the blood vessels and nerves.

Slow-healing wounds

High cholesterol and high blood pressure often accompany diabetes. The plaque buildup from these conditions can narrow blood vessels, which leads to reduced blood flow and slow healing.

Increased blood sugar levels can also weaken the T cells that make up the body’s immune system, thus delaying its response to wounds.

Skin infections

Yeast infections caused by increased blood sugar levels can also occur on the skin. These can, in turn, lead to skin infections that look like itchy rashes of moist areas surrounded by tiny blisters. Itchiness can also come from poor circulation. The legs will typically be the itchiest area if that’s the case.

Dark skin patches

Darkening of the skin under your armpits, around the nape of the neck, and in the groin area can indicate insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

Fruity breath

A sweet, fruity odor to your breath can be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is one of the most severe diabetes complications that can be fatal when left untreated. DKA is more common among women with type 1 diabetes. Still, even women with type 2 diabetes diagnosis can develop DKA.

This condition develops when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, so it breaks down fat as fuel, resulting in a buildup of acids in the bloodstream.

Complications of Diabetes in Women

Women who develop diabetes are at a higher risk of serious health problems that can significantly impact their quality of life. The most common diabetes complications in women include:

  • Coronary heart disease that leads to a heart attack
  • Digestive and kidney diseases
  • Nerve damage that can lead to loss of feeling in the affected limb
  • Eye damage that can lead to diabetic retinopathy and blindness
  • Foot damage that can result in amputation
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders

Complications of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs when women have increased blood sugar levels during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gestational diabetes affects up to 10% of pregnancies yearly.

Most women with gestational diabetes have a normal pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. However, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause several problems for the mother and the baby. For this reason, women often take medicine or insulin shots to keep themselves and their babies healthy.

Complications for the baby

Gestational diabetes increases the risk of several complications for the baby whose mother develops this condition. In the worst-case scenario, this condition can have a fatal outcome for the baby before or shortly after birth.

Excess growth

Extra glucose can trigger the baby’s pancreas to produce additional insulin, causing the baby to grow too large. The baby’s size can lead to a difficult birth and the necessity to perform a C-section.

Low blood sugar

Newborn babies can have low blood sugar levels at birth due to the extra insulin their pancreas creates. This can, in turn, put them at a higher risk for breathing problems.

Type 2 diabetes

Gestational diabetes in mothers is one of the significant risk factors for the baby developing type 2 diabetes later in life. The same goes for obesity.

Complications for the mother

Gestational diabetes can also cause a few health complications for the mother. For starters, women who have gestational diabetes in one pregnancy will likely have it again the next time they get pregnant. This condition can lead to preeclampsia, a high-blood pressure disorder with multiple health implications.

How Diabetes Affects Women Differently

Diabetes rates might be slightly higher in men, but this condition affects women differently.

Firstly, women with diabetes more than double their chances of developing heart disease. On top of that, the U.S. healthcare system often provides women with less aggressive treatments for cardiovascular risk factors. As a result, women have significantly worse outcomes after a heart attack.

Also, women’s hormone cycles can change their responses to insulin. So, they might need more careful blood sugar management throughout their lives. This approach is critical during extreme hormonal shifts, such as pregnancy and menopause.

Preventing Diabetes in Women

Unfortunately, as an autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented. But, specific lifestyle changes can prevent type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Since genetics plays a huge role in developing diabetes, it helps to find out about your family history. If you have a family member with diabetes, it would be prudent to monitor your blood glucose even more closely.

Here are some actionable steps to help prevent diabetes or reduce its symptoms.

Try to lose the extra weight

According to a 2021 study, losing as little as 5% of your total body weight can help lower your risk of diabetes if you’re overweight or have prediabetes. Consider consulting with your health provider to determine a healthy weight for your body and strive to reach that goal in the long run.

Remember that you can only accomplish this goal by making healthier lifestyle choices. After all, research is yet to prove the long-term benefits of fad diets, such as paleo or keto.

Adopt a healthier diet

Even if you aren’t overweight, healthy eating can go a long way toward preventing diabetes. When it comes to diabetes prevention, a healthy diet pertains to the following:

  • Reducing the total carb intake
  • Minimizing the intake of highly processed foods
  • Eating plant-based foods
  • Consuming high-fiber foods
  • Eating healthy fats
  • Reducing portion sizes

However, it’s important to note that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution regarding a healthy diet. Every woman’s body will respond differently to specific foods. Therefore, you should take an individualized approach that includes receiving a personalized meal plan according to your needs.

Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity is crucial to maintaining a moderate weight and keeping diabetes at bay. With that in mind, women should aim to do the following:

  • Get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity on most days of the week or 150 minutes weekly
  • Do resistance training at least two times a week to increase their balance, strength, and ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Cut back on sedentary behaviors and break up long bouts of inactivity.

Better Choices, Better Life

Diabetes is one of the most serious health conditions as it affects the entire body, and its mismanagement can lead to severe consequences. Although this condition can affect all genders, women can exhibit unique symptoms not seen in other patients. Spotting the signs of diabetes in women early on can help them keep it under control and avoid complications.

Even better, women can take specific steps to prevent the disease from progressing or appearing altogether. One of the essential steps in diabetes prevention is a healthy and balanced diet.Since every woman responds to specific foods differently, you can benefit from a customized meal plan. Our Klinio app provides a personalized diabetes program to help you start managing your condition effectively. This handy app can be your virtual guide and caregiver, helping you make vital lifestyle changes and stick to them long-term.

The traditional Mediterranean diet is regarded by the American Diabetes Association and many other reputable organizations to be one of the best ways for people with diabetes to:

  • Achieve good blood sugar control;
  • Meet recommended calorie restriction;
  • Monitor carb intake;
  • Exercise glycemic control;
  • Reduce any risks of potential cardiovascular disease.

As well as helping with diabetes management, the Mediterranean diet is regarded by many experts as an ideal way to lose weight for overweight patients.

What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

First recognized in the 1960s, the Mediterranean diet is inspired by what the people of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea regularly eat. Namely, it’s the cuisines of Italy, Greece, Southern France, and Spain. In recent years, the Mediterranean diet has been extended to include the other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including Cyprus, the Balkan countries, the North African countries (Morocco, Lebanon, etc.), and Portugal (though technically, it is an Atlantic country).

The term was coined to recognize that the Mediterranean diet reduces mortality rates and heart disease risk. It may also help obese people with weight loss.

The Mediterranean diet is recommended as a healthy diet by the American Diabetes Association (and the American Heart Association) and is also one of the three healthy diets along with the DASH and vegetarian diet recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The foods that make up the Mediterranean diet are:

  • High consumption – olive oil, legumes (lentils and beans), unrefined cereals (whole grains), fruits and vegetables (particularly leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic), nuts and seeds
  • Moderate to high consumption – fresh fish, seafood, poultry, eggs
  • Moderate consumption – dairy products (butter, cheese, yogurt)
  • Low consumption – red meat, processed meat, refined carbohydrates, sweets (candy/chocolate)

Other than the Islamic countries of North Africa, which follow a Mediterranean diet, moderate wine consumption is a feature. Processed foods are minimal.

The health benefits of a diet based on the Mediterranean diet food pyramid are:

  • low carbohydrate
  • low fat
  • lean protein
  • healthy fats (monounsaturated fat rather than saturated fat)
  • nutrient-dense foods
  • low sodium

Where To Start With A Mediterranean Diet?

Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean-style diet could be perfect if you are interested in a combination of weight loss, blood sugar management, diabetes care, or even early diabetes prevention.

With the expertise of our own Mediterranean diet group, we have put together a meal plan that ranks among one of the best low carbohydrate diets, low glycemic index diets, and nutrition therapy recommendations you will find.

All the meal suggestions listed below have been calorie and carb counted to clarify the health benefits. And even better, each planned day includes at least five portions of your much-needed five fruit and vegetables a day!

Here is one of the best diabetes control meal plans you will find online, focusing on particular issues like high cardiovascular risk, diabetes complications, metabolic syndrome, and overall positive general health outcomes. Enjoy!


Breakfast – Greek yogurt with oat flakes, banana, and raspberries.

Lunch – Wraps with salmon, sweet peppers, and red onion.

Dinner – Steamed cod with boiled new potatoes and salad.

Snacks – Apple and peanut butter, oatcakes, orange.


  • Choose wraps made from whole grains.
  • Use fresh salmon and bake or grill rather than fry.
  • Avoid heavy dressings on your salad. A dressing of olive oil and vinegar has a much better serving of healthy fats.


Breakfast – Muesli.

Lunch – Minestrone soup.

Dinner – Couscous topped with a lemon and chili chicken breast.

Snacks – Banana, almonds, carrot sticks, Greek yogurt.


  • Use alternative milk to dairy milk (soy, nut, coconut, oat milk) on your muesli. All have fewer calories than cow’s milk, and some contain fiber.
  • Use a minestrone soup recipe that doesn’t contain pasta, or add a small amount of brown rice or pasta made from whole grains.
  • Only eat a small handful of almonds to get the healthy fats and avoid too many calories.


Breakfast – Whole wheat bread toast with peanut butter.

Lunch – Tuna salad with a dash of extra virgin olive oil.

Dinner – Chicken pittas (Greek style).

Snacks – Fruit salad with Greek Yogurt, cherry tomatoes and cottage cheese, pumpkin seeds, and orange.


  • Do not use mayonnaise for your tuna salad.
  • For the pittas, grill the chicken. Make a sauce from low-fat Greek yogurt, chopped cucumber, and chopped mint.


Breakfast – Muesli.

Lunch – Spanish tortilla omelet with a side salad.

Dinner – Hearty stew with roasted butternut squash.

Snacks – Honeydew melon, almonds, oatcakes.


  • Make the stew with chicken or other lean meat.
  • If you want to caramelize the roasted butternut squash, use honey rather than sugar.


Breakfast – Poached eggs on rye bread (or other whole grain bread).

Lunch – Curried coriander mackerel with broccoli and new potatoes.

Dinner – Cheesy courgette and aubergine baked with peas.

Snacks – Raspberries, oatcakes, almonds.


  • Go easy on the cheese in the bake – use half-fat cheese if you can.


Breakfast – Porridge with berries.

Lunch – Grilled chicken breast with spinach and pine nuts.

Dinner – Crispy salmon salad.

Snacks – Peach, roasted chickpeas, Greek yogurt, almonds.


  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice on the spinach will brighten the flavor.
  • Add your favorite flavoring to the chickpeas.


Breakfast – Greek yogurt, oat flakes, banana, raspberries.

Lunch – Red lentil soup

Dinner – Greek chicken with tomato, beans, olives, and asparagus.

Snacks – Almonds or pistachios, satsumas, roasted sunflower seeds.


  • Add flavor to the soup with onion or red pepper.
  • Lentil soup can also be turned into an Indian Dal with the right spices.

A Perfect Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan For People With Diabetes

Mediterranean Diet

You can see above a low carbohydrate Mediterranean diet plan that is ideal for anybody with diabetes or at high diabetes risk. The lack of saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and monounsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory markers in the foods and dishes that we have suggested means that your blood glucose will be helped to remain in a very healthy and safe position.

If you have prediabetes at the moment, switching to a diet that directly fights cardiovascular risk factors can help stop or completely reverse your chances of developing diabetes.

A diet like this can help people with diabetes achieve a much greater level of overall health that can help their bodies to better fight against chronic conditions. It goes without saying that the healthier you are in every aspect of your diabetes, the better you will be able to fight the battle and manage your type 2 diabetes.

Fresh Foods And A Lack Of Processed Items

You will notice that the seven-day meal plan we have put together for you doesn’t include many processed foods. Though it can be very easy and tempting to grab some junk food on the way home for dinner, meals like that are the number one contributor to conditions like obesity that almost always lead to type 2 diabetes.

The great thing about our meal plan is that the abundance of fresh produce, fresh fruits, and healthy snacks are balanced and nutritious and will definitely keep you full and satisfied all the way through the week.

You will also notice that many of the ingredients are repeated over the course of the week, and this is down to several key reasons.

Firstly, spreading out the same items in different ways over seven days means you don’t have to spend as much money on a wider list of ingredients when you go do your weekly shop.

Secondly, the variety of ways these repeated ingredients are utilized will open up your mind to a whole new range of cooking possibilities that you may have never thought you were capable of. The more confident you can get with cooking healthy foods, the more natural this ‘diet’ will become. Eventually, it will cease to be seen as a diet and simply be your new way of life instead!

Mediterranean Diet Basic Tips

Advice: As a person with diabetes, it’s important that all your dietary needs are addressed. If you are going to start a new meal plan, whether for weight loss, control of carbohydrate intake, better blood sugar management, or overall better diabetes management, talk to your physician, diabetes care team, or dietician. Mediterranean diets do not suit everyone.

Produce: The general advice is to get at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily. You can easily aim for seven to ten servings on the Mediterranean diet. Snacking is a good area for swapping out less healthy foods with Mediterranean foods and more fruits and vegetables.

Reduce sodium intake: A high salt intake is associated with heart disease. Use herbs and spices instead of salt if you need a flavor enhancer. Great choices include garlic, paprika, ginger, basil, rosemary, bay leaves, and cinnamon. Some of these also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can only be good for people with diabetes.

Butter is not better: Butter is not part of a Mediterranean diet – it is too high in saturated fat to be included in any low-fat diet. Replace butter with olive oil. Canola oil is also a better choice as this, like olive oil, is high in unsaturated fats.

Eat the right meat: Choose poultry and fish over red meats and grill, bake or poach rather than fry.

Low-fat dairy: high-fat dairy items are not missing from the Mediterranean diet, nor are they foods that people with diabetes have to avoid, but low-fat dairy products or dairy alternatives are better choices. Low-fat cheese, fat-free yogurt, and skimmed milk keep your fat intake low and look after your cardiovascular health.

Potential Risks of a Mediterranean-Style Diet to Avoid

Mediterranean Diet

Every diet has risks, especially when adopting it as an eating plan. These are the key pitfalls to avoid when you start a Mediterranean diet.

Cold Turkey: Unless advised otherwise by your diabetes care team (because you need to make some immediate changes), ease the dietary changes.

Portion Size: A balanced meal is still important even if you are eating healthy Mediterranean foods. Stick to the recommended portion sizes when building a plate.

Too many legumes: Legumes are plant foods, so you know they are suitable for you, and they are a good swap for potatoes and other starchy foods, but you can eat too many if you are following a low-carbohydrate diet. Watch your portion size to not overload on carbs.

Don’t ‘overcheat’: Everyone needs cheat days, even people with diabetes. Cheat days should be occasional, not a regular occurrence. Even on cheat days, you should choose your treats from Mediterranean foods.

Too much alcohol: Wine is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, but that’s not an excuse to overindulge. Moderation is key, as is making sure alcohol doesn’t interfere with medications.

Final Thoughts

We hope that by reading our day-by-day Mediterranean diet meal plan, we have shown you just how simple it can be to change the way you eat for the better completely. Not to mention just how delicious it can be too!

Swapping your unhealthy meals for healthy ones without sacrificing taste and satisfaction is the key to making any diet stick. We think that with this interesting and mouth-watering array of dishes, you will be well on your way to better diabetes control.

As long as your blood sugar levels are happy, you can be happy, and thanks to this Mediterranean diet, we think you will find yourself much happier than you have been in a long, long time.

Get a personalized Klinio Mediterranean diet tailored to your needs by completing our quiz. Experience the benefits of this sample menu and start your journey toward better health today!

Calories: 323 kcal

Preparation time: 5 min

Serving size: 1


  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 slices of whole-grain bread
  • 1 tablespoon of grated fat-free cheddar cheese
  • 2 sprays of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of water

For amazing flavor:

  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of smoked paprika


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, chopped herbs, ground black pepper, salt, and smoked paprika.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and stir gently with a spatula until the mixture sets on the base of the pan. Stop stirring and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the cheese melts.
  3. Toast the bread slices.
  4. Serve the omelet with sliced tomato and toasted bread on the side.

This herbed cheddar omelet is a vegetarian, low-carb, high-protein, and fiber-rich meal that is ideal for managing blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Adjust the seasoning to your taste or use your preferred spices. Enjoy!

Check out our Klinio App for more amazing diabetes-friendly recipes.

The Link Between Diabetes and Blood Sugar

Whenever you eat foods that contain carbohydrates, your body converts those carbohydrates into sugars. It then releases that sugar into your blood, where it travels toward the cells that need it. At the same time, your pancreas releases insulin, which your body uses to process the sugar so your cells can use it.

At least, that’s the process for people without diabetes. Someone with diabetes will experience issues with their blood sugar level because of two possible reasons. Either their pancreases have issues producing the insulin needed to process blood glucose, or their cells develop an insulin resistance that makes the process less efficient. It’s in these situations that blood glucose monitoring becomes important. People with diabetes must practice blood sugar control to ensure they manage blood sugar and avoid diabetes-related complications.

More information can be found by visiting the website of the American Diabetes Association. You’ll see information about test strip reading, blood pressure, blood vessels, glucose tablets, and general diabetes health care. Another resource for learning about the disease is a certified diabetes educator. These specialists can tell you more about how many hours after a meal you need to wait before testing your sugar levels, for example, and much more.

What happens if you have high blood sugar?

High blood sugar can occur for several reasons. Beyond eating too much sugary food, your sugar level could increase if you become less physically active, feel stressed, or miss a dose of your diabetes medicine. It can also occur due to gestational diabetes, which is when your blood glucose levels increase during pregnancy, only to fall again upon giving birth.

High blood glucose levels lead to several common symptoms:

  • Feelings of fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling extremely thirsty
  • Going to the toilet more often
  • Weight loss

If you experience any of these symptoms, take them as signals that you have high blood glucose and need to improve your blood sugar monitoring.

When your blood sugar rises, leading to consistently elevated levels, you place yourself at risk of developing several dangerous conditions, including:

  • Diabetic retinopathy, which causes permanent damage to your eyesight
  • Peripheral neuropathy, which is a form of nerve damage that causes pain primarily in the hands and feet
  • A life-threatening condition, such as:

In short, having too much blood glucose makes it harder for your body to produce enough insulin to process the sugar. The result can be a range of health conditions that impact your quality of life.

What happens if you have low blood sugar?

Low blood glucose levels can be just as dangerous as high ones. Generally speaking, this issue affects people with diabetes who take insulin and is often traceable to dietary issues. The early symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of hunger
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Tingling lips
  • Mood swings
  • Turning pale

If you don’t do anything about your low blood glucose level, your symptoms may intensify or give way to more damaging issues, such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Physical weakness
  • Clumsiness and slurred speech
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exhaustion
  • Collapsing
  • Seizures and fits

How Blood Sugar Helps Doctors Determine if You Have Diabetes

With the issues related to varying blood glucose being so severe, it’s easy to see why continuous glucose monitoring is so important. If you suspect that you have diabetes, your healthcare professional may administer several diabetes tests. Each test measures your blood glucose levels and compares them to healthy norms, helping your health care professional diagnose diabetes. You may undergo some or all of the following tests during your doctor’s visit.

Glycated hemoglobin test

Also known as an A1C blood test, this process shows your average blood sugar level for two or three months while you maintain your normal diet. Having an A1C level of 6.5% or higher on two of these tests means you have diabetes. Levels between 5.7% and 6.4% suggest prediabetes, with anything below 5.7% falling into the normal range.

Fasting blood sugar test

You’re asked to fast for the entire night before this blood test, after which your doctor will take a blood sample.

If you have a fasting blood sugar level of 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or higher on two tests, it indicates diabetes. Fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dl or lower is normal, with anything between these two glucose values suggesting you have prediabetes.

Random blood sugar test

In this test, your doctor takes a sample of your blood at a random time to ensure accurate test results. A blood glucose result of 200 mg/dl or above suggests that you have diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test

This test is another that involves fasting overnight. After you fast, your doctor will take two blood samples to check your blood against normal blood sugar levels.

The first sample is of your fasting blood glucose levels, with the second taken after you consume a sugary drink, such as fruit juice. Your doctor will then test you regularly for two hours.

A blood glucose reading of 140 mg/dl is normal. If you have a reading of 200 mg/dl two hours after drinking a sugary drink, it indicates that you have diabetes.

How to Maintain a Healthy Blood Glucose Level

If your doctor discovers that you have diabetes, they’ll start working with you to create a diabetes treatment plan. This plan is crucial for managing diabetes. Among other things, it will show you what you need to do to check your blood sugar and advises you on what your target range is. A comprehensive plan for managing your diabetes will follow.

In addition to this treatment plan, there are several steps you can take to manage your glucose levels to manage the risk factors that can lead to unhealthy consequences.

Use a continuous glucose monitor

A continuous glucose monitor is a medical device that helps with disease control.

After arriving at the doctor’s office, your healthcare team inserts a small wire underneath your skin. This wire typically goes into the arm or abdomen.

Once inserted, the wire continuously measures your blood glucose, with the results going to an external glucose meter. That monitor helps you to keep track of your levels to ensure they stay within your target range.

Though inconvenient, this technique is more effective than a regular blood glucose monitor because it doesn’t require you to prick your skin or remember to take a test.

Use appropriate diabetes medication

There are many types of diabetes medication your doctor may prescribe as part of your diabetes management plan. For example, those with type 2 diabetes often start with metformin as their first type of medication.

Other types of diabetes may require you to inject insulin into your blood to manage your blood sugars. Your doctor helps you determine your dosage so your insulin injections don’t lead to you having too much insulin in your body.

Create a diabetes meal plan

Regulating what you eat has an enormous impact on your blood glucose. Eating the wrong things, or combining several high-sugar foods at once, can lead to blood sugar spikes that cause dangerous symptoms.

Generally speaking, a good diabetic meal plan contains foods that are rich in protein and fiber. You’ll also eat more fresh foods, including those that are sources of healthy carbohydrates, such as:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Beans
  • Whole grains

Furthermore, your plan should include foods that contain healthy fats, including:

Just as important as the foods you should eat are those you need to limit. A diabetic meal plan should avoid foods that lead to high glucose levels, including:

In addition to helping you to manage blood glucose, sticking to a meal plan ensures you maintain a healthy weight and have a strong immune system. As such, there are several side benefits to eating properly beyond diabetes management.

Be more physically active

Your healthcare team may make several suggestions related to how physical activity can help you manage blood sugars.

For example, simple actions like standing while you’re working or taking the stairs instead of an elevator help. So does walking to the store instead of driving or committing to taking a daily walk around the block.

All of these steps help you avoid living a sedentary life, which can elevate your blood glucose and cause the symptoms of high blood sugar.

Klinio Helps You Manage Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels

While your healthcare team will suggest several techniques you can use to monitor your blood sugars, you can also get help from third-party resources.

That’s where the Klinio app comes in.

Klinio helps you create effective meal plans that ensure you avoid the risks associated with fluctuating blood glucose. You don’t have to take complicated blood tests or engage in any blood draw practices with Klinio. Just schedule your meals and track your sugar intake to maintain healthy levels.

Depression is a mood disorder that affects 25% of people with diabetes. Unsurprisingly, those with diabetes are more likely to experience blood sugar fluctuations. As such, it appears there is a definitive link between diabetes and mood swings. The evidence also suggests that blood glucose variations, like blood sugar dips and spikes, affect your mood differently.

Of course, people with diabetes aren’t the only ones suffering from this chronic condition. Comorbid depression goes hand in hand with emotion-based stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, and other health issues that could cause psychological reasons for mood swings apart from blood sugar levels.

In this article, we explore the link between diabetes and mood swings and examine the impact blood glucose levels play. We also offer diabetes management advice to reduce the instances of mood swings.

What the Evidence Tells Us About Diabetes and Mood Swings

Several studies demonstrate a link between diabetes and mood swings. For example, a 2012 study discovered that unstable blood sugar levels are associated with anxiety, anger, and low quality of life in women with diabetes.

This link was established long before 2012. In a 1989 study, researchers examined the effects of glycemic variability. They found that those who experience blood sugar dips are more prone to nervousness. However, a blood sugar spike also led to more sadness and anger.

These effects aren’t limited to those with diabetes. A 2017 prospective study examined the link between increased sugar intake and common mental health conditions like depression. The evidence demonstrates a clear link between diabetes and mental health challenges that could include higher stress levels and even self-harm. Blood sugar fluctuations appear to have different effects on an individual’s quality of life. While mood swings are a challenge regardless of whether you have low or high blood sugar, the nature of those mood swings varies.

The Effects of Diabetes on Mood

To understand the effects of diabetes on mood, we first need to know how the condition affects the body. Diabetes impairs your body’s ability to use blood glucose correctly. As such, those with diabetes must manage the condition to reduce glucose variability. The good news is that diabetes technology has come a long way in the past few decades. Maintaining glycemic control in the body has become easier, and a well-managed program and better knowledge of the insulin-glucose process can reduce stress for people with diabetes and those who care for them.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the target blood glucose ranges are:

  • 180ml/dL or less a few hours after you eat a meal
  • 80–130ml/dL before you eat

These are approximate ranges, meaning your ideal range may vary. But if you can stay within these ranges, you have a better chance of avoiding the following mood issues:

Diabetes distress

It’s tough and stressful to manage diabetes. You may have to deal with constantly monitoring your blood sugar levels, educating people, and creating meal plans. It can all start to feel overwhelming, leading to a stress response. This stress response, known as “diabetes distress,” affects 20% of people with insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes and about 17% of those with non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms include:

  • Anger, frustration, and stress
  • Low motivation levels
  • Consistent worrying about your condition
  • A tendency to make unhealthy choices
  • Feelings of isolation

While diabetes distress doesn’t directly relate to your blood sugar, it does have an indirect link. Negative moods occur because of the need to stick to a diabetes management plan, which includes glycemic control. Think of diabetes distress as a sort of diabetes burnout to develop a stronger idea of what the condition entails.

Rapid mood shifts

Evidence suggests that there’s a relationship between blood sugar levels and mood. Losing track when managing your blood sugar levels can lead to various mood-related effects. The specific effects vary depending on what’s happening with your blood sugar. Those with low blood sugar are more likely to experience the following types of mood swings:

  • Hunger
  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Issues with concentration
  • Behavioral changes

Having high blood sugar appears to have a less direct effect on your mood. However, it causes other issues that can lead to mood swings, such as:

  • Feeling fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Unwell feelings

Simply put, failing to keep your blood sugar within a healthy range affects your well-being. In some cases, this directly leads to mood swings. In others, it results in symptoms that significantly impact your mental health, leading to more negative moods.

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety is a common mood disorder that is particularly prevalent in diabetes patients. According to one study that looked at people with diabetes in 15 countries, 18% of those with type 2 diabetes also have an anxiety disorder.

Symptoms vary depending on the severity of this mental health condition. However, common symptoms include:


As mentioned at the beginning of the article, 25% of people with diabetes experience some form of depression. Often, this depression has a direct link to diabetes distress. The burden of managing the condition feels so overwhelming that some find it emotionally draining to the point where their mood slumps consistently.

There are several challenges associated with detecting depression in people with diabetes. Depression is a variable mental health condition, meaning the symptoms vary from person to person. Furthermore, lifestyle factors influence the condition. Those under chronic stress may develop major depression faster than those with relatively lower stress levels.

It’s crucial that diabetes patients have a healthcare team supporting them in looking for the following symptoms:

  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Lack of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Appetite changes
  • Low energy
  • Feelings of guilt or nervousness
  • Issues with concentrating
  • Suicidal ideology and self-harm – support should be sought at the very first sign of this symptom

Relationship challenges

The people you live with often feel as responsible for your diabetes care as you do. When glycemic variability impacts mood, you risk placing a strain on a relationship. The challenges you experience in your relationship can damage your support structure, creating more stress.

Spousal influence also plays a role in glycemic variability, as demonstrated by a 2020 study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine journal. It found that positive spousal influence was associated with less diabetes distress, making unstable blood sugar levels less likely. However, those experiencing a combination of distress and low-quality relationships were more likely to have mood swings. Simply put, being in a happy relationship improves your mood.

Some evidence suggests that the effects of diabetes on relationships extend beyond mood disorders. Diabetes impacts a person’s sex life, leading to issues including erectile dysfunction, lowered sex drive, and vaginal dryness. While not directly associated with mood, such issues often have psychological causes rather than physical ones.

Advice for Coping With Diabetes and Mood Swings

Self-care often lies at the heart of resolving the issues caused by diabetes and mood swings. With the following strategies, you can improve your overall well-being and make the lifestyle changes needed to reduce mood swings.

Follow your diabetes management plan

Though diabetes care can feel overwhelming, you’ve likely worked with a diabetes educator to create a plan of action.

Following that plan is a crucial strategy for overcoming the mood swings many people with diabetes experience. Your plan may include changes in lifestyle, daily medications, and scheduling for blood glucose screenings. The closer you stick to the plan you develop with your healthcare provider, the less likely you are to experience the glucose fluctuations that often cause diabetes-induced mood swings.

Check your blood sugar consistently

Your treatment plan likely includes recommended blood sugar ranges before and after your meals. Keeping track of those ranges ensures your body experiences fewer glucose-related issues that can lead to mood changes.

Watch for readings that are outside your recommended range. Record any readings that seem strange and discuss them with your doctor. While everybody overindulges or loses track occasionally, allowing either to happen consistently places you at greater risk of mood swings.

As for regulating your blood glucose, try the following to help you keep track of your meals:

  • Create a meal plan designed to be as diabetes-friendly as possible. This strategy may involve creating specific shopping lists and preparing the food you eat well in advance.
  • Automate your diabetes plan as much as possible. For example, you may set alerts on your smartphone to remind you of when to eat and when you need to check your blood sugar.
  • Educate those around you, so they understand why you take your meals so seriously. Through education, your friends and family can become sources of support rather than hindrances.
  • Increase your intake of protein and fiber. Both have low glycemic indexes, especially when compared to processed foods. Try to eat fresh food as opposed to processed food as often as possible while tracking the sugar and carbohydrate levels in your food. If you can go sugar-free, then even better. For example, try switching out traditional desserts for some tasty sugar-free options.

Speak to others

Seek the help of others whenever you start experiencing anxiety related to your condition. Those who try to go at it alone often experience a lower quality of life because they don’t have the support they need to combat diabetes distress. That lack of support also creates an environment that makes managing diabetes more challenging, increasing the likelihood of mood swings.

Confront the Issue of Diabetes and Mood Swings Directly

The key to overcoming mood swings related to diabetes is to confront the challenges you face at their source. In many cases, mood issues occur due to blood sugar variability. By taking firmer control of your sugar intake, you’re more likely to avoid the mood disorders associated with diabetes.

Having the ability to recognize the signs of mood issues also helps. The more you know about the outward symptoms of mood disorders, the more likely you are to realize the need to focus more on self-care.

Finally, take steps that help you start managing your condition more effectively. Downloading the Klinio app may be one of those steps. Our trustworthy meal app helps those with diabetes track their sugar intake and maintain a plan that ensures they’re less likely to experience mood swings as a result of diabetes.

In the United States alone, 1 out of every 10 people has diabetes. That comes to 37.3 million individuals, with a total population of 422 million estimated globally.

To optimally manage your diabetes, it becomes important to know how to track your blood glucose levels on your own. This is where a blood glucose meter comes in.

However, sometimes it can be hard to know which glucose monitoring device is most suitable for you since there are different types. Your doctor’s recommendation is usually the best, but you can also use other factors to figure it out.

That’s why in this guide, we’ll take a look at the various glucose monitor types to help you find the one you’re looking for. 

What Are Glucose Monitoring Devices?

Glucose monitoring devices, also known as glucometers, are small devices that can be used to get blood glucose readings.

There are different types of blood glucose meters, including the standard blood glucose monitor (BGM), the continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and the flash glucose monitor (FGM).

Regardless of the type, a glucose monitoring system is very important in diabetes management. It allows a patient to use their medication as soon as their blood sugar levels measure above normal sugar levels and eat something when they have low blood glucose.

The Difference Between BGM, CGM, and FGM

There are three major types of blood glucose meters, and they all work to provide a patient with glucose readings, but what is the actual difference between them?

Standard blood glucose monitor (BGM)

When most people think of a blood glucose meter, they think of standard glucose monitors.

This tends to be a small machine, small enough to fit in your palm. Paired with special test strips, it can be used to measure your blood sugar level at a given time.

To use a regular glucose meter, you insert a test strip into the machine, prick your finger with a lancing tool, then place a drop of blood on the test strip.

The meter will be able to determine the glucose levels in the sample thanks to chemicals in the strip, and it will display your blood sugar level in a few seconds.

Continuous glucose monitor (CGM)

Continuous glucose monitors can provide information on a person’s glucose levels by checking them every few minutes.

Continuous glucose monitoring works by having a tiny sensor inserted under the skin of the abdomen or the upper arm. From there, the device can monitor a person’s interstitial glucose level, which is the glucose found in the interstitial fluid between the cells in the body. This is great for observing glucose trends throughout the day.

A CGM system comprises the sensor, which measures the glucose levels, and then the monitor, which wirelessly receives the information from the continuous glucose monitoring device. In some cases, the CGM system can send this glucose data directly to your smartphone.

Many CGM systems also have optional alarms that can alert you when the sensor measures your blood sugar to be too high or low. CGM systems can also be paired with an insulin pump to automatically administer insulin when sugar levels go up.

However, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a CGM sensor cannot be used to make treatment decisions. Any changes to medication need to be made after confirming readings with a regular glucose test.

Flash glucose monitor (FGM)

A flash glucose meter is the best of both worlds between a BGM and CGM system. The sensor is attached to the back of the upper arm, where it provides continuous glucose monitoring every minute.

The primary product in this new category is the Abbott FreeStyle Libre 3 system.

What makes it great is that you can get your glucose level at a particular moment, similar to standard blood glucose monitoring. But then, just like a CGM system, FreeStyle Libre allows for continuous glucose monitoring, in this case, as far as the last 8 hours.

However, FreeStyle Libre cannot be used for glucose control as it is yet to be made compatible with any type of insulin pump.

When Do You Use a Blood Glucose Meter?

Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is a very good idea to get a glucometer to measure your sugar levels at home.

When it comes to standard glucose monitors, patients with type 2 diabetes should keep an eye on their glucose level, but the exact interval tends to depend on what your doctor recommends.

Patients who take insulin may need to check their glucose level before each meal, though depending on the type of insulin, some may only need to check before breakfast or bed. It all depends on your doctor’s recommendation.

However, those who just use oral hypoglycemic medications or make lifestyle changes may not even need to keep track of their glucose every day. You should make sure to follow whatever your healthcare professionals determine is best for you. 

Patients with type 2 diabetes can opt for continuous monitoring, though there isn’t much evidence that a CGM device provides great benefits for patients with this type of diabetes.

How to Choose a Glucometer to Track Your Blood Sugar?

Now, deciding which glucose meter is best for you to check your glucose with can be hard. However, there are a few general guidelines you can follow to make this decision easier for you.

  • First off, it is recommended that you go with whichever meter your doctor recommends for you. They have prescribed many and will likely be able to let you know the best brand and type for you. They will also let you know whether CGM devices and an insulin pump are appropriate for you.
  • Check the meters that are a part of your insurance coverage. Some companies have a catalog of devices they cover as part of the insurance plan.
  • If your insurance coverage doesn’t include a glucometer, you need to take note of the cost and choose one within your budget.
  • Choose a glucometer that aligns with your needs for tracking your data. Some people are fine with keeping track of glucose level data in a notebook, but others might want a smart device that can store their glucose levels and even allow them to download data to a computer.
  • It is also a good idea to get a glucometer that you can easily sync with any app you’re using to manage your diabetes, such as Klinio. You can easily connect your glucometer with the Klinio app in a few steps.
  • You should also look at the special features that these meters can come with, such as a backlit display, one that can read out your results, or the kind that can store the strips in the meter itself.


Understanding the difference between the types of glucose monitoring devices makes it easier to choose the right one for yourself. For instance, a continuous glucose monitor has many advantages but is not appropriate for everyone.

If your doctor makes a recommendation, it is always a good idea to go along with their suggestion, as well as how many times to use it each day, according to their treatment plan. However, you may also want to consider insurance coverage, the cost of the meter, and any special features it might have.

It is always great to go with a glucometer that you can link to an app like Klinio. With Klinio, you can track your sugar levels in the app but get a more complete picture of your health by tracking medications, blood pressure, calorie intake, etc. It can also help you develop a personalized grocery list for each week and a meal plan that is made just for you. Along with your diet, exercise can improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. Klinio helps you exercise using equipment-free workouts you can do right in your living room.

Understandably, getting used to the lifestyle changes you need to control prediabetes can be difficult, but at Klinio, we know that the power of habit can make it easier for you. Let’s talk about how you can control your blood sugar levels and keep prediabetes at bay.

What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a medical condition where a person’s blood sugar level is higher than it should usually be but is lower than the blood sugar level needed to diagnose diabetes.

In many cases, prediabetes can become type 2 diabetes. A study found that after one year, nearly 40% of people with prediabetes were found to have blood sugar levels that classified as diabetes.

Blood Sugar Levels for Prediabetes

The blood sugar levels used to tell whether a person has prediabetes depend on the type of blood test they have done.

There are three main tests done to check blood glucose levels. These are:

  • Fasting blood sugar test
  • Oral glucose tolerance test
  • Glycated hemoglobin, also known as HbA1c, test

Fasting Blood Sugar Test

This test checks for a person’s blood sugar after they have not eaten for at least eight hours. This is usually done in the morning, after what is called an overnight fast.

When testing for a person’s fasting blood sugar level, normal blood sugar levels are 99 mg/dL or lower.

However, for someone who has prediabetes, these numbers will be from 100 to 125 mg/dL. Anything higher than that is a sign of diabetes.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

The oral glucose tolerance test checks a person’s blood glucose before and after they’ve drunk a liquid containing a known amount of glucose. Similar to a fasting blood sugar test, you’ll have to fast overnight.

After drinking the liquid, your blood glucose will be checked at the one-hour, two-hour, and sometimes three-hour mark.

If your blood sugar is 139 mg/dL or less after two hours, your levels are normal. However, if it is above 140 mg/dL and less than 199 mg/dL, it can be diagnosed as prediabetes.

After two hours, anything higher than 200 mg/dL points to diabetes.

Glycated Hemoglobin Test

The glycated hemoglobin test, sometimes simply called the HbA1c test, provides a way to take a look at someone’s average blood glucose over the last two or three months.

This test is measured in percentages, with less than 5.7% being considered the normal range. You can know if you have prediabetes if the value is between 5.7 and 6.4%. Any number over 6.5% indicates diabetes.

How Can I Prevent Prediabetes?

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with prediabetes, it’s understandable that you might be scared of what lies ahead. A large percentage of people with prediabetes may end up developing type 2 diabetes.

However, if you take the proper steps, you can eliminate some risk factors and reduce the chance that you progress to diabetes.

This section will guide you through the different healthy lifestyle modifications you can make that will help you prevent prediabetes from progressing.

Lose Weight

Increased body weight, especially when classed as obesity, is one of the risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. This is because fat cells release substances that cause insulin resistance.

Losing weight can be tough, truly, but it’s been found that losing even 5 to 10% of excess weight can prevent diabetes from developing.

Klinio has features that can be a helping hand for weight loss, such as meal plans and straightforward workouts.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Striving to stick to a healthy diet is one of the lifestyle changes that people with diabetes have to adapt to.

However, it can also be helpful for people with prediabetes to prevent it from advancing. One of the risk factors of diabetes is a diet with a lot of processed foods in it.

There are some foods you should try to reduce or remove from your diet. For instance, these include diets with a lot of:

  • Red meat
  • Processed meat
  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fats
  • Heavily processed carbs
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages

You can choose to eat a healthy range of foods, many of which can reduce the risk of prediabetes. Eat healthy foods in larger quantities, such as:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lean protein
  • Healthy fats such as olive oil, sunflower oil, and those found in fish, nuts, and avocados.

Do More Physical Activity

It’s understandable how sometimes you just don’t want to get up from the cozy spot that you’re nestled in. However, it’s been shown that when you exercise regularly, there’s less of a chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Physical activity helps you lose weight and stay fit, as well as keeps away heart disease, so it has other perks besides reducing the risk of prediabetes.

Having to go to the gym can make it harder to keep up being active. The good thing is that Klinio gives you several equipment-free workouts that you can do from the comfort of your home.

Reduce and Stop Smoking

When you start smoking, it can be hard to stop. You might have tried before but had little success, despite knowing that smoking is linked to many negative things like heart disease and high blood pressure.

Yet, one thing that few people know about smoking is that it also creates a high risk of insulin resistance developing.

It can be hard to quit smoking right off the bat, so you can get started by trying to cut down on how much you smoke every day. When you feel confident enough, you can switch to helpful products like nicotine gum or patches.

Drink Water Frequently

One of the easiest ways for you to battle prediabetes and stop it from moving to type 2 diabetes is to drink water.

Water helps keep your blood sugar levels well-regulated. It will also quench your thirst better than sugar-sweetened beverages, which can worsen your condition.

Use Medications When Prescribed

In some instances, the changes you make to your lifestyle might not be enough to help your prediabetes. Despite losing weight, eating more food like whole grains and vegetables, and being more active, sometimes your blood sugar level might not improve.

For people like this, your doctor may decide to prescribe prescription medications to help manage your sugar levels. Metformin is the primary choice of most physicians.

What Is the Main Cause of Prediabetes?

While the cause of prediabetes is not known, the mechanism behind it is clear. It is caused by insulin resistance.

The hormone insulin is used by the body to allow your cells to use glucose. Insulin resistance is when the cells no longer respond to insulin the way they are meant to. This makes the glucose levels in your blood increase, and when they get high enough, it is diagnosed as prediabetes.

What Gives Me a Higher Risk of Prediabetes?

Certain traits have been associated with a higher likelihood of getting prediabetes. These traits are known as risk factors.

There are quite a few of these for prediabetes and they include:

  • A family history of type 2 diabetes, especially having a first-degree relative (i.e., a parent or a sibling) who has diabetes
  • Being older than 45
  • Being obese or overweight
  • High blood pressure
  • Being a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Having developed diabetes while pregnant, a condition known as gestational diabetes
  • Being sedentary
  • Smoking tobacco

What Foods Cause Prediabetes?

No food can be said to cause prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. However, certain things in your diet can give you an increased risk of developing these conditions.

Here are some of the foods that you should attempt to avoid to reduce your risk:

  • Red meat e.g., beef, pork, mutton, veal
  • Processed meat e.g., sausages, ham, bacon, corned beef
  • Sugary beverages like fruit juices and soft drinks
  • Refined grains e.g., white rice, breakfast cereals, white bread, and foods containing white flour
  • Saturated and trans fat can be found in foods such as butter, baked goods, some vegetable oils, fried fast food, etc.


A prediabetes diagnosis can be scary to face. Yet, with the right changes to your daily life, there’s a good chance you can prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes.

By staying at a healthy weight, improving your exercise habits, eating healthier, and leaving smoking behind, you can delay diabetes and even control prediabetes entirely.

Prediabetes is a stage of abnormal blood rise just before diabetes. This condition is serious because many patients won’t know they’re close to slipping into full-blown diabetes until it’s almost too late. In fact, most people with high blood sugar diagnoses only get one after they’ve already developed diabetes. As has been proven over time, diabetes is difficult to reverse, so experts encourage people to treat prediabetes before it develops into high blood sugar.

There’s been a pressing focus on treating prediabetes since 2017, and the emphasis has become more relevant with lots of sensitization for Americans to create insurance for prediabetes. Since the tenth version of the ICD (International Code of Diagnostics) update, there’s even a specific principal diagnosis code for prediabetes. All of this highlights the importance of treating prediabetes before it worsens.

This guide highlights prediabetes, its code and identification with the World Health Organization (WHO), and the importance of the code to patients, providers, and insurers.

What to Expect

  • What Is Prediabetes?
  • The International Code of Diagnostics (ICD) and What It Means for Prediabetes
  • The Specificity of the ICD-10 Code for Prediabetes?
  • 2021 Prediabetes ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code R73.03
  • The History of the CODE R73.03
  • Are There ICD-10 Codes Related to Prediabetes Code?
  • Functions of the ICD-10 Code for Prediabetes in 2022
  • Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs) and Their Role in Prediabetes Management
  • Other Ways of Preventing Diabetes

What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a stage where high blood sugar is higher than normal but not so high that it can be diagnosed as diabetes. People with prediabetes are highly likely to be diagnosed with diabetes because the symptoms of the former aren’t so evident that people will be able to tell they need medical help.

Prediabetes has long been considered a part of the medical diagnostic-related group (DRG). For many experts, the condition is quite serious, meaning that patients will need to take it just as seriously as diabetes.

Recently, there have been many campaigns for patients to take routine blood sugar checks to know if they’re in the safe range. This is aimed to encourage healthy living among American adults. Health institutions believe early prediabetes diagnosis will help patients make much better decisions about their life and health.

Apart from the orientation of treating diabetes, the steady growth of prediabetes and the subsequent influx of diabetes has led to the World Health Organization (WHO) codifying prediabetes. Unlike the last nine versions of the WHO ICD classification, the 10th version has given prediabetes its specific code. The code was built to outline the importance of prediabetes awareness and treatment to improve the average American adult’s health.

The WHO classified prediabetes with its unique code so that patients’ providers and insurers can identify certain risk factors for the ailment and treat them with the same severity as other preventable mortality-threatening conditions. Following the classification, it’s become easier for patients to get insurance reimbursement, further diagnosis of prediabetes, and lasting treatment before they develop a worsened diabetes case.

The subsequent sections discuss prediabetes in terms of its relationship with the WHO ICD.

The International Code of Diagnostics (ICD) and What It Means for Prediabetes

The popular ICD is an abbreviation for the International Code of Diagnostics. It’s the World Health Organization’s international medical streamlining system.

The WHO started publishing diagnostic health issues with the ICD tag in 1948. The ICD version is updated over time; it’s currently in its 10th version, and it’s why all diagnostic conditions in recent times are termed ICD-10.

Virtually every country where WHO exists—over 100 countries—uses the ICD-10. As is well known, the United States is one of these countries and even provides funds to the medical organization.

The ICD-10 Is known to have more codes and specificity than the ICD-9 — its preceding version. While the ICD-9 has about 14,000 codes, the ICD-10 has over 70,000 codes (at least four times the former version).

For the ICD-9, prediabetes is classified as 790.29, representing “other abnormal glucose.” This means that prediabetes doesn’t have its specificity in the ICD-9. Rather, it shares the classification with conditions like steroid-induced hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and other 20 conditions and symptoms.

Currently, the ICD-10-M is the classification for mortality statistics. The ICD-10-CM means clinical modification (CM) for the 10th version of the International Code for Diagnostics (ICD).

The ICD-10-CM is typically used for prediabetes and its symptoms, also known as morbidities. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has published the categorization. For prediabetes specifically, the ICD-10-CM 73.03 is the coding specificity for the condition.

The Specificity of the ICD-10 Code for Prediabetes

The ICD-Code 10 generally deals with issues concerning high blood sugar and diabetes.

Below are some of the complications and their respective codes:

  • The prediabetes ICD-10 code is R73.03
  • The “R” in the Code for prediabetes is in line with the WHO Code section XVIII, which states, “Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified”
  • The “73” means “Elevated blood glucose level”
  • The “.03” indicates “Prediabetes”
  • “R70-79” implies “Abnormal findings on examination of blood, without a diagnosis”

2021 Prediabetes ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code R73.03

The R73.03 in the ICD-10-CM code identifies prediabetes issues for reimbursement in 2021 concerning HIPAA-covered transactions. This code, however, isn’t to be used for an established diagnosis. This is because ICD-10-CM guards the code for the purposes already stated.

It can’t be used as a primary diagnosis code when there’s a definite diagnosis. “Latent diabetes” is also an inclusion term for this code as it’s considered prediabetes.

Some important facts about the ICD-10-CM R73.03 code are outlined below:

  • The ICD-10-CM R73.03 2018 edition became effective on the 1st of October, 2017
  • The ICD-10-CM R73.03 is the American coding identification for prediabetes; that of other countries can differ in terms of numbering
  • The ICD-10-CM R73.03 covers latent diabetes conditions as well

As stated in this article, the R73.03 code isn’t the only code for diabetes-related conditions. Other codes come before it and are related to it in the listing, as we’ll see below:

  • The R00-R99: This code highlights the “Symptoms, signs & abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified”
  • The R70-R79: This code indicates “Abnormal findings during blood examination, without any definite diagnosis”
  • The R73: This code simply indicates an “Elevated blood glucose level”
  • The R73.0: This code identifies “Abnormal glucose”

All the above codes are above R73.03 and contribute to its formation. The ICD-10-CM R73.03 falls into the diagnostic-related group (category) (MS-DRG v35.0). Other diagnostic orders in the group include “640: Miscellaneous disorders of nutrition, metabolism, fluids and electrolytes with MCC.”

The History of the CODE R73.03

Claims of reimbursement with a service date on (or after) the 1st of October 2015 were mandated to use the ICD-10-CM codes.

Here’s an outline of how the code meaning has changed over time:

  • 2017 (effective 10/1/2016) : New Code
  • 2018 (effective 10/1/2017): No change
  • Diagnosis Index entries containing back-references to R73.03
  • Borderline diabetes mellitus R73.03
  • Diabetes, diabetes mellitus (sugar) E11.9 latent R73.03
  • Prediabetes, R73.03

Are There ICD-10 Codes Related to Prediabetes Code?

Certain ICD-10 codes are related to the prediabetes code ICD-10-CM R73.03. For a code related to prediabetes, they have to start with R73. This guide considers at least one of these in the codes that come before R73.03; 

The R73, for example, indicates “Elevated blood sugar.” This doesn’t mean prediabetes.

Also, the R73.0, “Abnormal blood sugar,” stands for the consistent rise in body temperature but not prediabetes.

The R73.9 IS one code that’s significantly related to prediabetes. It indicates “Hyperglycemia.”

Some conditions that many people will expect to have related codes with R73.03 but don’t include:

All of these codes are grouped under ICD-10 as they’re considered diagnostic. However, they have different code patterns from prediabetes. Type 2 diabetes specifically is one that’s expected to have a related coding pattern to prediabetes since the latter often preceded the former, but the reverse is the case.

Functions of the ICD-10 Code for Prediabetes in 2022

The role of ICD-10 in prediabetes and other diabetes-related conditions is to create a unified understanding among all relevant stakeholders in the medical field. Classifying prediabetes with its ICD-10-CM R73.03 code allows health providers, insurers, and patients to stay on the same page regarding diagnosis and the relevant treatment and management they need to sort out the problem.

In the United States, any health body or organization that works with a healthy body will be able to understand precisely how the code works and what they can do concerning treatment, especially in the United States, where the code is incredibly relevant for communication.

Once a diagnostic has been classified as ICD-10-CM R73.03, it significantly reduces communication difficulty and payment requirements when an insurance firm is involved in some instances.

The below sections outline how important the code for prediabetes is in the United States for all respective groups of stakeholders:


The ICD-10-CM R73.03 is made known to patients after a diagnosis, and it’s what they’ll need to point out if they have to show it to a doctor or several doctors that didn’t exactly carry out the diagnosis themselves. Patients will also need the code when relaying their condition to an insurance company.


Providers use the code to pass information about prediabetes to patients and can use it as justification for more future diagnostic tests to understand its growth, reduction, and possible treatments.


Insurers or insurance institutions use the code to implement patients’ financial reimbursements. In fact, one of the major advantages of the code is that it aids reimbursement approval for patients.

Statistical Significance

The ICD-10-CM code is also valuable for statistical purposes. Today, the United States has millions of people with diabetes-related conditions. The only way the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) know these numbers so accurately is via the ICD-10-CM Code.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)—a body of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—uses the ICD-10 data to trace and monitor population health. The institution uses the ICD-10CM R73.03 to know the number of people diagnosed with prediabetes annually. They can practically separate people with prediabetes from those with an abnormal rise in blood sugar or already in the diabetes stage.

The center uses the data revealed to tell if people with prediabetes are growing or if there’s been an impactful reduction following the sensitization and orientation carried out by ADA and other diabetes prevention programs (DPPs) in the country. It’s through the ICD-10-CM that the United States decided to allow reimbursement of DPPs after the steady surge of prediabetes annually for the past few years.

Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs) and Their Role in Prediabetes Management

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is one of the most effective campaigns the United States has come up with for people with prediabetes. DPPs are organized by public institutions like the CDC and a few private institutions.

DPPs are set up to help people with prediabetes reverse their blood sugar so they don’t develop diabetes. Several DPPs have succeeded in putting patients on the right track. Their primary approach is to help patients change their diet and live healthy lives.

More importantly, research has shown that patients admitted into DPPs have achieved higher success controlling and reversing their dangerously high blood sugar than those who attempt to do so themselves.

DPPs are incredibly helpful because patients are usually placed in a community of people with the same prediabetes issues. Together, they’re given personal assistants to help them achieve their goals and report their progress. So far, the result has shown that the campaigns have been incredibly effective.

Here are some of the major DPPs currently available:

CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program (CDC DPP)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been at the forefront of handling prediabetes issues with its diabetes prevention program. The program, like others, is dependent on dieting and exercising.

Patients are taught and guided to get the best management treatment to enable them to reverse their condition and live healthier. Remarkably, the CDC DPP has achieved a lot of success in treating and reversing prediabetes.

YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (YMCA DPP)

Although the YMCA isn’t as popular as the CDC, it’s just as effective in helping patients prevent diabetes by nipping prediabetes at the bud. The YMCA has helped men and women with the best management tips and professional health experts to treat their condition and live much healthier.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Diabetes Prevention Program (NIDDK DPP)

The NIDDK is another body committed to helping people with prediabetes treat their condition to live and lead a healthy life. Suffice it to say, the organization has helped people with top relevant treatments to handle their condition and reverse it.

Other Ways of Preventing Diabetes

While DPPs remains one of the most viable options, not every healthy person can afford to get registered. Thankfully, there are other ways that patients can treat and manage the condition.

The good thing is that the management method for prediabetes is similar to that of symptomatic diabetes. Below are some of the ways that people with prediabetes could manage their health:


DPPs are based on dieting. If people who can’t enlist in the program manager to control how much they eat, they’d have handled up to 50% of their troubles.

Medications aren’t recommended for prediabetes; on the other hand, natural methods like dieting are known to work wonders.

People with prediabetes must avoid foods filled with pure carbs, too much fat, or high sodium. The best foods to eat are those enriched with vitamins and minerals like magnesium and fiber. Several meal choices meet this criterion, and people who eat them can control their blood sugar better.


Exercising is just as important as dieting. People with prediabetes can manage their condition better with proper eating and exercise.

Exercising with proper dieting burns off fats and reduces blood sugar drastically. It’s been proven to work many times, and it’s why many health institutions recommend exercising and cardiovascular activities alongside dieting.

Some of the best forms of exercise include running, brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and resistance training. Other more intensive forms include sprinting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is often recommended for people who’re already diagnosed with diabetes or are keen on losing weight. However, prediabetes patients seeking to reduce their blood sugar faster can also opt for this method. The intermittent fasting method is reliable and consistently keeps to it, leading to fast weight reduction and better living.

Intermittent fasting simply means having a restricted time frame for eating. Once a person has an intermittent fast, they’re likely to eat only twice daily.

Some may start to eat for the day by 11 am and eat their last meal by 7 pm. During that time, they may only drink water and very low-carb juice. They may also eat a significantly light lunch.

According to many experts, the best restricted time window is the 16:8 window. This window means patients can only eat twice within 8 hours and not within the remaining 16 hours. People who eat by 11 am will have their last meal at a maximum of 7 pm, giving them enough time to sleep and rest.


Treating prediabetes is the best way to manage diabetes mellitus. Once a person develops prediabetes, they’re at a heightened risk of developing diabetes, a serious condition that can lead to death.

This guide considers prediabetes and the importance that health institutions now accord it such that it has its peculiar classification. As was revealed, the International Code of Diagnostics (ICD) for prediabetes is R73.03. This code is available in the tenth version of the ICD and has found use amongst patients’ health providers and insurers according to their ascribed limits.

The high level of attention towards prediabetes is rooted in how it’s become a serious concern over the years. Patients can now get insured for prediabetes treatment and apply practical management tips to manage the condition.

Dieting is one of the best management tips that people with prediabetes must take seriously. With dieting, people can quickly reverse prediabetes and live healthier lives. One of the best ways they can do so is to adhere to a diabetes-friendly diet through a diabetes management app.

A diabetes management app helps people with diabetes and prediabetes regain blood sugar control. Our Klinio app is one of the trustworthy meal apps that people with prediabetes can trust at any time.

Our app provides prediabetes and diabetes patients with the best food to eat in terms of taste and blood sugar. This virtual caregiver also helps people with these conditions keep a good routine by providing them with a weekly and monthly plan for their meal choice.

Currently, World Diabetes Day, or WDD, is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching over 1 billion people in more than 169 countries worldwide. The campaign raises awareness of issues that are of the utmost importance to people with diabetes and keeps the disease firmly in the public and political spotlight.

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease where blood glucose levels are too high. It may occur if your body produces insufficient insulin or ineffective insulin, or when your body can’t produce any insulin at all.

Sadly, diabetes puts people at risk for various other medical issues, such as nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, foot and limb injuries, and vision problems, among others. Understanding diabetes and how to manage it is, therefore, more crucial than ever.

Types of diabetes

Here are the main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that typically arises before adulthood and causes the body’s own insulin-producing cells to be destroyed by the immune system.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that develops when the body cannot use insulin properly to control blood sugar and typically happens in middle age.

Gestational diabetes is a condition that happens during pregnancy where the body improperly uses insulin, similar to type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes, while not technically a type of diabetes, is a serious medical condition where blood sugar levels are elevated but not yet to the point where type 2 diabetes would be diagnosed.

However, the most common type of diabetes is type 2, with up to 95% of cases in the US alone.

Facts and figures

Here are some facts and figures brought by IDF Diabetes Atlas:

  • Diabetes affects 537 million adults (20–79 years old), or 1 in every 10. Sadly, this figure is expected to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.
  • Almost 1 in 2 adults (44%) with diabetes are undiagnosed (240 million). The vast majority have type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes affects over 1.2 million children and adolescents aged 0 to 19.
  • Diabetes caused 6.7 million deaths in 2021.
  • High blood glucose (hyperglycemia) affects 1 in every 6 live births (21 million).

History of World Diabetes Day

In response to mounting worries about the disease’s growing threat to public health, the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) created World Diabetes Day in 1991 on November 14th.

Now, WDD, which includes hundreds of campaigns, events, screenings, lectures, meetings, and other activities, demonstrates its effectiveness in spreading the word about diabetes and increasing public awareness of the disease worldwide.

Why November 14th?

World Diabetes Day is commemorated each year on Sir Frederick Banting’s birthday, November 14th, who co-discovered insulin with Charles Best in 1922. Although it was recognized by the government through the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, WDD remained largely unnoticed until 2006, when the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) successfully lobbied for the United Nations to issue a resolution the following year, formally recognizing it for the first time.

The IDF organizes World Diabetes Day and selects a different theme each year.

What’s the 2022 theme?

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021–23 is Access to Diabetes Care.

The growing number of diabetes patients places additional strain on healthcare systems. Healthcare professionals must be able to detect and diagnose diabetes early in order to provide the best possible care, while people living with diabetes require ongoing education to understand their condition and carry out the daily self-care required to stay healthy and avoid complications.

Therefore, the theme of the World Diabetes Day 2021–23 campaign for the second year is “Education to Protect Tomorrow.”

Why Is This Day So Important?

There are 3 reasons why November 14th is so important.

Firstly, it draws attention to the diabetes epidemic. According to the statistics, diabetes diagnoses increased by roughly 380% over a 25-year period (from 1988 to 2013). And these diagnoses are dangerous – the WHO predicts that by 2030, diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death worldwide. This condition requires attention, which is why dedicating an entire day to it is critical.

Secondly, type 2 diabetes can be easily avoided. World Diabetes Day serves as a great reminder to live healthier lives. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with healthy lifestyle choices, such as a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Finally, this day is a great reminder to stay educated about diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, but type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, is just as dangerous to one’s health. Type 1 diabetes affects approximately 1.25 million Americans, but the cause of the disease is unknown. However, the health consequences are just as severe as type 2 diabetes. World Diabetes Day serves as a reminder to be aware of diabetes symptoms, get tested, and receive treatment.

How Do We Mark World Diabetes Day?

To participate in and observe World Diabetes Day, many people worldwide wear a blue circle logo symbol dedicated to diabetes awareness. So, on this day, wear a t-shirt, necklace, or bracelet with the logo, or make one yourself to raise awareness of this dangerous disease and its consequences.

Also, to commemorate WDD, many healthcare professionals, businesses, and public figures host a variety of activities to raise awareness. These include a range of activities and events, such as:

  • Meetings and lectures to spread public information
  • Sports events
  • Television and radio programs
  • Brochure and poster campaigns
  • Exhibitions, conferences, and others

Many individuals also work with health officials to host a diabetes fair at their workplace or home to learn more about this disease.

Ultimately, getting tested for diabetes is a great addition to observing World Diabetes Day. Diabetes symptoms include, but are not limited to, excessive urine excretion, thirst, constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes, and fatigue. Plus, being overweight or obese increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, World Diabetes Day can be a great reminder to get tested if you have any risk factors or symptoms of diabetes.


537 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, and many of them don’t even know they have it. Keeping this in mind, the IDF and WHO created a day to raise awareness of diabetes and its escalating effects. So, let’s mark this day by learning more about this serious medical condition and spreading the word about it.

A condition known as prediabetes is what’s experienced before the significant illness steps in. Patients can live with this condition for years unknown to them, and sometimes if no changes in lifestyle are made, it morphs into diabetes.

There are lots of ways to know if you have prediabetes. In this regard, it’s vital to take note of specific symptoms and perform regular tests to be in the know about your health condition. Early knowledge about a prediabetes condition can be incredibly helpful in managing the disease and even reversing its effect.

In this guide, you’ll discover those symptoms that indicate a prediabetes condition. You’ll also learn what the risk factors of prediabetes are. Other sections cover how to manage the condition and reverse it.

What to Expect 

  • What Is Prediabetes?
  • What Causes Prediabetes?
  • Common Signs and Symptoms of Prediabetes
  • Prominent Prediabetes Risk Factors
  • Tests to Determine Prediabetes
  • Prediabetes Complications
  • Managing and Reversing Prediabetes

What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes occurs when too much sugar exists in your body but not enough to count as type 2 diabetes. Typically, an individual is said to have diabetes when their blood sugar level sits at 200 mg/dL or above. However, if your blood sugar level reads between 141 and 199 mg/dL, you might have prediabetes.

Statistics show that an incredible amount of the US adult population has prediabetes. As of 2019, about 96 million adults aged 18 and above had this condition.

As common as this illness is, many are unaware they’re living with it. According to the CDC, over 80% of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. Usually, it doesn’t show symptoms until it becomes severe or has developed into type 2 diabetes.

When left untreated, prediabetes can cause significant long-term damage to key organs like the heart or kidneys. It can as well affect blood vessels and other body parts. Because most individuals have no idea they have this condition, they don’t make the essential lifestyle changes that can help them manage it.

However, one can reverse, or better still, manage prediabetes when diagnosed early. Early diagnosis can also help ensure prediabetes doesn’t progress into type 2 diabetes. Hence, the need to watch out for some obvious signs or symptoms that may indicate prediabetes.

What Causes Prediabetes?

The body runs on glucose as its primary source of fuel. It gets this fuel primarily by breaking down carbohydrates. After breaking down carbs into glucose, they’re pumped into the bloodstream, and the excess gets stored. With the help of the hormone “insulin,” secreted by the pancreas, glucose is transported into the cells to provide the needed energy.

However, with a condition like prediabetes, your body doesn’t respond appropriately to insulin, prompting the pancreas to make more of it to meet the body’s demands. With a large amount of insulin left unused, the pancreas tires out and stops producing more. Hence, most glucose remains in the bloodstream, as it’s not used by your body cells.

When this happens, blood sugar rises, translating into a prediabetes condition. Over time, when left untreated, prediabetes can eventually transform into type 2 diabetes. At this stage, it might be too late to reverse the condition.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Prediabetes

Prediabetes can be considered a silent disease that can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular illnesses like heart disease, stroke, etc. This is because it rarely indicates any signs or symptoms in its early stage, making many patients unaware of this condition.

However, depending on the severity of prediabetes, patients tend to show specific symptoms. Although some of these symptoms can also point to other ailments, they’re worth confirming with your doctor. Worthy of mention is that these symptoms are much similar to diabetes symptoms.

Here are some of the early signs that may point to prediabetes:

Increased Hunger

With a condition like prediabetes, your body either lacks insulin or can’t utilize the available one. When your body doesn’t respond to insulin as it should, it leaves a lot of glucose in your bloodstream. This causes your body cells to starve due to limited or no access to the much-needed glucose.

The absence of glucose to fuel your body cells makes them weak. Hence, your brain signals you to eat more so the cells can get the energy they need. This makes your body crave more food, even after eating a large serving. It just feels like you aren’t getting enough.

Excessive hunger is one of the significant symptoms of prediabetes you want to look out for. Although, your body tries to compensate for the lack of energy in the cells by taking in more food. Unfortunately, they also get stuck in the bloodstream, raising the sugar in your system even more.

Overeating can have other dire consequences on your health, such as impaired brain function and increased body fat.

Frequent Urination

Sugar isn’t meant to be in the bloodstream in high amounts for an extended period. Hence, when the body can’t use all the excess glucose, it naturally tries to get rid of it.

Your kidney works to ensure balance in bodily fluid. With a condition like prediabetes, too much sugar exists in the blood that the kidney tries to absorb significantly. To get rid of them, it passes the excess sugar to the bladder, filling it with fluid to eject the sugar. This prompts the body to urinate more often than usual.

The average human urinates an average of 5 times per day. While some people visit the stall less than three times daily, others can go about seven times daily. However, when you start peeing more than seven times a day, it might be an indication of prediabetes.

Frequent urination has a strong correlation with diabetes. The process also takes its toll on the kidney, making the individual more susceptible to chronic kidney disease.

Increased Thirst

To get rid of the excess sugar, the body extracts fluid from the body, which the bladder uses to flush the sugar out of the system. Consequently, as you expel more fluid, your body experiences dehydration. Hence, the body shows signs of dehydration from a lack of fluids. When you seem a lot thirstier than usual, this can be an indication of prediabetes.

People diagnosed with prediabetes tend to experience signs of dehydration needing water to compensate for the one lost via frequent urination. Usually, you might not take note of this symptom until it becomes insatiable. Increased thirst tends to go hand in hand with frequent urination, with the latter preceding the former.

Blurred Vision

Excess blood sugar is generally unsafe and, if left unattended, can cause significant damage to body organs. Your eyes are also at risk if you start experiencing elevated blood sugar levels. Hence, one of the common warning signs of prediabetes is blurred vision.

The blood vessels in the eyes start to swell and rupture due to high blood sugar levels — a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Although it’s more common in people with full-blown diabetes, it can also manifest at the prediabetes stage. Diagnosing retinopathy early in prediabetes is essential to prevent vision damage or even ultimate blindness.

If you notice your vision is getting blurry over time, this might indicate prediabetes. Blurry vision can also indicate other serious eye problems like astigmatism and myopia. However, this is one of the early warning signs of prediabetes you can’t ignore.


People experience fatigue for various reasons, and prediabetes is one of such. Fatigue in people with diabetes can be associated with fluctuation in blood sugar levels, especially when it’s on the rise.

The body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or experiences insulin resistance with prediabetes. This translates to the body not getting the energy it needs from glucose or a minimal amount of the same.

With all the essential glucose the body needs, unable to reach the cells, it becomes weak. The body shows signs of fatigue to indicate this. Fatigue may manifest alongside other symptoms like headache, dizziness, muscle weakness, loss of motivation, etc.

Suffice it to say, with prediabetes, one might still experience fatigue right after eating a proper meal and resting well.

Weight Loss or Gain

As mentioned earlier, one of the symptoms of prediabetes is increased hunger. The natural response of any individual is to eat when hungry. Hence, people with prediabetes will eat more than usual, even if they just had a meal not long ago. When you consume more than you need, your body stores the excess, which in turn causes you to gain weight.

On the other hand, you can also lose significant weight due to prediabetes. The body naturally runs with glucose metabolism. However, when glucose is unavailable, it switches to using fat as fuel in ketosis.

Scientists have tied ketosis to helping with weight loss. Many opt for the ketogenic diet to help them lose some weight. However, your body can naturally enter ketosis if it doesn’t have enough glucose to use as fuel.

Hence, if you notice you have gained or lost a significant amount of weight over a short time, you may have prediabetes.

Prominent Prediabetes Risk Factors

Practicing relatively healthy lifestyle habits can shield you from having diabetes. However, you can still experience prediabetes at specific periods in your life as various risk factors can predispose you to prediabetes.

Here are some of the risk factors closely associated with prediabetes:


Like most chronic illnesses, age is a significant risk factor for prediabetes. As you age, your risk of developing prediabetes increases.

According to the CDC, about one-third of US adults had prediabetes between 2005 and 2020. What’s more, people of older ages are more at risk of developing the illness than younger people.

Research on the prevalence of prediabetes clearly states older age is one of the factors that contribute to developing prediabetes. Aging increases insulin resistance, making older people less able to process glucose effectively. Also, the long-term effect of some habits starts to show as you age, some of which increase the chances of having prediabetes.

Family History

Diabetes is an illness strongly associated with genetics. If your family history shows a particular trend of diabetes, your chance of developing prediabetes is relatively high.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), both types of diabetes have specific links to genetics. However, type 2 diabetes has a more pronounced link to family history.

The German Center for Diabetes Research performed an analysis to check the connection between family history and prediabetes. This study—conducted on a population of 8,106 people without diabetes—concluded that people with a family history of diabetes are at higher risk of developing prediabetes, which is more pronounced in the non-obese.


Your diet plays a vital role in how healthy you’ll be. In other words, choosing the right food to eat safeguards you from illnesses caused by an unhealthy diet.

The body gets its energy from carbohydrates, making it an essential food class for most people. However, food high in carb content has been linked to an increased risk of prediabetes. Over time, they contribute to spikes in blood sugar levels.

Also, consuming red and processed meat increases the risk of developing prediabetes. Coupled with that, lots of individuals tend to indulge in the habit of drinking sugary beverages. Most of these sugar-sweetened beverages contain a high amount of carbohydrates in the form of sugar, potentially increasing blood sugar levels.


Being overweight has been linked to various serious health complications, including prediabetes. For one, too much fat in the body affects how insulin works in your system and can eventually result in insulin resistance. Hence, people with higher body weights are more likely to develop diabetes due to excess body fat.

Excess weight also increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes. In this paper on “Weight Management: Obesity to Diabetes,” about two-thirds of the US population was said to be overweight in 2015. It further stresses the importance of weight management in preventing prediabetes from developing into type 2 diabetes.

Sedentary Lifestyle

According to WHO, a staggering 60–85% of the world’s population leads a sedentary lifestyle. This kind of lifestyle increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, and stroke as well as diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc. Although the more significant percentage of inactive people are adults, statistics show about two-thirds of children also lead sedentary lives.

While a physically active lifestyle can shield you from many illnesses, being inconsistent can potentially increase the risk of certain diseases like prediabetes. Therefore, it’s not enough to take a walk once in a while.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep is essential to any living organism’s life, and not getting enough of it can have dire effects on one’s health. Scientists have explored the relationship between sleep and diabetes and found a significant correlation.

Not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of developing prediabetes. A large number of people experience obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) — a condition where the airways are obstructed, leading to disturbance in the sleep cycle.

Scientists have observed a significant relationship between sleep apnea and prediabetes. A paper on OSA and diabetes shows the condition can affect glucose metabolism, leading to insulin resistance. OSA can also contribute to weight gain in some individuals. 

Gestational Diabetes

During pregnancy, the body secretes certain hormones, affecting insulin usage. These hormones temporarily make the body less reactive to insulin, causing blood glucose levels to rise — a condition known as gestational diabetes.

About 10% of pregnancies in the US have a record case of gestational diabetes each year. Moreover, having gestational diabetes at one point increases the risk of developing prediabetes later in life for both the child and the mother.

Additional Notes

Risk factors of diabetes aren’t limited to the ones listed above. Other risk factors associated with this illness include:

  • Ethnicity or race
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol

Note that these risk factors don’t guarantee the development of diabetes down the line. For instance, an individual with a family history of diabetes might not have this illness throughout their life. However, keeping these risk factors in mind will help you take the necessary caution in preventing the development of prediabetes.

Tests to Determine Prediabetes  

The above prediabetes symptoms might present in a way that you can’t directly link them to the illness. However, by noting such symptoms, your doctor can perform some tests to determine if you have prediabetes.

Various tests can point out the presence of prediabetes; some of these are:

  • Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
  • Hemoglobin A1C test

You may need to take these tests more than once to confirm their results. Your doctor might only need to perform one of them to figure out if you have prediabetes or not.

If you notice any prediabetes symptoms, you can inform your healthcare provider to perform any of these tests. Also, if you have a family history of diabetes or your mother had gestational diabetes before birthing you, taking one of these tests is the best way to go.

Prediabetes Complications

When not properly managed, prediabetes can lead to severe complications, some of which can be life-threatening. Not only can prediabetes result in type 2 diabetes without treatment, but it also starts doing damaging work on specific organs, which can result in problems like:

  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Blindness
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Nerve damage
  • Amputations
  • Fatty liver disease

However, prediabetes is an easily reversible condition unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In the next section, you’ll find ways to manage the effects of prediabetes and possibly reverse the condition.

Managing and Reversing Prediabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong illness with no cure; the only existing treatments are those that help manage the condition. However, the prediabetes stage can be considered a window of opportunity for preventing diabetes from fully developing. Records show people have successfully reversed prediabetes by taking specific life-changing steps.

Below are some things to consider doing in a bid to reverse prediabetes:

Eat Healthily

A healthy meal can’t be overemphasized for almost anyone. However, life happens, and most people tend to dabble in unhealthy eating habits that significantly affect their health in the long term.

To reverse the effect of prediabetes, consider opting for a cleaner diet containing less processed and sugar-filled foods. Avoid consuming large quantities of carbohydrates, especially if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes. Reduce or eliminate foods containing added sugar as these can increase blood sugar levels, and take less red meat.

Health professionals recommend a less fat-filled diet, except if you opt for diet options like the ketogenic diet, which contains more healthy fat. Consider a plant-based diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. Foods like fish and lean meats are also healthier alternatives to red meat.

Exercise Regularly 

Getting enough physical exercise helps you maintain a healthier weight and aids your mental health. It helps lower blood sugar by making your cells more responsive to insulin. Although exercise is an excellent tool for battling prediabetes, ensure you don’t overdo it.

If you have just kickstarted your exercise journey, take on a more straightforward exercise routine and build up from there. You can begin by exercising about 15 minutes daily and gradually increase this time as you get accustomed to these routines. You want to aim for about 60 minutes of physical activity daily.

Quit Smoking

Smoking triggers loads of health issues, including diabetes. It causes insulin resistance which can eventually lead to prediabetes.

Consider replacing cigarette sticks with nicotine patches or gum. You can also check out programs that aid in quitting smoking.

Eliminate Stress 

Stress is one of the leading contributors to health complications. When stressed, your body releases certain hormones that aid insulin resistance and spike blood sugar levels.

Taking adequate rest is essential in reversing prediabetes. Avoid emotional stress as well by doing recreative extracurricular activities.

Visit relaxation spots to distress and unwind from that long busy day. Taking occasional vacations is another excellent way to help your body recuperate from accumulated stress.

Sleep Well

Doctors advise having at least 8 hours of sleep daily. Unfortunately, the reality is that most people barely follow these recommendations.

Sleep deprivation increases your risk of developing prediabetes and further heightens its effect if you’re already diagnosed with this condition. On the flip side, getting adequate sleep will significantly help reverse the effects of prediabetes.

Sleep apnea is a condition that contributes to the development of prediabetes by causing insulin resistance. Treating this condition will help improve the quality of sleep.


Although prediabetes presents an acceptable window of opportunity to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, its presence can also go unnoticed. Hence, you must watch out for peculiar symptoms that might indicate prediabetes.

Some of the warning signs of this condition can be similar to that of other illnesses. A good approach to deciphering them is to ask your healthcare provider to carry out an oral glucose tolerance test (OGGT), a fasting plasma glucose test, or a hemoglobin A1C test to confirm if you have prediabetes or not.

Making the appropriate lifestyle changes, like eating healthy and getting the right amount of exercise, can prevent your prediabetes condition from morphing into diabetes. Our diabetes management application, Klinio, can help you with these critical tasks.

Our app offers an up-to-date food catalog specially reviewed by health professionals and deemed appropriate for managing diabetes. You also get access to the various exercise regimes well suited for reversing the effects of prediabetes.