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Recognizing the signs of developing diabetes

January 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Do you know the warning signs that could be a red flag for developing diabetes?

A new study projects 77 percent of men and 53 percent of women will have diabetes or pre-diabetes in the next eight years.

If you know the signs that signal a problem, it can help you change the future.

Pre-diabetes is when your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis.

Here are some red flags you can watch out for years before type 2 takes hold:

  • No. 1: Feeling beat when you eat. If you're often drowsy after dining, it could mean your diet is too high in simple carbohydrates like sugar and sweet drinks.

    Eat more complex carbohydrates like whole wheat, veggies and fruit. The body works harder to break them down, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

  • No. 2: If you're overweight and cutting calories isn't cutting the pounds, beware. It could be a sign your body's becoming insulin resistant.

    Instead of trying to lose a lot of weight at once, try a little at a time. Studies show losing 5 to 10 percent of body weight and regular exercise prevent or delay diabetes by 60 percent.

  • No. 3: Are you an apple or a pear? Being pear shaped is not a big pre-diabetes risk factor. But if you look more like an apple, you could have it.

    Men with waistlines of 40 inches or more could be in trouble. Women with waistlines of 35 inches or more are also in the danger zone.