5 Warning Signs of Prediabetes for Women To Look Out For

A look at “5 Warning Signs of Prediabetes for Women To Look Out For” Prediabetes is a condition that occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. It’s a critical stage where timely detection and lifestyle changes can prevent the progression to full-blown diabetes. For women, recognizing the warning signs of prediabetes is crucial to taking proactive measures and maintaining good health. In this article, we will explore the five warning signs that women should be vigilant about to identify prediabetes early.

Photo digital glucometer, lancet pen and sugar

Women Are at a Greater Risk

2019 literature review found that when compared to men with prediabetes who then developed diabetes, women experienced:

  • 30% greater risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • 58% greater risk of death from coronary heart disease
  • 13% greater risk of death from all causes

The number of female deaths from diabetes in the United States has increased over time.

In 2020, there were 23.1 female deaths from diabetes for every 100,000 females, and by December 2021, this figure rose to 26.7.

Main Risk Factors for Prediabetes

Prediabetes can affect anyone.

However, there are certain factors that increase your chances of developing the condition.

You’re at risk for prediabetes if you:

  • Are over the age of 45
  • Are overweight, especially around your abdomen
  • Have a history of diabetes in your family
  • Have a history of gestational diabetes
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have high cholesterol
  • Aren’t active more than three times a week
  • Have PCOS
  • Have a history of heart disease or stroke
  • Are a smoker
  • Have sleep apnea – a condition that disrupts sleep repeatedly

Signs and Symptoms of Prediabetes in Women

Prediabetes doesn’t usually have such clear signs or symptoms as diabetes.

Some may have darkened skin on certain parts of the body. It can appear around your:

Free vector cartoon infographic presenting information about diabetes symptoms treatment and prevention

However, if you think you are prone to developing prediabetes, you should check for these symptoms as well, as it might indicate that you are heading toward developing or have already developed type 2 diabetes:

  • Increased thirst and hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss or weight gain with no obvious cause
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Blurry vision
  • Wounds that heal slowly
  • Skin infections
  • Acanthosis nigricans, or patches of darker skin at the armpits, groin, and back of the neck
  • Irritability
  • Breath that has a sweet, fruity, or acetone-like odor
  • Reduced feeling in the hands or feet

If you are a woman, there are more symptoms to look out for. There are complications of prediabetes and diabetes unique to women:

1. Frequent Urination

One of the early warning signs of prediabetes is frequent urination, medically known as polyuria. The excess sugar in the blood forces the kidneys to work harder to filter and absorb the glucose, leading to increased urine production. If you find yourself making more trips to the bathroom than usual, it’s essential to monitor this symptom and seek medical advice promptly.

2. Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain

Sudden weight fluctuations can be a sign of prediabetes. Some women may experience unexplained weight loss, while others may gain weight unexpectedly. These changes occur due to insulin resistance, where the body struggles to use glucose efficiently. Weight fluctuations, coupled with other symptoms, should raise concern and prompt further investigation.

3. Fatigue and Weakness

Persistent fatigue and weakness are common symptoms of prediabetes. When the body’s cells do not receive enough sugar (glucose) for energy production, it can lead to feelings of exhaustion. If you notice unexplained tiredness, even after getting adequate rest, it may be time to consider a prediabetes screening.

4. Increased Hunger and Thirst

Polyphagia, or increased hunger, can be a warning sign of prediabetes. When blood sugar levels are high, the body’s cells may not be getting the required energy, leading to constant hunger pangs. Additionally, high blood sugar can cause excessive thirst, known as polydipsia. If you experience persistent hunger and thirst, it’s essential to discuss these symptoms with a healthcare professional.

5. Slow Wound Healing

Women with prediabetes may notice that cuts, bruises, or other wounds take longer to heal. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and affect the circulatory system, slowing down the body’s natural healing process. If you observe delays in wound healing, it could be an indication of underlying prediabetes.

Here are some additional tips for women who are at risk for prediabetes:

  • Get regular checkups with your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor about your family history of diabetes.
  • Make healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and losing weight.
  • If you have any concerns about your health, talk to your doctor.

It’s important to remember that prediabetes is a serious condition, but it’s also a manageable one. By making lifestyle changes and working with your doctor, you can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.


Free vector medical infographic of diabetes complications and preventions

Recognizing the warning signs of prediabetes is critical for women to take proactive steps towards better health. If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider for proper evaluation and diagnosis. Making lifestyle changes, such as adopting a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and managing stress, can significantly reduce the risk of prediabetes progressing to type 2 diabetes.


1. Can prediabetes be reversed?

Yes, with appropriate lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and losing weight if necessary, prediabetes can often be reversed.

2. Are women more prone to prediabetes?

Both men and women can develop prediabetes, but certain factors such as a family history of diabetes, age, and lifestyle choices can increase the risk for women.

3. Can I prevent prediabetes with exercise alone?

Exercise is a crucial aspect of preventing prediabetes, but it should be complemented with a balanced diet and other healthy lifestyle choices for the best results.

4. Are the warning signs of prediabetes the same for men and women?

Yes, the warning signs of prediabetes are similar for both men and women. However, women should pay extra attention due to the unique health challenges they may face.

5. Is prediabetes a serious condition?

While prediabetes is a significant warning sign, it is also an opportunity to make positive changes and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and its associated complications.

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