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Prediabetes: Medical History and Physical Exam

Topic Overview

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

Your doctor will do a physical exam to:

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

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised June 20, 2012

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