What does it mean if I have a “touch” of diabetes?

Saying you have a "touch" of diabetes means different things for different people. "Touch" is a subjective term. It is most likely connected to a term called prediabetes, in which a person does not have diabetes but is at higher risk of developing diabetes in the future if lifestyle changes and adjustments are not made.

Despite what you might read in the newspaper or be told by friends or relatives, there really is no such thing as a “touch” of diabetes. What people may be talking about is type 2 diabetes, which often responds well to healthy eating and regular exercise and may not have yet shown any signs of damaging body parts. Or, they may be describing gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance or prediabetes.

The reality is that diabetes is a serious, life-long disease. Describing someone as having a touch of diabetes is like saying a woman is “a little bit pregnant”—it just isn’t true because both are “yes or no” conditions. Once diagnosed, diabetes doesn’t go away, although there may be times in your life when it’s easier to manage. If this happens, you may be tempted to think your diabetes is cured, but don’t forget that there will also be frustrating periods when nothing you do seems to help keep blood glucose levels where you want them. Aging, weight gain, an injury that makes it harder to get regular exercise or a gradual slowdown of insulin production all make diabetes harder to manage. When these things happen, you’ll need to adjust your diabetes therapy to match your body’s new needs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.