Diabetes is an insidious disease, for in many cases few obvious symptoms appear and the problem is not diagnosed until a late stage. For women over 40, several clear signs of possible diabetes do occur early though. Knowing and understanding how these symptoms manifest themselves could be crucial in prevention of diabetes.
Increasing fat is a clear indicator. Whether down to lack of exercise or an unhealthy diet, increasing abdominal fat is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Increasing bodily fat could be a sign of high blood sugar levels and growing insulin resistance. A significantly higher percentage of overweight and obese people are insulin resistant than people of normal weight .
An expert from the Texas Department of State Health Services, Dr. Brian Smith, summarised the problem: “With genetics, a high fat diet and lack of exercise…you have high, high risk for the population as a whole for reduced life expectancy. A person many only live 15 to 20 years after a diagnosis, depending on how well they take care of themselves.”
For women entering the menopause, hormonal changes can add to fat around the waistline. Abdominal fat often means that fat is building up elsewhere, slowing the bodies ability to absorb insulin. Dr. David Katz of the Yale Prevention Research Centre said: “That’s the sequence that’s occurring in tens of millions of American adults. It’s an enormous problem. We’re just starting to get doctors’ attention.”

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