I'm pretty sure that I actually had diabetes for a couple of years before diagnosis (which has also lead me to wonder if I have 1.5 or LADA rather than plain type 1). There are a couple reasons I'm so sure of it, but I won't go into it right now.
So, knowing what I know now, I look back at so many things and shake my head. Getting up in the middle of the night to pee, when I never had before? *shakes head* Having days when I absolutely couldn't quench my thirst? *shakes head* Eating tons of food and feeling physically full, yet still ravenous? *shakes head*
One thing I've been thinking about lately, because I've been considering going on a Diet with a capital D, is when my husband talked me into doing South Beach with him. As we did phase 1, which means no carbs other than most vegetables (and beans, I think?), I started out hating it... but then I got to the end of the week and felt so much better! In fact, look at the following portion of an entry about South Beach from my now-defunct livejournal:
"I think this is a good experience for me, because I've never known what it's like to not eat grains. Seriously, I don't think I'd gone a whole day without some sort of grains since infancy, and I tend to eat a lot of them. Now, without them, I'm amazed to discover the beneficial changes in my hunger patterns. I've never in my life understood people who claim they "just forget to eat," because I'm normally thinking about food an hour after I finish a meal and my blood sugar drops not too long after that (even though we're pretty good about sticking to whole grains most of the time). Now? None of that."
And there are other entries in that general time period about how I'm ALWAYS STARVING. I think my body was already unable, in 2008, to really regulate my blood sugar levels. Doing South Beach gave my body a respite from allllll the carbs I was normally eating, and my blood sugar must have been lower than it had been in a long time... So I felt better. (This makes me think about the fact that, back before the days of extracted insulin, people with type 1 diabetes were put on a "starvation diet" that was very high in protein and pretty much zero-carb. This allowed them maybe another year or two of life.)
And I never went to the doctor about it, even though I knew more about diabetes than the average person. To be honest, I often had the thought, "Maybe I'm pre-diabetic." But pre-diabetes? You can fix that through diet and exercise. Oh, little did I actually know!