Impaired glucose tolerance

Impaired glucose tolerance is when the blood sugar level, or the glucose level is higher than normal, but not as high as to be counted as diabetes. It is considered as the preliminary stage of type 2 diabetes. Impaired glucose tolerance can be found in one in every four adults in America. There is a big chance for people with impaired glucose tolerance level to develop type 2 diabetes over 10 years of time. It can also lead to cardiovascular diseases in the future. This is because of the damages in the blood vessels due to the very high amount of glucose that are present in the blood. Impaired glucose tolerance, or IGT is considered to be a combination of impaired secretion of insulin and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance syndrome occurs when there is high blood pressure, high HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol.

Some people with IGT do not produce enough insulin which is one of the main reasons for pre-diabetic syndromes. It shows when the body refuses to respond to the insulin hormone, making it less effective. Insulin is needed to transcend the sugar, or glucose from the bloodstream to the body cells. Insulin also helps to store excess glucose in the liver. When there isn’t sufficient production of insulin, the process of sending glucose from one part to another gets disrupted and the body cells become weak. This is known as hypoglycemia, which causes cardiovascular complications as well as type 2 diabetes in the future.

Usually impaired glucose tolerance does not carry any intense syndrome but dark patches might appear in places like the neck, elbows, knees etc. where the skins are in folds. In intense cases, the excessive glucose tends to absorb the fluid from tissues making the body dehydrated which leads to excessive thirst and the urge to frequently urinate. Vision may become blurred as well because the glucose tends to soak up the eye fluid as well. Due to the fact the body cannot utilize the glucose; the body may seem fatigued which results into hunger and weight loss eventually. Fighting germs and infections may become difficult as the glucose interfered with the immune system.

Diagnosing IGT can be easy. It can be done by a simple blood test or a urine test. The level of glucose should indicate the possibility of having IGT or type2 diabetes. Treatment for impaired glucose tolerant is meant to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One of the most important and effective way to do this is by losing weight. Studies have shown that just by shedding 5% to 7% of the current body weight can help with lowering the risk of developing type2 diabetes dramatically. Regular workouts also influence to reduce the insulin resistance.

A routine health checkup with the doctor is extremely necessary in this case as well to keep a track of the glucose level. For diet, the patient needs to be well aware of what they put in the body. Patients with IGT should consume only low-fat high fiber meals.

For patients in imminent risk of developing diabetes, or who has pre-existing health conditions, doctors may prescribe some oral medication to neutralize the bodily function during the treatment. There are many medications that can help to reduce the absorption of fluids plus help the liver release less glucose in the blood stream.  This all makes way for insulin to perform more effectively.

Impaired glucose tolerance can easily be misdiagnosed as something else. The patches on the skin may be simply treated as an outbreak on the rather than a premature sign of diabetes. Also, fatigue and dehydration may be treated as malnutrition. There are several tests now to test for type2 diabetes which also helps to catch the preliminary symptoms. It takes quite some time for Impaired Glucose Tolerance to turn into type2 diabetes, it is important to always enquire the doctor during every routine health checkup.


Last updated on Jun 12th, 2010 and filed under Diabetes Mellitus. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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