Dangerous sugar high

What is impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)?

IGT means that the body has become less sensitive to the effects of insulin, and has to work harder to control blood glucose levels. A person with IGT has blood sugar (glucose) levels that are higher than normal after having a large amount of carbohydrates but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. As in type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin, but there may be less of it, or it may not work properly.

People with IGT are not only at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, but are also as likely as those with diabetes to develop cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and stroke.

A friend of mine has insulin resistance... is this the same as IGT?

No, not necessarily. Insulin resistance occurs when the body stops responding as well to insulin. To compensate, the body makes more insulin. But because the body doesn't respond as well to insulin, the higher insulin levels cannot control blood glucose as effectively. As insulin resistance increases, blood sugar levels will rise and diabetes can eventually result.

Who is at risk of developing IGT?

People that are extremely overweight or obese are at risk of developing IGT, especially those people carrying extra weight around their waist. This is because carrying extra body fat increases your body’s insulin resistance. With weight loss, glucose levels will likely return to normal levels. Because there is less resistance to insulin, more glucose is transported from the blood into tissue cells. Losing weight will also help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Your risk of developing IGT and type 2 diabetes also increases if you are physically inactive, have a family history of diabetes, have had gestational diabetes (i.e. having diabetes while pregnant), or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than nine pounds at birth. Some racial and ethnic minority groups were found to be at higher risk. They include Indigenous, Hispanic, East Asian, Southeast Asian, African or South Asian descent. Other factors that may increase your risk is high cholesterol or high blood pressure, or a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Impaired-Glucose-Tolerance

Know your numbers

What are the signs and symptoms?

People with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) often have no symptoms. In fact, millions of people have diabetes and don't know it because symptoms develop so gradually, people often don't recognize them. Symptoms of diabetes as a result of high blood sugars include the following:

  • frequent urination
  • constant thirst
  • always being tired
  • blurred vision
  • cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • frequent infections
  • tingling or numbness in your hands or feet

How is IGT diagnosed?

IGT is diagnosed using the oral glucose tolerance test. After fasting for at least 8 hours, a person's blood glucose is measured before and 2 hours after drinking a glucose-containing solution containing 75 grams of glucose.

  • A person with normal tolerance has a blood glucose level below 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL) 2 hours after drinking the glucose solution.
  • A person with impaired glucose tolerance has a blood glucose level between 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL) and 11.0 mmol/L (199mg/dL) after 2 hours.
  • A person with a 2-hour glucose level of 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL) or higher may have diabetes.

How often should I be tested?

If your blood glucose levels are in the normal range, it is reasonable to be retested every 3 years. If you have IGT, you should be tested for type 2 diabetes every 6-12 months.

Prevention

If you are at risk of developing IGT, you can help delay or prevent the onset with healthy eating. This could mean adopting a Mediterranean diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit, whole-grains and minimizing your consumption of sugary beverages. Other measures includeweight loss, quitting smoking and regular exercise.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Impaired-Glucose-Tolerance

Take control!

What to do if you have IGT

You may be at risk of developing diabetes, but the good news is it's not too late to control your blood sugar levels for the long term. Studies have shown that people with IGT can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by up to 58% by exercising regularly, losing weight and adopting a healthy diet.

Some experts recommend that people with IGT should reduce their weight (gradually, with a healthy diet) by 5% to 10% and exercise with moderate- to vigorous-intensity for 30 minutes daily. Just losing 10 to 15 pounds can make a real difference. Taking these measures now can help return blood glucose levels to a normal range.

If you have IGT, your physician or primary health care provider will probably advise you to follow a balanced diet, control your weight, exercise regularly, and if you smoke, to stop smoking. You should also have a blood test every 6-12 months to measure your fasting blood glucose levels and/or A1C, to make sure you have not developed diabetes. You should also have regular blood pressure and cholesterol tests to assess your risk of developing heart disease.

The most important part of managing IGT is through your diet. And if you're overweight, losing excess pounds will help. Keep in mind that losing weight slowly (about 1-2 kilogram per month) instead of using fad or drastic diets will help you keep the weight off.

Being more physically active will help you control your weight and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. You don't need to be a super endurance athlete to control your weight; enjoy activities such as walking, gardening and dancing, and see where it takes you!

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Impaired-Glucose-Tolerance

Be "sweet" to yourself – keep blood sugar levels in check

You can help manage your condition with these nutrition tips.

Breakfast is an important meal of the day – don't skip it! Eat on a regular basis instead of just one big meal.

Whole grains and fibre-rich food can help control your blood glucose levels.

Choose "low-sugar" and "sugar-free" foods, as snacks and beverages with high sugar content can cause your blood sugar levels to rise quickly.

High-sugar foods

Low-sugar or sugar-free alternatives

Sugar, syrup, glucose, dextrose

Artificial sweeteners

Pop beverages and colas, chocolate syrup

Diet sodas, water, cocoa powder

Chocolate, fudge, cookies, candy bars

Berries, plain crackers, sugar-free chewing gum

Breakfast cereals containing a lot of sugar or honey

Oatmeal or bran or oat-based cereals

Jam, marmalade

Low-sugar jam and marmalade

Puddings or canned fruit in syrup

Low-sugar or diet yogurt

Increase your intake of plant-based protein foods and vegetables. It's easier than you think to add more of them to your diet! Enjoy nuts for snacks and add vegetables to make your favourite meals even tastier.

Limit fried and fatty foods. Choose low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, and meat alternatives such as beans and legumes; grill, barbecue or oven-bake your meat instead of frying; and cook with unsaturated oils such as olive, sunflower or corn oil instead of animal fats.

If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. This means:

  • no more than 2 drinks per day (or no more than 3 drinks on special occasions) to a maximum of 10 drinks per week for women
  • no more than 3 drinks per day (or no more than 4 drinks on special occasions) to a maximum of 15 drinks per week for men

If you're eating a healthy, balanced diet, then the occasional high-sugar treat won't hurt. Try to enjoy everything in moderation.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Impaired-Glucose-Tolerance