Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) is a medical condition in which a person has higher than normal blood glucose levels but below the level of diabetes. According to WHO impaired glucose tolerance may be defined as two-hour glucose levels of 140 to 199 mg per dL (7.8 to 11.0 mmol) on the 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. It occurs due to impaired secretion of insulin or reduced insulin sensitivity (insulin resistance) in the body. It could easily lead to type II Diabetes.

Patients suffering from Impaired Glucose Tolerance are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The loss of early insulin secretion in this state is caused by malfunctioning of the pancreatic ß-cells. It further deteriorates ß-cell function and worsens blood glucose control. It increases risk of many diseases together known as the Metabolic Syndrome or Insulin Resistance Syndrome.


Prevention is better than cure. Impaired Glucose Tolerance cannot be diagnosed easily as generally it does not show any symptoms or at least pronounced symptoms. Thus without diagnosis, it is not possible to treat impaired glucose tolerance. But one can prevent development of IGT by adopting certain measures. A person needs to increase his physical activity, maintain a healthy weight and resort to a healthy and balanced diet to prevent IGT. Weight loss and increased physical activity help in reducing insulin resistance and help in restoring the normal insulin secretion, thus blood glucose level is controlled and stays within normal limits.

People suffering from IGT are more prone to develop Type II Diabetes, thus they should get tested for diabetes at regular intervals. The risk of progression to diabetes and development of cardiovascular disease is greater in people suffering from IGT. Thus lifestyle modifications are of utmost important for prevention of Diabetes as long as possible. Regular exercises, maintenance of healthy weight and limited intake of sugar play key role in delaying onset of Diabetes in patients of IGT.
Importance of Diagnosis of IGT

It is important to diagnose IGT in an early stage as it can help in preventing development of Diabetes. If a patient is aware that he is suffering from IGT, he can resort to lifestyle changes, exercise, mild weight loss and treatment with drugs to prevent early onset of Diabetes. As patients suffering from IGT have chances of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 60%. Patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG) are at higher risk for diabetes. For diagnosis of impaired glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes two different blood tests are done. First one is fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test and the second one is oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)


After a patient is diagnosed with impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose is made, he needs to amend his lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing Type II Diabetes. Doctors may ask patients of IGT to lose weight and increase physical activity. Patients should engage in moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week. Some patients may also be prescribed with drugs to delay or prevent the onset of diabetes. But lifestyle changes are more effective a tool. Patients of IGT suffering from other risk factors of Diabetes such as family history of diabetes, BMI greater than 25, inactive lifestyle, hypertension, history of gestational diabetes or belonging to high risk ethnic group, should be more aware and go for preventive measures to delay onset of Type II Diabetes.

The best way to treat IGT is lifestyle changes. By eating a healthy diet a patient can lose weight as well as keep his heart healthy. A 5% to 10% change in weight can help immensely in controlling blood glucose level. Exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, is also quite beneficial. A study concludes that a patient of IGT must have 150 minutes per week time of exercise. If a patient smokes, he should immediately try to quit it to stay healthy. Treatment of other associated conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol also help in maintaining normal blood glucose level.

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Jack Taylor Powers Taylor LLP is a boutique litigation firm that represents people injured by unsafe drugs. The attorneys of Powers Taylor founded this firm to focus on client needs. We employ unique and creative litigation strategies to obtain decisive results for our clients.