What is glucose intolerance


Impaired glucose tolerance or IGT (acronym for Impaired Glucose Tolerance ) is a condition in which the glycaemia – after two hours from the oral load with 75 grams of glucose – assumes values ​​between 140 mg / dl and 200 mg / dl.


The test used to diagnose impaired glucose tolerance is called OGTT or oral glucose load curve : after fasting for at least eight hours, a prior glycemic test is performed on a small sample of venous blood; at the end of the sample, the patient is asked to ingest a liquid meal based on 75 grams of glucose dissolved in 250-300 ml of water Insulineresistentie.

The blood glucose is then monitored at regular intervals, in order to reconstruct the temporal trend of blood glucose levels. The most indicative data is obtained 120 minutes after ingestion: if at this moment the glycaemia is between 140 and 200 mg / dl the glucose intolerance test is positive. In the presence of IGT, fasting glycemic levels can be absolutely normal or only slightly increased; in the latter case we speak of altered fasting glycaemia or IFG associated with IGT.


Health Risks

Impaired glucose tolerance is characterized by an objective glucose metabolism abnormality. Since the glycemic values ​​still remain below the threshold level necessary to formulate the diagnosis of diabetes, this anomaly has overall limited dimensions.

Even if it is “only” a pre-diabetic stage, the finding of IGT should not be underestimated. Compared to the euglycemic subject, in fact, the patient with impaired glucose tolerance is exposed to a greater cardiovascular risk, especially as regards ischemic heart disease.

Impaired glucose tolerance is typically associated with metabolic syndrome, characterized by the presence of insulin resistance, compensatory hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, reduced HDL cholesterol levels, and arterial hypertension. The common thread, as well as the main causative agent, of these pathologies is overweight, especially when the excess adipose is concentrated at the visceral level.

What to do

The main intervention strategy to bring postprandial glycemic levels back to normal is therefore based on approaching or maintaining a healthy weight. This result is obtained by limiting the intake of calories, carbohydrates, especially simple ones, and saturated fats, while increasing the consumption of fresh vegetables.

Even the physical activity is very important; if after a sin of gluttony a brisk walk can help to promote the activity of brown adipose tissue, walk briskly for thirty minutes a day and prefer some healthy ones flight of stairs to the elevator is an extraordinarily effective strategy to prevent diabetes and improve general well-being and lipid profile.

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