What Are the Treatments for Glucose Tolerance Impairment?
Reason for Treatment
- Glucose tolerance impairment, which is also known as glucose intolerance, pre-diabetes and borderline diabetes, means that the pancreas is having trouble producing as much insulin as the body needs to absorb glucose properly. It signals to clinicians that a person is at a significantly higher risk for development of full-blown diabetes. Almost three out of four individuals (roughly 70 percent) with glucose intolerance progress to diabetes in five years. A person is considered to have abnormal glucose tolerance if they have a fasting blood glucose level outside of the normal blood glucose range (75 to 100 mg/dL).
Glucose Tolerance Test
- The first step in glucose intolerance treatment is a simple blood test known as the glucose tolerance test. For this test, a person fasts for 12 hours and then drinks a specified amount of sugar water or other glucose solution. Blood is drawn 30 minutes after drinking the solution and then again at the one-, two- and three-hour marks. The results of this test indicate how the body handled the glucose solution, indicating the severity of the glucose intolerance so that it can be treated properly. This test commonly is given to pregnant women because some women develop gestational diabetes, which is full glucose intolerance that occurs only during pregnancy. Pregnant women generally are asked to do a test that is only one hour in length initially. Then if the results show mild to moderate impaired glucose tolerance, a three-hour test may be requested and blood glucose may be monitored for the rest of the pregnancy.
- Metabolism is connected to the amount of glucose in the body and therefore to the production of insulin. Eating healthy and exercising boosts metabolism and helps a person lose weight, which lowers the risk of insulin problems and other correlated problems such as heart disease. Exercising as little as 20 minutes three times a week may keep glucose intolerance from worsening.
- If diet and exercise don't do the trick, there are drugs available specifically designed for insulin problems. These include insulin sensitizers such as thiazolidinediones, secretagogues that help insulin be released by the pancreas, and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, medications that slow the digestive process.