Does impaired glucose tolerance increase my risk of developing diabetes?


Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) is a dangerous pre-diabetic condition. Reversing it with diet and exercise may prevent you from getting diabetes. IGT is a gray area between having normal blood glucose and having diabetes. If you have IGT, your pre-breakfast blood glucose values are slightly elevated, usually above 110 mg/dl. This level is not high enough to qualify for a diagnosis of diabetes, which is above 126 mg/dl. Although you don't have diabetes, 5% of people with IGT do develop diabetes every year. This means that if you have had IGT for five years, your chance of getting diabetes increases to about 25%.

People with IGT are usually overweight, don't get much exercise, and often have relatives who have type 2 diabetes. Most doctors believe that if people with IGT improve their health by losing weight and getting more exercise, their risk of developing diabetes will be much lower. Also, eating a low-fat and high-fiber diet may help. You should get your blood glucose level checked at least once a year and if it is high, go to work on getting it into the normal range and keeping it there.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.