Dean Cruikshank

Impaired Glucose Tolerance

Impaired Glucose Tolerance

Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) means that the sugar is not being processed efficiently in the body and therefore the blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal. This is measured by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) which shows that 2 hours after having a sugary drink the blood sugars are above normal. These high blood sugar levels can occur even though the blood sugar is normal after not eating for 12 hours.

How did I develop Impaired Glucose Tolerance?

It is important to understand how sugar is used in the body in order to see how you developed IGT:

1. Food containing Carbohydrates (such as bread, pasta, fruit and juice) are broken down into sugar in your stomach.
2. This sugar goes to your blood.
3. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. Insulin works like a key. It "unlocks" the doors to your tissue and muscles so sugar can move from the blood into them.
4. This sugar is then used by your tissues and muscles for energy


IGT happens when.......

Your pancreas is not able to make enough insulin to "unlock" the cell doors.  Therefore, without enough insulin, sugar stays in your blood and cannot get into all of your tissues and muscles for energy.


Your body won't respond to the insulin that is made by the pancreas. Therefore, the insulin is unable to "unlock" cell doors, so your pancreas has to make more and more insulin to do its job properly. This can also happen for a short time during periods of increased inflammation in your body (such as a chest infection).