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What is Glucose Intolerance

What is Glucose Intolerance

Glucose intolerance is a condition that may lead to the development of diabetes if not taken care of in time. This article will give you some information about this condition and also how to treat it.
Sujata Iyer
If there's one thing that has been perfectly designed in this world, it is the human body. It is the most wondrous of machines that will automatically tell you when something is wrong with it. For instance, let us take something as simple as the energy in our body. When we eat, we are bound to be filled with more energy than before we consumed the food. However, due to some condition, if our body either rejects the food altogether or does not use the nutrients from the food, then we develop telltale signs of this inability to produce energy. One such example is glucose intolerance. In the sections below, we will delve deeper into what glucose intolerance is, how to identify it and how to treat it.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.

What Causes Glucose Intolerance
Being glucose intolerant is a condition in which the body does not convert the sugar (that the food provides to us in the form of carbohydrates) into energy to be used. This is because of low or no production of insulin by the body. This is how it works: when we eat food, the pancreas secrete the hormone 'insulin'. This insulin acts as a catalyst in breaking down the glucose (sugar) from the food and using it to produce energy. When for some reason, the body is unable to produce enough insulin to do this job, the person is said to be glucose intolerant. This keeps the sugar level in the body of the person high, which can be harmful. Many people often mistake glucose intolerance for diabetes. While they are very similar, they are not the same. Diabetes is a further developed stage of glucose intolerance. Hence, if you want to reduce the chances of getting diabetes, you must check for glucose intolerance in time. This will help the sugar to get converted into energy and you can lead a healthy life.

Symptoms of Possible Glucose Intolerance
Everyone may not experience the same symptoms for this condition. Also, experiencing a few of them does not necessarily mean that you are glucose intolerant. If they persist, consult a physician for expert advice.
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive hunger
  • Resistance to insulin
  • Speedy loss of weight
  • Gaining weight very fast
  • Anxiety
  • Excitability
  • Bloating
  • Frequent headaches
  • Emotional fluctuation
  • Depressive behavior
  • Lack of concentration
  • Frequent cramping up of muscles
  • High blood pressure
  • Prickling sensation in parts of the body
  • Skin rashes
  • Itching of the skin
  • Patches on the skin
Testing for It
If you think you are experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above, then it is advisable to get yourself tested to check the level of insulin in your body. This is done by way of a simple blood test. Given below are the steps involved in the testing to check how the glucose in the body of a person gets metabolized.
  • You will be asked not to eat anything for about 10 hours before the test.
  • When you go for the test, your blood will be extracted to check the level of glucose in it.
  • Then, you will be given a glucose solution to drink, and your blood will again be extracted every half or one hour to check the level of glucose.
The entire test may take about 3 hours. By using the results, a person who may have type 2 diabetes can also be diagnosed as the blood will contain high levels of glucose in it.

Glucose Intolerance During Pregnancy
The body of a pregnant woman undergoes a lot of physical changes due to the various hormones that act up during pregnancy. The hormones result in an increase in the level of glucose in the blood. This level is not high enough to be classified as diabetes. However, if it is not detected and taken care of before the third trimester, it could result in gestational diabetes. If proper care is not taken, it could affect the growth and health of the baby inside the woman's womb. As a result of these conditions, a pregnant woman may develop some complications during delivery. Hence if you are pregnant, it is always safe to get yourself tested.

Possible Treatments
In this section, we will tell you about some of the things that you can do if you are glucose intolerant and want to avoid the possibility of acquiring type 2 diabetes.
  • If you are overweight, you run a high risk of getting type 2 diabetes. So work towards losing the extra weight.
  • Also, include a lot of dietary fiber in your food and follow a good diet. This will help to boost up metabolism and ensure good health.
  • Another thing you can and must do is something that everyone stresses enough already: exercise. Regular exercise will keep your body fit and help you fight this condition.
  • If you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol, take appropriate measures and eat the appropriate foods to bring these levels down.
  • If you are a smoker, quit smoking. It will help you, not only to fight glucose intolerance, but also in other health related areas.
That was an overview of glucose intolerance; its causes, symptoms and treatment. The symptoms observed and the treatment suggested may vary in each individual. So if you are glucose intolerant, don't panic. Visit the physician, get yourself tested, confirm the condition and then take the necessary measures to keep the level under control. Have a healthy life.