An interesting article in the Mail on fizzy drinks and the onset of diabetes 2 resonates with me. There is also another article suggesting eating less carbs which I also feel some affinity towards.
This all leads me to look again at my symptoms and suggest I need to explore (and get tested for) glucose tolerance. This was what I was meant to be tested for at Whipps X but was such a cock-up.
It may well be that my confusing symptoms are to do with insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Below is some useful information.
Glucose Tolerance Test
OGT test is a more substantial test than finger pricking
The glucose tolerance test also referred to as either the OGT test or OGTT, is a method which can help to diagnose instances of diabetes mellitus or insulin resistance.
The test is a more substantial indicator of diabetes than finger prick testing.
What is an OGT test?
The test is used to determine whether the body has difficulty metabolising intake of sugar/carbohydrate. The patient is asked to take a glucose drink and their blood glucose level is measured before and at intervals after the sugary drink is taken.
Why is an oral glucose tolerance test done?
This can be a useful test in helping to diagnose:
How is the test performed?
Before the test you will be asked not to eat, or drink certain fluids, for up to 8 to 12 hours before the test. You may be asked to not take certain medications in the lead up to the test, but only if these would affect the test results.
For the test itself, you will first have blood taken to measure your blood glucose level before the test.
The next stage is to take a very sweet tasting, glucose drink.
Further blood samples will then be taken either at regular intervals of say 30 or 60 minutes or a single test after 2 hours. The test could take up to 3 hours.
Between blood tests you will need to wait so it’s best to have some reading material, or something else to keep you occupied, with you.
What should the OGTT results be?
People without diabetes
- Fasting value (before test): under 6 mmol/L
- At 2 hours: under 7.8 mmol/L
People with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
- Fasting value (before test): 6.0 to 7.0 mmol/L
- At 2 hours: 7.9 to 11.0 mmol/L
- Fasting value (before test): over 7.0 mmol/L
- At 2 hours: over 11.0 mmol/L
What do these OGT test results mean?
If you are within the impaired glucose tolerance range, you will likely be advised to make lifestyle changes. In some cases, blood glucose lowering medication may be advised.
If you fall within the diabetic range, it is quite likely that blood glucose medication will be prescribed to help your body keep your blood glucose levels down.
Impaired glucose tolerance test
An impaired glucose tolerance test involves taking a concentrated amount of glucose and then measuring blood sugar levels after two hours.
Impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes is diagnosed as follows:
- Normal: under 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/dl)
- Prediabetes or Impaired Glucose Tolerance: 7.9 to 11.1 mmol/l (141 to 200 mg/dl)
- Diagnosis of diabetes: more than 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl)
Insulin resistance occurs when the body becomes less sensitive to insulin
Related to Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance occurs when insulin levels are sufficiently high over a prolonged period of time causing the body’s own sensitivity to the hormone to be reduced.
Once the body starts to get resistant to insulin, it can be a difficult process to reverse because the knock on effect of insulin resistance.
Higher circulating levels of insulin in the blood stream and weight gain help to further advance insulin resistance.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance is closely linked with inflammation, which is the body’s attempt to heal itself.
It is thought that in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes the body’s immune system releases a chemical called cytokines which is thought to interrupt with the action of insulin.
Therefore, lower insulin sensitivity and increasing insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes that is brought on by obesity is a result of chronic inflammation.
Causes of insulin resistance
Research is continuing to look more closely into how insulin resistance develops.
It is thought that the principle cause of insulin resistance is obesity.
The link with inflammation is of particular interest to me as I often suffer from this = arthritis, eczema, deficient immune system etc.