Albyn Medical Practice – Patient Information Sheet
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Impaired Fasting Glycaemia
What is an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)?
An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is a test that measures the sugar levels in your blood to see if you have conditions called Impaired Glucose Tolerance, Impaired Fasting Glycaemia or Diabetes after an initial screening blood glucose level was found to be high.
It checks how well your body processes glucose by comparing blood glucose levels before and after taking a sugary drink. You will be asked to attend fasting (fast overnight for a minimum of 10hours – water only permitted) for an initial blood sample, then asked to drink a sugary drink and a further blood sample will be taken 2 hours later. The results are then compared to see if you have any of the conditions above.
What are Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Impaired Fasting Glycaemia?
If you have Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glycaemia then your blood glucose is raised beyond normal levels but not so high that you have diabetes. They are often referred to as “Pre Diabetes” or “Borderline Diabetes”. They are important as they put you at higher risk of developing diabetes. You are also at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (heart disease, peripheral vascular disease or stroke). To try and help prevent developing these conditions, the most effective treatment is making changes to your lifestyle – eat a healthy balanced diet, loose weight, do regular physical activity, stop smoking and stick to the recommended limits of alcohol intake.
You do not need to eat a special diet or special foods if you are diagnosed with any of these conditions, just a healthy balanced diet. This should include foods low in fat, high in fibre and with plenty of starchy foods, fruit and vegetables.
Our practice nurses or a dietician can provide you with more information about a healthy diet and more information can be found in a leaflet on healthy eating at the following link - http://www.patient.co.uk/health/healthy-eating
Even loosing a little bit of weight can help reduce your blood glucose level and have other health benefits too such as lowering your blood pressure. Setting clear goals and taking time to reduce your weight can help, and further advice can be found in a leaflet at the following link - http://www.patient.co.uk/health/weight-reduction-how-to-lose-weight
To help with healthy eating and weight loss “Healthy Helpings Classes” are run in Grampian. They aim to offer a fun and interactive way of looking at how you can lead a healthier lifestyle combining healthier eating with increased physical activity. Further details are available at http://www.hi-netgrampian.org/hinet/6959.html or by contacting the Healthy Helpings Co-ordinator on 01224 555522.
Taking regular exercise is also important to improve your overall health. The current recommendation is to do 30 minutes of physical activity at least five times a week. This includes any activity which makes you mildly out of breath or sweaty. So this could be anything from walking, swimming or dancing to housework, gardening or snowboarding!
More information can be found on the NHS website at the following link - http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-adults.aspx
Stopping smoking has many health benefits which include reducing your risk developing cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke. Other benefits include reducing the risk of lung cancer or chronic bronchitis, younger looking skin, more energy and improved fertility.
Advice and help with stopping smoking is available from the NHS smoking cessation advice service, through your local pharmacist and GP. Help is also available on Scotland’s National stop smoking helpline “Smokeline” - online at http://www.canstopsmoking.com or call 0800 848484
Currently no medication is recommended for these conditions and the main way to improve health with these conditions is by undertaking lifestyle changes. However trials are ongoing and medication to control risk factors may be considered in individual cases (i.e. cholesterol or Blood pressure lowering medication).
If you are found to have Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glycaemia you should have a yearly follow-up to check a fasting blood sugar level to ensure you haven’t gone on to develop Diabetes. Other cardiovascular risk factors - Blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight should also be checked. If you are concerned you have developed symptoms of diabetes (passing lots of urine, excessive thirst, weight loss or feeling tired or unwell) you should may a sooner appointment to see the doctor or practice nurse for investigation of this.
The following resources provide further related information. The practice cannot be held responsible for any information they provide or information from the web links on this page.
www.diabetes.org.uk - Diabetes UK website
www.patient.co.uk – Informative patient information leaflets on many health topics
www.nhs.uk/Pages/HomePage.aspx - NHS choices website