IGT (Insulin Glucose Tolerance) is a stage prior to the person becoming diabetic. Patients with IGT often will have normal or only minimally elevated HbA1c values but frequently will have other features of metabolic or ‘insulin resistance’ syndrome, explaining the increasing risk of vascular disease.
Type 2 diabetes is universally accepted to be a potent cardiovascular risk factor. IGT, considered to be a forerunner of diabetes, is also associated with several risk factors such as Atherogenesis (thickening of blood vessels).
The alarming rise in the occurence of type 2 diabetes necessiates the identification of an early marker of changes in blood vessel walls for the initiation of secondary preventive strategies.
Blood vessel changes are quite evident at the stage of IGT. Reduction in blood supply due to blood vessel abnormalities leads to nerve dysfunction and diabetic neuropathy.
Increased thickening of the small blood vessel is associated with neuropathy in IGT and diabetic subjects.
Detection of nerve changes at the IGT stage would help in preventing the progression of neuropathy, which otherwise can lead to loss of sensation in the feet and increase the risk of gangrene.
Hence careful identification of IGT is important not only to prevent diabetes but to also reduce the complications of it.