September 26, 2004
Question from Wyong, New South Wales, Australia:
My daughter just had a two hour glucose tolerance test (GTT test). Her glucose readings and insulin readings were as follows: fasting: 4.5 mmol/L [81 mg/dl]-insulin 17.7; one hour: 4.2 mmol/L [76 mg/dl]-insulin 64.7; two hour: 3.9 mmol/L [70 mg/dl]-insulin 36.0. I was told this may be mild insulin resistance. What does this mean? Is this a lead-up to type 2 diabetes? Will diet and exercise be sufficient to keep this is check? Is there any thing else I need to know, ask or do? There is no history of diabetes in family. Can you offer me any advice?
The blood sugar elevations are not consistent with diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. This latter term is also used interchangeably with pre-diabetes. The reason someone has said insulin resistance is associated with the results is that the insulin levels are a bit higher than expected. This means more insulin is being made to get the same result. Clearly, this can be made better with improvements in lifestyle. This would include exercise and weight loss. I would say that you can use this information to suggest a more healthy lifestyle and be positive about it. Long-term outcomes are not clear with just the mild increases in insulin levels.