What is an Impaired Fasting Glucose & How is it Treated?

What is an Impaired Fasting Glucose?

Impaired Fasting Glucose is a condition in which the levels of sugars in the blood is way above the normal levels in the fasting stage but they are not high enough to be termed as diabetes. This condition is also termed as prediabetes. Impaired Fasting Glucose is usually associated with insulin resistance and increases the risk for cardiovascular conditions. If major lifestyle changes are not made then it takes about 5 years for an individual with Impaired Fasting Glucose to go on to develop Diabetes Mellitus.

Normally, the sugar content in the food that we eat is absorbed by the body and the insulin which is produced by the pancreas facilitates their storage in the cells for energy purposes. What leads to Impaired Fasting Glucose is that the pancreas are not able to produce enough insulin to fill the cells with all the sugar content in the food and some amount of sugar gets mixed in the blood. Over time this level of sugar in the blood increases, giving rise to what we call as prediabetes or Impaired Fasting Glucose.

What is an Impaired Fasting Glucose?

What Causes Impaired Fasting Glucose?

As stated, Impaired Fasting Glucose occurs when the body is not able to keep the sugar levels in the blood at a normal level resulting in above normal values for blood sugar consistently, especially when fasting causing Impaired Fasting Glucose. Biologically speaking, the sugar content in the food that we eat is used by the body for providing energy and is stored in the cells.

This function of storing the sugar in the cells is done by insulin which also controls the level of sugars in the blood and keeps it to normal. At times, what happens is that the insulin does not function the way it should or the insulin produced by the pancreas is not sufficient to absorb all the sugar content present in the body and store them in cells. This condition is called insulin resistance. This insulin resistance is what gives rise to increased levels of sugar in the blood causing Impaired Fasting Glucose or prediabetes.

People who lead a sedentary lifestyle, or are overweight, or have a family-history of diabetes are more prone to having Impaired Fasting Glucose or prediabetes which may ultimately progress to full blown diabetes mellitus.

What are the Symptoms of Impaired Fasting Glucose?

There may not be many symptoms for Impaired Fasting Glucose but in some cases people may complain of:

  • Sudden sweating
  • Confusion
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive hunger
  • Heart palpitations,
  • Speech impairment
  • Problems with focusing.

How is Impaired Fasting Glucose Treated?

The best way to treat Impaired Fasting Glucose is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding smoking or alcohol, as this significantly helps you get the blood sugar levels back to normal or at the very least prevent the levels from increasing and going to a level where you become diabetic. Some of the ways to treat Impaired Fasting Glucose are:

Eat Healthy Foods

Try and eat foods that are low on fats and calories and are rich in fiber. Try and incorporate more of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. You can add certain spices to taste and try a variety of different foods so that both nutrition and taste are well balanced.

Physical Activity

You have to try and avoid leading a sedentary lifestyle. Do some type of exercise or physical activity for about half an hour everyday as this will burn the calories and keep you in shape.

Maintain Health Weight

In case if you are overweight, then try and lose the extra weight in a healthy manner by diet and exercise so as to prevent your blood sugar levels from soaring at higher levels. You can consult a nutritionist who can formulate the best diet plan for you in order to lose weight in a healthy manner.

Smoking Cessation

This is extremely vital if you want to get rid of Impaired Fasting Glucose as smoking not only affects the general health but also affects the sugar levels in the blood.


Medications are usually not required for Impaired Fasting Glucose unless you are at an increased risk for going on to develop diabetes mellitus. Metformin is the drug of choice to control blood sugar and treat certain high risk cases of Impaired Fasting Glucose.

How Can Impaired Fasting Glucose Be Prevented?

Once you are diagnosed with Impaired Fasting Glucose then it is very important to stay educated regarding the risks that it poses for you. If you have appropriate education on the condition, employ a good and healthy eating habit, stay away from smoking and alcohol, and do some type of physical activity everyday then the chances are pretty high that you could manage to get rid of impaired fasting glucose.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 16, 2017

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