IFG (Impaired Fasting Glucose) is not a diagnosis or a disease. It is a definition of a risk factor. It is also known as pre-diabetes although this definition is not approved on by the WHO.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) defines impaired fasting glucose (IFG) as an intermediate state of hyperglycemia in which glucose levels do not meet criteria for diabetes but are too high to be considered normal.
The range for IFG is based on a plasma glucose level tested at between 6.1 mmol/land 6.9 mmol/l in a fasting state. (Fasting state is not having eaten for 8 hours or more) The ADA (American Diabetes Association) defines start point for IFG at 5.6 mmol/l – which leads to far greater number of people potentially believed to be at risk.
The higher the IFG value the higher the risk for developing diabetes and the complications associated with it.
IFG can be managed with diet and lifestyle changes in some cases.
IFG is not affected by exercise as is IGT (Glucose tolerance)
IFG can progress to Type II diabetes if lifestyle changes are not made. About 1 in every 2 patients with IFG progress to diabetes over a period of 10 years. A recent study cited the average time for progression as less than three years.
Note of blood glucose testing methods:
Venous plasma glucose is considered to be the standard method for measuring blood glucose But because of the ubiquitous use capillary (pin prick) testing it is generally accepted that values for capillary plasma glucose and venous values are identical.
1) Definition and diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and intermediate hyperglycemia – World Health Organization/ International Diabetes Federation – (ISBN 92 4 159493 4)
2) Progression From Newly Acquired Impaired Fasting Glucose to Type 2 Diabetes - Gregory A. Nichols, PHD1, Teresa A. Hillier, MD, MS1 and Jonathan B. Brown, PHD, MPP1 http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/2/228.full