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Glucose Tolerance Test

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GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST DEFINITION

This test checks your body’s ability to process sugar. A person is given a certain amount of glucose, and then his/her blood sugar level is tested after a certain amount of time.

GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST PURPOSE

This is to check for a range of ailments in a person’s bodily mechanisms for processing carbohydrates.

GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST RISKS

Given the simplicity of the test, risks mainly come from misdiagnosis of some kind. The physician, for example, may fail to take particular qualities of the patient into account. If the equipment is not sterile, there may be a risk of infection or catching diseases. Practitioners should also be careful in case they themselves catch some kind of blood-borne disease through the process.

GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST PREPARATION REQUIRED

Patients are usually told to eat normally in the days before the test, so as not to affect results. However, they should fast eight hours before the test, including refraining from drinking water. They are then given glucose (often in a drink), and must ingest the full amount within a few minutes.

GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST PROCEDURE

While glucose tolerance tests have some general things in common (the ingestion, the collection, etc.) they may vary in the particulars. Glucose may be given in different amounts and ways. Some doctors adjust dosage for weight, while others only do this for child patients. Samples may be collected from the arm or the fingertip. Some doctors try to account for potential variations in samples collected from different areas, while others do not. Waiting time between ingestion and sample collection may vary, as well, but the usual is about two hours.
GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST
Image: GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST

GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST COMPLICATIONS

This is a fairly simple procedure. What makes it “complicated” might be the disagreements about variants in the procedure described above, as well as certain qualities in the patient that the doctor is not able to take into account.

GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST SIDE EFFECTS

The person may experience some mild inconvenience, tiredness, hunger, or disruption in daily routine from the fasting often required right before the test.

GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST RESULTS

Normally, the result should be under 140 mg/dL, combined with a fasting blood sugar below 110. However, a person with an impaired fasting glycemia may still have a glucose tolerance test result of below 140, with a fasting blood sugar level above 110. If the glucose tolerance test reveals a level of at least 140, the person may have impaired glucose tolerance, meaning that they are more develop diabetes. If a person’s level is at 200 or above, combined with a fasting blood sugar of 126 or over, they can be diagnosed with diabetes. As you can see, this test is often combined with others to achieve greater precision, especially if one is testing for rarer ailments.
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