Blood Test : Glucose Tolerance Test

Glucose is an essential energy source for all body tissues. Foods that we eat are eventually metabolized into glucose, a substance that can be more readily utilized by the body. The glucose tolerance test analyzes the way in which the body regulates blood glucose. This is one of the classic tests for diabetes but may also be used to diagnose hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and other glandular disorders.

The first part of the test requires a blood sample to be taken from a vein after a 12 hour fast. Following the blood sample, the patient consumes a sugared cola. Over the following 3 hours, blood samples are taken and the glucose level is measured. From this information, the physician may ascertain how the body responds to a large glucose meal. A determination can be made to see if the body produces an adequate amount of insulin.

Insulin is an important hormone produced by the pancreas, which allows cells to absorb glucose for energy. The diagnosis of diabetes is considered in those patients who are unable to properly regulate their blood glucose after a glucose rich meal.


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