Glucose Tolerance Testing
The glucose tolerance test is performed in order to test a patient for diabetes. With the glucose tolerance test a patient takes a certain amount of glucose and then they have a blood sample taken. This blood sample is then checked to see how fast the glucose clears from their blood. This glucose tolerance test is commonly used for diabetes and can also be used to test for other diseases.
The glucose tolerance test is usually performed giving glucose orally. The glucose is ingested through the mouth and then the patient’s blood sample is taken a couple of hours afterwards. The glucose tolerance test has been looked at and developed over the years to improve it any way possible.
All glucose tolerance tests are based on the same process however sometimes a small part of the glucose tolerance test may be changed in order to get more accurate results. The factors that may be changed in the glucose tolerance test are:
A different dose of glucose can be given depending on the patient’s weight.
- Other substances may be measured in addition to glucose depending on what is needed.
- The glucose could be administrated in other ways other then orally.
- The interval between giving the glucose and taking the blood sample can be altered.
Before the glucose tolerance test is done a patient will be requested to fast for 8-12 hours. The patient will not be asked to restrict their carbohydrate intake in the weeks and days before the test as this could affect the results of the glucose tolerance test. The glucose tolerance test should not go ahead if the patient has become ill, this will make the results inaccurate and will be no good. The amount of glucose that is given to a patient will vary depending on their weight, this allows for an accurate result. The glucose tolerance test should be carried out in the morning; this is because in the afternoon all diabetics have an unexplained rise in blood sugar levels.
There are usually four steps to be taken when carrying out the glucose tolerance test. The first thing to be done is the patient’s blood will be taken. This is so that they can see what the blood sugar level starts at before the extra glucose is given. The second step in the glucose tolerance test is the patent must drink the glucose solution in a 5 minute time frame. This time frame can not be extended at all as this may affect the results so this step is important. The third step is that a blood sample will be taken from the patient at certain intervals. How many samples and how often will depend on the patient and can differ a lot. A straightforward glucose tolerance test requires the blood sample to be taken two hours after the glucose solution. The final step of the glucose tolerance test is the blood is analysed in a laboratory.
The glucose tolerance test is able to diagnose any type of diabetes and is used widely in the medical profession.