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Diabetes Information

-Diabetes Facts
-History of Diabetes
-Causes of Diabetes
-Diabetes Complications
-Diabetes Education
-Diabetes Research

Diabetes Mellitus

-Diabetes Mellitus Symptoms
-Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
-Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
-Diabetes Mellitus Treatment

Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes
-Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
-Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
-Type 1 Diabetes Diet
-Type 1 Diabetes Cure

Type 2 Diabetes
-Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
-Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
-Type 2 Diabetes Causes
-Type 2 Diabetes Diet
-Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes
-Type 2 Diabetes Medications

Gestational Diabetes
-Gestational Diabetes Test
-Gestational Diabetes Symptoms
-Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan
-Gestational Diabetes Treatment

Juvenile Diabetes
-Juvenile Diabetes Symptoms
-Juvenile Diabetes Treatment

Diabetes Insipidus
-Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus
-Treatment for Diabetes Insipidus

Feline Diabetes

Diabetes Symptoms
Signs of Diabetes 
Also: Diabetes Sign Symptoms 
-Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
Also: Type II Diabetes Symptoms
-Gestational Diabetes Symptoms
-Symptoms, Juvenile Diabetes
Also: Diabetes Symptoms in Child

(see also Blood Glucose)
-Glucose Level
Also: Blood Glucose Level
-Glucose Meter
Also: Blood Glucose Meter
-Glucose Monitor
Also: Blood Glucose Monitor
-Glucose Test
Also: Glucose Tolerance Test
-Glucose Intolerance

Diabetes Diet
-Diabetes Food
-Diabetes Nutrition
-Diabetes Diet Plan
-Type 2 Diabetes Diet

Diabetes Supply
-Diabetes Testing Supply

Diabetes Treatment
-Diabetes Medications
-Alternative Treatment for Diabetes

-Insulin Resistance
-Insulin Pump
-Lantus Insulin

Diabetes Care
-Diabetes Management
-Diabetes Associations
-Diabetes Prevention
-Diabetes Cure

Diabetes is the No. 6 leading causes of deaths in the United States, according to 2001 data  from the United States National Center for Health Statistics.

Glucose Tolerance Test

Alternative names   

Oral glucose tolerance test


The glucose tolerance test measures the body's ability to metabolize glucose.

How the test is performed   

Glucose is the sugar that the body uses for energy. Patients with diabetes mellitus have high blood glucose levels. Glucose tolerance tests are one of the tools for making the diagnosis of diabetes.

The most common glucose tolerance test is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). After an overnight fast, a patient drinks a solution containing a known amount of glucose. Blood is obtained before the patient drinks the glucose solution, and blood is drawn again every 30 to 60 minutes after the glucose is consumed for up to 3 hours.

Blood glucose levels above normal limits at the times measured can diagnose type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes (high blood glucose during pregnancy). Insulin levels may also be measured. (Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that moves glucose from the bloodstream into cells.)

The intravenous glucose tolerance test (IGTT) is not often used. In this test, patients are given a known amount of glucose by vein for 3 minutes, and blood insulin levels are measured before glucose and at 1 and 3 minutes. Insulin levels below a standard threshold may predict the development of type 1 diabetes in some patients.

How to prepare for the test   

Fast for 12 hours and do not eat during the test. Consult your health care provider if you are using medication that can interfere with the test results. (See special considerations.)

Infants and children:

The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experience, and level of trust. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child's age:

  • Infant test/procedure preparation (birth to 1 year)
  • Toddler test/procedure preparation (1 to 3 years)
  • Preschooler test/procedure preparation (3 to 6 years)
  • Schoolage test/procedure preparation (6 to 12 years)
  • Adolescent test/procedure preparation (12 to 18 years)

How the test will feel   

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

Why the test is performed   

The oral glucose tolerance test is used to screen pregnant women for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. It may also be used to diagnose diabetes in research studies and in cases where the disease is suspected despite a normal fasting blood glucose.

Normal Values   

For a 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test used to check for type 2 diabetes, normal (nondiabetic) blood values are:

  • fasting: 60 to 110 mg/dL
  • 1 hour: less than 200 mg/dL
  • 2 hours: less than 140 mg/dL. Between 140-200 mg/dL is considered impaired glucose tolerance. This group is at increased risk for developing diabetes. Greater than 200 mg/dL is diagnostic of diabetes mellitus

For a 50-gram oral glucose tolerance test used to screen for gestational diabetes, normal blood values at 1 hour are less than 140 mg/dL.

For a 100-gram oral glucose tolerance test used to screen for gestational diabetes, normal blood values are:

  • fasting: less than 95 mg/dL
  • 1 hour: less than 180 mg/dL
  • 2 hour: less than 155 mg/dL
  • 3 hour: less than 140 mg/dL

Note: mg/dL = milligrams per deciliter

What abnormal results mean   

Greater than normal levels of glucose may indicate

  • Diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes

High glucose levels may be a manifestation of another clinical problem (for example, Cushing's syndrome).

What the risks are   

Risks from venipuncture include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
  • Multiple punctures to locate veins

Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Special considerations   

Interfering factors:

  • Acute stress (for example, from surgery or an infection)
  • Vigorous exercise

Several drugs may cause glucose intolerance, including the following:

  • Thiazide diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide)
  • Beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol)
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone)
  • Some psychiatric medications

Before having the test, let your health care provider know if you are taking any of these medications.

(From the National Institute of Health)

See also

Blood Glucose, Glucose


This diabetes health education project is supported by Chong's Health Care at http://www.cljhealth.com, one of the leading companies in the discovery of alternative medicines for diabetes

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