glucose tolerance test

a diagnostic procedure in which a measured amount of glucose is ingested and blood samples are taken periodically as a means of detecting diabetes mellitus.
[1920-25]

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      procedure to assess the ability of the body to metabolize glucose, the principal blood sugar. In persons with normal, or slightly elevated, blood-sugar levels, the body tolerance to sugar is measured in a stressful situation induced by administering a large amount of glucose.

      The most common procedure is to take an initial blood sample from a fasting individual, have him empty his bladder, and then give him orally 50 to 100 grams of glucose (usually 1 gram of glucose per kilogram of ideal body weight) dissolved in water. Samples of blood and urine for glucose determination are obtained 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours later. Normally, the concentration of glucose in the blood will rise to about 140 milligrams per 100 millilitres in 45 to 60 minutes and will return in 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours to the normal range of 80–120 milligrams per 100 millilitres. The most valuable diagnostic point is 2 hours, when the value should be less than 120 milligrams per 100 millilitres. In persons suffering from an impairment of sugar metabolism, such as diabetes mellitus, a decreased tolerance to sugar is manifested by a blood-sugar-level curve that rises higher than, and returns more slowly to, normal. This type of curve may also be seen in nondiabetic persons during acute illness or after trauma or a low carbohydrate diet; it may also be observed in elderly persons with hardening of the arteries or heart disease and in middle-aged persons who are markedly overweight.

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Universalium. 2010.

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