Five Hour Glucose Test

This is a common test for anyone who suspects he or she may have hypoglycemia or tow blood sugar. It is also used to determine diabetes mellitus and many other sugar-related ailments. An individual consumes a small amount of sugar in liquid form. A vial of blood is drawn once before this ingestion of sugar and five times on the hour thereafter. It's a boring test, and a patient will have to wait six hours in a hospital or doctor's office; so, he or she should take along plenty of reading material.

In the long run, though, the test is worth the time and effort. And it's important that an individual undergo the five-hour test. A doctor may try to talk a patient into a simple two- or three-hour blood test to determine the glucose level. But a hypoglycemic, in particular, may not start showing a problem until the fourth, fifth or even sixth hour.

A patient should also make sure that the test results are properly read. I've seen several five-hour glucose test results misread by lab people and doctors. Every once in a while the curve will vary, making a doctor think that a patient is "normal" My suggestion is that a person should get a couple of doctors or lab technicians to read the results. The head of a lab at a large hospital is frequently the best person to consult, since he or she wilt have had plenty of experience reading odd tolerance curves. If the test does come out "low normal," the person is slightly hypoglycemic and should get on a commensurate diet to relieve the symptoms.

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