Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) is one among many other diagnostic tests done on a patient to determine diabetes presence. It is one of the best diagnostic procedures though rarely used because it is tedious to the patient. Being an awful disease, that is often accompanied by a myriad of other ailments in a patient, this test checks its pre-emergence termed pre-diabetes and the disease itself more so in expectant mothers, referred to as gestational diabetes. It is done to check the only mono sugar that is available and movable in the blood as excess that is glucose.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) is a perfect test, better by far from other known tests and it gives a medical practitioner a better leverage on how to deal with the disease. The expectations though, are quite demanding before one takes the test. It is expected that as a patient, you must be in normal good health, free from the common vagaries of the environment eg colds, malaria etc; that is, free from ill health. It is expected too, that alcohol drinking, smoking etc should be stopped for a while till all processes are over.
Blood will be drawn several times and measured for glucose levels and this may cause friction if proper advice is not given in advance. The procedure is quite simple and straight; before it is done the body is ignited by pumping the system with a high carbohydrate supply; though it is a balanced diet – sugary or sweet fruits, breads, cereals, grains, rice, potatoes, beans and corn for a period of two to three days or longer prior to the test. This procedure might take long in terms of hours before the test is administered to allow for digestion and uptake because the test is all about the plasma level of glucose.
The breakdown from the complex sugars – polysaccharides. To simple sugars through digestion; roughly takes about 3-4 hours and this is roughly about the time to take test any day after regaining the required stability. Sounds tedious and a bother though but it is allowed in cases where direct simple sugars are missing; not all situations will glucose be readily available. For quick results glucose is the answer; glucose about 80 gm and for an expectant mother 100 gm should be taken straight. This type of sugar in layman terms is ready and does not require any digestion. It is assimilated straight into the blood stream; meaning, the test should not take long to administer after taking it.
In summary, a baseline control test of blood glucose is done first and then the patient is given a drink of about 80 gm of glucose. Thereafter blood samples are taken at specific intervals and glucose level measured 4 to 5 times over a period of 3 to 4 hours. A diabetic blood glucose level rises higher than normal and does not come down quickly as in a normal person. Anybody with above 200mg / dl measure of glucose after ingestion of the stated glucose is diabetic; between 140 mg / dl and 200mg / dl is pre-diabetic or mild diabetic. For expectant mothers anything above 140mg / dl is positive for the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT).