Glucose Blood Test, Two-hour Postprandial
A 2-hr Postprandial Glucose Test establishes the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.
There are two common methods used to prepare for the postprandial glucose blood sugar test. The first option is to eat a normal meal lasting no longer than 20 minutes and then getting one’s blood drawn exactly 2 hours after the start of the meal. The other option is to drink a 75-gram bottle of a glucose that is ordered by a doctor. Again, the drink should be finished within 20 minutes and the blood test needs to happen 2 hours after the drink was started.
Why It Is Used
The postprandial glucose blood sugar test is primarily used to test for and diagnose Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. The test is also used to detect complications of diabetes and to track the results of diabetes treatment.
How It Works
The test measures the level of glucose in the blood. Glucose levels in the blood elevate when food is introduced into the body. The pancreas then releases insulin into the blood stream. Insulin assists the body in transferring glucose from the blood stream into tissue and fat cells, where it can be stored for energy. When the system is working, blood glucose levels should be back to normal within 2 hours of eating. In people with diabetes, however, the pancreas may not produce the proper amount of insulin, or there may be insulin-blocking cells that stop the insulin from transferring the glucose. In this case the glucose level would still be elevated 2 hours after eating.
Benefits of Early Detection
There is not a cure for diabetes – it is a chronic disease. However, the symptoms that result from diabetes can usually be managed with insulin, medication, diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Early detection and continued vigilance in monitoring of blood glucose levels is imperative when treating diabetes. If diabetes is left untreated, the elevated levels of insulin in the blood can result in a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, organ failure, foot ulcers, and blindness. Even apparently healthy individuals should test for diabetes, and those who are at higher risk such as those that are obese should be tested more frequently. Once diagnosed with diabetes, glucose blood tests are given frequently to make sure that symptoms are being managed.
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