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Diabetes

Appropriate timing of a GTT

04/07/2009

Question:

The day I took a GTT test I had just been to the emergency room early that morning and was diagnosed with dehydration and low potassium. I was also only one day away from taking antibiotics for a bladder infection. Since then I have read that you shouldn`t take the test while ill. My doctor said it shouldn`t have made any difference. My sugar was a little elevated. But should I insist on having the test repeated when I am well?

Answer:

It is correct that those other factors can affect the results of an oral GTT:  whether they were factors in your case depend on whether the abnormal result was just barely outside the normal range or dramatically outside the normal range.  If the result was abnormal, it is probably important for you to regard it as a "wake-up" call and consider whether some diet and exercise changes and weight loss are warranted, regardless of whether you actually meet the criteria for diabetes.  I cannot judge from here however whether repeating the test just shortly after recovering from the illness or after you have had some time to undertake diet and exercise measures will be the most informative.

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati