What are considered "normal" results for a glucose tolerance test?
April 1, 2014 8:34 AM   Subscribe

I am having trouble getting in with my doctor to review my results, so I'm looking for some initial info to see if it is worth pursuing. I had a glucose tolerance test done because of some symptoms that I'm having. I realize that these results aren't indicative of diabetes because they dip, but they do seem low (though I'm no doctor). Test 1: 95 Test 2: 85 Test 3: 55 Any idea whether I should be trying to schedule with my doctor? I live in a rural area, so it takes quite a trip for me to visit with the doctor.
posted by denverco to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)

Hi there - T1 diabetic for 29 years and counting, not your doctor.

I have had plenty of friends and family members test their blood sugars on my glucose meter from time to time, out of curiosity - and, as a diabetic who has been told that my goal is to keep my sugars in a very tight range all the time, I have to admit I've been surprised at the fluctuations I've seen from "normal" folks! I've seen ranges as low as 44 and as high as the 150s, all from people who have had regular screenings but aren't diabetic. I think there are a lot more fluctuations in non diabetic sugars than we commonly think of, given the stress on tight control for those of us with the disease, and if I had seen those numbers as a nondiabetic person, I wouldn't be particularly worried about them. Hormonal fluctuations (which males have as well as females) can affect sugars, time of day, stress, and other factors, no matter what else is going on.

It sounds like you might wish to meet with your doctor anyway, to deal with your symptoms - and it's possible that you might have some glucose related issue, such as hypoglycemia, which can make blood sugars drop (with a variety of feelings) but they won't rise the way they do in a diabetic person. But this doesn't read as diabetes to my nonprofessional view; I'd see if you can get on the phone with the doctor and see if they think it might be something else.
posted by mccn at 8:51 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks mccn. Yeah, I am more concerned about hypoglycemia because I don't have any diabetic symptoms. Thanks for your reply, and so sorry that you have to deal with your ailment!
posted by denverco at 8:52 AM on April 1, 2014

You got it - and good luck to you! A single reading of 55 isn't necessarily indicative of hypoglycemia or anything else; I have seen that in folks with no diagnosis before. I hope that that is true in your case!
posted by mccn at 8:55 AM on April 1, 2014

Another T1 here. You say "they do seem low" -- the only one that's low is 55. 85 and 95 are totally great! And I bet mccn is right about the 55 not necessarily being indicative of anything.
posted by kestrel251 at 9:01 AM on April 1, 2014

Thanks kestrel.
posted by denverco at 9:11 AM on April 1, 2014

FWIW, during my second pregnancy I had wicked bad reactive hypoglycemia, though it was very difficult to get my doctors to pursue it at first. It was some years ago, now, but my one-hour glucose challenge test was something like a 65? I forget the number. Low enough that my diabetic mom was very concerned.

I also had terrible symptoms -- brain fog, headaches, extreme fatigue, felt like I had the flu all the time. I'd feel better when I ate something, for like... ten minutes, and then I'd feel even worse. "You just feel terrible because you're pregnant," they said.

Per the nutritionist, my solution was to eat much, much more meat and eggs than I was accustomed to. Beans didn't count as a protein for my purposes, and dairy didn't, either. I also did finger sticks four times a day.

Once the baby was out, everything returned to normal. (Edited to add: But I couldn't even talk about how bad I felt during that time without crying until the baby was four or five years old. It was so bad. So bad.)
posted by Andrhia at 7:02 PM on April 1, 2014

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