What is an OGTT test?
‘OGTT’ stands for ‘Oral Glucose Tolerance Test.’ This test basically measures how fast the body is able to use up glucose, or sugar, in terms of its energy requirements for various cellular processes. OGTT is typically used by doctors to help diagnose diabetes in normal persons and in pregnant women. In the latter group, some women who are pregnant may have increased blood sugar levels because of hormonal changes in the body. With the spike in blood sugar levels, pregnant women will then develop a gestational type of diabetes. Although not all women will develop gestational diabetes, most doctors will recommend these women to undergo an OGTT during the course of their pregnancy to help monitor their health. It is said that women who are predisposed to having gestational diabetes are those that have suffered this condition in a previous pregnancy and those that are overweight or delivered overweight babies.
To undergo an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, patients are typically advised to have some preparations a few days prior to the blood extraction. Normally, doctors will tell patients to eat carbohydrate-rich foods for about three days prior to the blood testing. Carbohydrate-rich food items include: bread, rice, cereals, fruits, and starchy vegetables. It is also advised that patients do not undergo any physical stress a day before the blood extraction involving an OGTT. Drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking is also prohibited several hours prior to testing. Some medicines may also interfere with the results, and so patients may be advised to temporarily stop taking medications a day before the test.
During testing, patients are typically advised to be calm and rest as the procedure may take up to four hours. So much time is needed to analyze the way the body is using up glucose stores for its energy needs. While in testing, eating is strictly prohibited, but drinking water may be allowed. Several blood samples will be taken during the entire duration of the procedure, and the results will be compared to normal standards to help doctors diagnose if a patient has normal glucose tolerance levels or not.