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From Phoenix, Arizona USA:

I have a friend, male, 49, with a family history of diabetes. He recently went to the doctor, complaining of killer headaches; he also gets up frequently at night to urinate, is very fatigued, thirsty, etc. With the above information, his doctor ordered an MRI, which returned normal. The doctor then decided to prick a finger and found a lovely 368 blood sugar. He is on oral medications, twice daily; readings have come down somewhat, but not yet far enough. He just told me that his doctor wants him to take a Glucose Tolerance Test. Isn't this a test used to detect diabetes in undiagnosed patients? If this test has a purpose in previously diagnosed diabetics, already on medication, could you please explain it to me?


The glucose tolerance test is totally unnecessary when the blood sugar is documented as being high, as in your friend's case, unless there is some extremely unusual situation, such as a specific research project. Your friend should ask the doctor the exact reason for the test, then request a consultation to an endocrinologist who specializes in diabetes and get a second opinion.


Original posting 23 May 1999
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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