A female in her sixties (Mrs J) makes an appointment with her GP because she has been suffering with pains in her legs and having difficulty walking. She is also having problems with her vision. She presents as overweight, bordering on obese. When questioned about her appetite she mentions that she seems to feel thirsty a lot of the time. The GP takes a blood sample and asks the patient to provide an MSU urine specimen. After using a dipstick on both samples, the GP arranges for the patient to attend the clinic for a glucose tolerance test. The results are in Table 1 below.
Table 1: Plasma glucose concentrations (mmol/L) determined for Mrs J
minutes after glucose load
Briefly describe the underlying biochemistry and physiology that is assessed by the glucose tolerance test. In your answer include how the test can contributeto diagnosis.
Glucose tolerence test checks how well the body processes blood sugar. It involves comparing the levels of glucose in the blood before and after drinking a sugary drink. The results of this test can help doctors to detect type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance).