The Six Hour Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)



The measurement blood sugar levels may eventually become a common test and possibly routine as taking your temperature, as awareness of blood sugar knowledge increases.

Some background on blood sugar levels might be helpful here.

Blood sugar levels are measured in mg/dl or thousandths of one gram per tenth liter of blood. Therefore a level of 85 would be read as 85 milligrams of glucose in one tenth liter of circulating blood. One tenth liter is about 3.38 ounces or about seven tablespoons. An 85 mg/dl glucose level would comprise about 2.4% the total weight of circulating blood. This level also sets another closely controlled parameter--blood density. At 250 mg/dl the glucose weight is 7.4% of the total. Adding that much more weight to the normal weight and density of the blood causes serious health problems and conversely going lower in weight below normal levels also causes serious problems. Glucose is only one molecular component of blood and maintaining proper levels is vitally important to proper brain and cell functions.

Therefore, one of the tests to determine how blood sugar is handled in the body is with the six hour glucose tolerance test or GTT. The six hour GTT is accomplished by taking and recording your blood sugar at intervals over a six hour period after subjecting your system to a heavy dose of sugar. The first level is recorded after you have not eaten for at least six hours, and preferably done in the morning. After the first fasting blood sugar has been taken, then you drink a large quantity of a  sugar mixture, consisting sweet sugary things, such as fruit juices or blended fruits mixed with fruit juices. You can also eat a very sweet breakfast consisting of pancakes and topped with abundant pancake syrup plus drinking about 16 ounces of orange juice. In the medically controlled GTT, you drink a mixture of glucose syrup or some equivalent. This is called the sugar challenge stimulant. Then at 1/2 hour after drinking or eating, the second blood sample is taken and recorded. Then another sample is taken at one hour, two hours and so on every hour, until the sixth hour. The recorded numbers constitute the six hour GTT.

During the time of the testing you cannot eat or drink anything. It is important that the endocrine system takes it's coarse in its attempt to stabilize the sugar challenge. The coarse of action your body takes in this effort to handle the sugar challenge is an indicator of how your overall endocrine system is working or not working.

The normal reaction in a healthy body is for the blood sugar levels to shoot up to about 140 to 160 and then return back to baseline normal within two hours as shown by the normal chart on the previous page. Deviations from the healthy standard is an indicator that something is wrong and that the hormones needed to produce proper glucose stability levels are not in balance, and when they are not in balance the total body is out of balance and problems crop up.

Your brain and every cell in your body runs on glucose, and when that glucose varies around and away from healthy levels it's like running your car on gasoline with octane ratings that are also out of normal range. As an analogy, consider your blood glucose levels as octane ratings. Would you put gas in your car that had an octane rating of 30? Or would you try to run your car on gas with octane ratings that fluctuated between 50 and 250 and then while in the gas tank changed octane rating that ranged all over the board. Well you can't buy gas with those ratings, and in fact your car operates smoothly between octane ratings of 87 and 93. Octane is tightly controlled so your car runs at peak efficiency. Your blood sugar is meant to be tightly controlled also, with levels between 80 and 100. But when your glucose levels shoot out of balance, so do you. The mental and physical problems show up in multitudes of degenerative human conditions. Your car would not run on an octane rating of 30 and you can't run with glucose levels of 30 either. And if you put 250 octane in your engine it would in all likelihood blow apart. What would happen to you with blood sugar levels of 250 all the time?

Six hour GTT results are best interpreted for their tendencies by a professional. Contact me for information on interpretation for your specific needs. I do not and cannot by law diagnose your health problems, but I can tell you tendencies that are associated with certain profiles.

The GTT has been around for decades. However, doctors rarely prescribe the long six hour test. There may be several reasons. Perhaps they don't think that useful data is contained in the numbers after the first two hours, or maybe they don't understand how to interpret the data as meaningful after two hours. And, going further perhaps they use the short GTT for nailing specific problems, namely diabetes (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Once they see the specific tendency they have diagnosed your problem and treatment begins. The unfortunate result of not doing the longer test is missing dozens or even hundreds of dozens of other problems associated with out of whack profiles.

It is now legal in America for individuals to monitor their own blood sugars without a prescription for supplies. All supplies needed can be purchased at any pharmacy and also are part of my balance kits.

The six hour GTT is a must for persons interested in monitoring their health. What happens in the hours after hour two is very important and that is normally when most medical tests are terminated since doctors look primarily for the hyper and hypo tendencies and that constitutes the diagnosis.

The secret to the GTT is in the total test. It's in noting how the numbers move about. A trained person will ask how fast do the numbers move, what are the significance of the slopes, how far apart are the high and low points, what are the maximum and minimums and what times space them, how many times do the numbers cross the norm, and many more.

GTT interpretation is not a do it yourself project, but taking and recording the numbers is, or can be.

Do you know what your blood sugar is doing? You should.