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What is Glucose Analysis?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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A glucose analysis is a test which determines the amount of glucose in a person’s blood stream at a given time. This is also known as checking one’s “blood sugar.” The test is especially important for those with conditions like diabetes, which must be controlled with regular blood glucose screenings and daily monitoring.

Initially a glucose analysis may be performed on those who are suspected to have diabetes, or who may have pre-diabetes based on symptoms or family history. The test is also routinely performed on pregnant women in some practices to rule out the possibility of gestational diabetes. To be tested, the patient is required to refrain from eating or drinking anything for a specified number of hours before the appointment. Once there, the patient is required to drink a sugary solution and wait while it enters the system. After enough time has passed, blood is drawn and glucose readings can be taken.

If the glucose analysis reveals that levels are unusually high, diabetes may be suspected. In some cases the reading will be too low, which could indicate certain diabetic conditions as well as a lack of nutrition in the patient. Those who do not eat enough for several days will likely have glucose levels that are too low.

Depending on the exact glucose analysis results, the patient may be required to undergo further tests. If diabetes is confirmed, treatments can begin. These may include daily insulin injections, restrictive diets, and a daily check of blood sugar using a handheld device. The device used by most diabetic patients takes a sample of blood, usually from the fingertip, onto a strip. Then the strip is placed into the meter, which reads the blood glucose levels.

Many times a glucose analysis will be done in those who do not have diabetes symptoms or any known risk factors. One example is before surgery because undetected diabetes could have harmful side effects on the patient if precautions aren’t taken. Glucose levels may also be taken before certain medications are prescribed and before other medical procedures.

Symptoms of diabetes may include frequent infections, dizziness, constant thirsty=, and elevated insulin levels which may lead to weight gain. The diagnosis will be made at a doctor’s office by doing a glucose test to check for blood sugar levels that are too high or low. Sometimes the readings will be borderline, meaning that diabetes may be prevented if the patient adopts healthier habits.

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Discussion Comments
By JessicaLynn — On Oct 27, 2011

You know, after reading this article I think I have a friend that might be suffering from diabetes. She's been complaining about being thirsty all the time lately, and getting sick a lot. I think I might suggest she get a glucose analysis done.

I think it might be a tough sell because she hates going to the doctor, but I think it would be good to know. At least if she finds out she has diabetes she can start treating it and hopefully feel better!

By ceilingcat — On Oct 26, 2011

@Monika - Your poor cat! At least when a human is getting a glucose analysis, we know what's going on. I'm sure the cat had no idea.

I've had a glucose analysis myself. My doctor suspected that I was suffering from low blood sugar. That didn't end up being the problem, but I got the lovely experience of having a fasting blood test.

And by lovely, I mean horrible. I'm the kind of person that wakes up in the morning thinking about food. Seriously. It is my first waking thought. It was pretty much torture to skip breakfast for the test.

By Monika — On Oct 25, 2011

This is kind of funny (well, not that funny) but I've had to get several glucose analyses done on my cat! The poor thing has diabetes!

He's always been a bigger cat, so it wasn't that surprising. When he was about 11, I noticed that I was having to refill his water bowl a lot, and he was peeing excessively. So I took him to the vet and they said he might have diabetes.

They did a simple blood sugar check right there. Then, they had me bring him back a few days later and drop him off for the day. While he was there, the vet did what's called a glucose curve, meaning that they tested his blood sugar at intervals throughout the day. This was to make sure that he was getting the right insulin dosage.

So anyway, I guess my point is that humans aren't the only ones that might need to get a glucose analysis done!

By miriam98 — On Oct 25, 2011

@allenJo - That’s good. I think that diet is good for anything really. What I’ve also heard is that some people could have diabetes and not know it.

They may experience some of the symptoms of the disease, like dizziness, having to go to the bathroom a lot and feeling thirsty all the time, and never bother to go to the doctor and get their blood glucose levels checked.

That’s even more dangerous in my opinion, because the condition could get worse. But diet may indeed be able to reverse it, and in the process, reverse a whole host of other ills too.

By allenJo — On Oct 24, 2011

I’ve heard that there are ways to reverse diabetes even if you test high for sugar glucose. I think that it’s Type 2 diabetes that can be reversed.

People say that you can’t cure it as such but that you can reverse it. I don’t know what the difference is so long as you no longer have to mess with the disease.

Anyway, it all boils down to one simple task: drastically cut down on your carbohydrate consumption, like potatoes, bread and stuff like that.

I don’t know if that means you go on a high protein diet (some people would advocate that) but definitely avoid foods that raise your blood sugar levels.

I think that they recommend that you eat fish too, which has a lot of the good fat that your body needs. You want stable blood sugar if you’re going to beat the disease.

By jennythelib — On Oct 24, 2011

Most pregnant women expect to have to drink "the syrup" and then have their blood sugar checked an hour later. As far as I know, it's not a fasting test. But gestational diabetes almost always produces other symptoms, like sugar in the urine.

In the absence of other risk factors, you may be able to skip this test. My doctor offers me a fasting blood glucose analysis instead. Basically, I just had to skip breakfast that morning and come in to have blood drawn.

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