Blood Tests for Diabetes Diagnosis: Glucose Challenge
Also known as: GCT; 50 gram glucose challenge; one-hour glucose screening test.
What is it? A screening test that measures blood glucose levels one hour after 50 grams of a glucose solution has been consumed (an extremely sweet drink). If the GCT is elevated, it indicates the need for further testing.
Why is this test performed? To screen for gestational diabetes in pregnant women considered "at risk."
How frequently should this test be performed? Once. If results are abnormal and glucose levels elevated, it should be followed up by a 3-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
What is the "normal" range for results? Normal values are 140 mg/dl or less.
What do abnormal results mean? A glucose threshold value >140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l) means that gestational diabetes is a possibility and an OGTT is indicated.
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...