Glucose Tolerance Test (Outpatient) :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Glucose Tolerance Test (Outpatient)

Glucose (GLUE-cose) is a type of sugar. If your child has signs of insulin dependent diabetes or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), a glucose tolerance test is done. This test shows how well the body digests and changes sugar for immediate use or how well it stores sugar.

How to Prepare for the Test

Picture 1: Taking a blood sample

  • Make sure your child has a well-balanced diet for 3 days before the test.
  • Your child should have nothing to drink or eat (including gum, mints or candy) for 8 hours before the test. However, it is OK to drink water if he or she gets thirsty.
  • Bring a favorite book, game or toy from home to occupy your child during the test.

How the Test Is Done

  • A technician will have your child drink a sweet-tasting liquid (sugar solution). This solution will have a lemon, orange or cola flavor.
  • Blood samples will be taken at different times until the test is completed.
  • Your child may not have anything else to eat or drink after the sugar solution is given until the test is over.
  • Your child may be hungry and cranky during the test. It will help if you plan quiet play to keep his mind busy until he can eat.

Sometimes a child will be sent to infusion clinic to have this test done. There, an IV will be placed to have blood drawn.
Your doctor will decide how long the test will last.

If you have any questions, please ask your doctor or nurse.
For directions, you may refer to the ChildLab Laboratory Service Center map, call 1-800-934-6575 or log onto

Glucose Tolerance Test (PDF)

HH-III-7 4/76 Revised 3/15 Copyright 1976, Nationwide Children’s Hospital 

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