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Friedbrain

Glucose/insulin Tolerance Test

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I'm wondering if others here have had either the 5hr glucose tolerance test or the insulin tolerance test, and how they felt during it.

I have a seizure disorder and, although medicated, I can still sometimes have what some doctors call (and some don't call) breakthrough partial seizures. Sometimes it's dizziness, sometimes shaking, sometimes when provoked like with the epinephrine before a dental filling it felt like my head was about to seize and I was afraid to move. The point being that even medicated for seizures and adrenal insufficiency (and hypothyroidism), I still have to be very careful with stress and diet (low carb) or I can have autonomic and/or neurologic problems.

FF to new endocrinologist who wants to Make Sure I need medication for adrenal insufficiency, so she ordered a glucose tolerance test. The local hospital lab will not do it because it's too risky for someone with a seizure disorder, and I would have to be constantly monitored for the entire five hours, and they can't do that there. I would have to check into an ER for the test. Personally, I'd rather not have it done. I have a bad reaction to simple carbohydrates/sugar, which is why I"m on a low-carb diet. Eating cookies on a good day will make me sleepy and feel like my brain is shutting down (WAY more than "simply tired"). And that's not even with stress, which makes my reaction to sugar even more extreme.

Have others here had either of the tests? I'm wondering what it was like for you.

And then there's the question of whether I should be getting the glucose tolerance test or the insulin tolerance test. From my reading, it sounds like the ITT is more diagnostic for adrenal (and pituitary, if it's above the adrenal) problems than the GTT (I do NOT have diabetes). I'm disappointed in this new endo, anyway, because when I told her about my ACTH stim test (which was done years ago by another doctor in another state), I explained that I'd been getting shaky from hunger and that after getting the ACTH injection, I was no longer cold and shaky: she said that shouldn't have happened/didn't make sense so therefore I had expected it and willed myself to experience that. Er, no, usually nothing I do helps calm the shaky feeling except food when I've been without food (and relaxation if I'm feeling cold from stress) so I would never have expected an injection to do that. In fact, the nurse had gone to get me a blanket and crackers after the injection but I didn't need them by the time she returned (she was slow)....

Thoughts/ experiences? Thanks!

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I have had the 5-hour glucose test. I don't have a seizure disorder so I can't give you any indication about side effects. I do; however, have gastroparesis and the test made me extremely nauseous to the point I thought I was going to throw up. Of course, the nurse told me if I threw up I would have to repeat the test. I did everything in my power, including lying down on chairs, to make sure that didn't happen! It was the most miserable 5 hours of my life!!

Hope you have a better experience!!!

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I had it done about 3 years ago. Drinking something that sweet made me nauseated, but it passed. I then spent the next three hours getting really cold and somewhat mellow. Then, promptly at 3 1/2 hours, I change to the polar opposite. I get REALLY hot, sweaty around my neck, anxious, shaky and can't be still. I know at that point my blood sugar is in the low 50s or upper 40s. Once I drink something sugary and then eat, I feel better within 10 minutes. It does make me "drag", though, the rest of the day.

I know last year when I was explaining to my neurologist and her intern what I go through with the hypoglycemia, they both said that I would not be hot, but I would be cold. Their attitude was like "Silly you, you don't get hot, you get cold". IF they were excellent doctors, maybe the fact that I DO get really hot should have aroused their curiousity, and they might have realized it might be a clue as to why I have two growing tumors on my adrenal glands. Or, to the fact that I have had unusual hypoglycemia for many, many years. But, alas, they were not excellent doctors.

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"she said that shouldn't have happened/didn't make sense so therefore I had expected it and willed myself to experience that. "

What!? No, I'd find someone else if that's option. I had the 4 hour (or was it 3?) glucose tolerance test done a few years ago - it made me really lightheaded and spacey, but that was about it. The results were that my sugar barely moved - so the Dr. diagnosed hypoglycemia. Never heard of the insulin tolerance test - hopefully someone here will know.

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I can't edit my post, but wanted to say that I had the 5 hour GTT with insulin measurements. I have never had the Insulin Tolerance Test. Is the ITT to check your pituitary function?

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I had the 5 hour test last month and the hospital where I had it done wouldn't let me leave the lab waiting room.......FOR 5 HOURS......those chairs are tough for 5 hours. I had to be within their eye sight the whole time, I had a babysitter. They have to watch you so if you do passout in a hypoglycemic coma ( that they caused you to have ) it could be problems.....lol The hospital schedules these tests and makes sure they have enough staff when one is going on. Of course for me, I felt fine that day, I never feel fine after having such a sugary drink......but oh well such is dysautonomia. I have tested in the 50's and 60's on my own, just not during this test. Good luck with it, bring some good things to read or tunes to listen to........ :D

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Todd, your waiting room wait makes my little, local hospital look wonderful--they actually put people into a hospital room and bed for the full 5 hours. And, they don't bill insurance for that part! The only problem with being at a small, local hospital is they were not watching me at all between the hourly draws. They drew my blood at hour three, and the level was 55(memory?). For some reason, no symptoms. Thirty minutes later I had to ring the nurses station to tell the lab that I had low blood sugar, as my symptoms kicked in. They called the doctor, and he said FEED HER! They did not take that last draw, so I don't know how low I had gotten.

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Did any of you have trouble bouncing back after this test?

I had the 5 hour glucose test on Tuesday. I was not allowed my midodrine for the duration (for me, this was 25 mg) and very minimal water. This in combination with the 25 vials of blood they drew throughout the test has left me unable to get my blood pressure back up to my functionable level on meds. Has anyone else experienced these types of problems?

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