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To confirm diabetes, a person will normally take a glucose tolerance test in a hospital.
Patients do not eat for 12 hours before the test. This gets their blood glucose to its lowest level. They are then given a drink containing 75g of glucose and their blood glucose level is monitored over the next two hours.
Every cell in the body needs a supply of glucose to maintain respiration and generate energy for all of its processes. Levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood are closely controlled by two hormones; insulin and glucagon.
Use the animation to see how the body responds to high and low blood sugar levels: