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Controlling blood glucose levels

Detecting diabetes

The simplest way to detect diabetes is to look for glucose in the urine. A glucose test stick changes colour to indicate the level of glucose.

People with diabetes regularly monitor their blood glucose level by using a digital monitor. A drop of blood is placed on a test strip and the monitor displays the blood glucose concentration.

Diabetes Stick 1
Diabetes Stick 2

Glucose tolerance test

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.

Glucose Tolerence

Control of blood glucose levels

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: