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Is the Muffin Test a Reliable Alternative to the Oral Glucose Test for Diabetes?

A recent October 2011 study tested how effective a muffin diabetic test was for the purpose of diagnosing diabetes.  Normally a patient exhibiting diabetic symptoms will do an oral glucosemuffin1 tolerance test to see if they actually have the disease.  This test includes a person fasting overnight and then drinking a sugary glucose substance the following morning, and then a doctor monitors the patient’s blood glucose levels to see how their body reacts to increases in blood glucose levels.  However, patients, particularly women, do not like this test – they find the oral glucose taste unbearable.  From this study, researchers suggest that there is an appropriate alternative to this sugary glucose mixture – the muffin.  The muffin is a deceptive breakfast choice – it probably contains too much sugar to be labeled as a healthy breakfast option.  Moreover, as Dr. Michael Traubb, the doctor heading this study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, indicates “a muffin more closely resembles what someone really eats – it may provide just a more adequate test.”  For, it is

Nonetheless, there are many medical critics of this study.  While they agree that muffins are “probably more convenient,” they take issue with the obvious – muffins vary greatly, while the glucose mixture used for the oral glucose tolerance test is standardized.

However, the findings from this study seem to prove that the muffin test for diabetes is just as accurate as the oral glucose tolerance test.  Perhaps the muffin test should be used as a complement to the oral glucose test instead of a replacement.  Do you think a muffin is an appropriate substitute for the oral glucose test?

The muffin test was administered to a group of twelve women, of which two of those women were diagnosed with diabetes.  Those same women then received the oral glucose test.  One of the two women ‘diagnosed’ via the muffin test was also diagnosed via the oral glucose test.

Advocates of the test deem that the muffin test is cheaper, and it doesn’t give women stomach problems; stomach side effects are normally a problem with the oral glucose test.  Thus, it will be interesting to see whether this test gains popularity in future years as a reliable test for diabetic symptoms.

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