Glucose Pregnancy Test – Glucose Tolerance Test
Glucose is the main source of energy for the body, Glucose pregnancy test is carried out to detect the possibility of gestational diabetes.
A glucose screening is normally done within 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. On the off chance that the test, which screens for gestational diabetes detects high levels of blood glucose, a glucose tolerance test is then given to affirm gestational diabetes diagnosis.
You should have a glucose screening amid pregnancy if:
- You are more than thirty years of age.
- You have previously had diabetes in pregnancy.
- You’re corpulent.
- You previously had a very big baby.
- You’re of certain ethnic origins such as South Asian, Black Caribbean and Middle Eastern.
- You have a family history of diabetes.
Regardless of the possibility that you might not fit into any of the criteria stated above, your specialist can prompt you to take this simple test because some women who develop gestational diabetes have no known risk factors. About fifteen to twenty percent women who take this screening will demonstrate unusual glucose levels and would be given the glucose tolerance test.
Before going into the details about this test, we have to discuss some things about insulin, gestational diabetes, symptoms and effects.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
When we take carbohydrates, our body converts it to glucose which flows in our blood. In reaction to that our body let outs insulin which pulls the glucose out of the blood and into our cells as stated above. During pregnancy the insulin response is dampened, keeping more glucose in the blood so it can be transmitted to the baby through the placenta.
Hence, gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs in pregnancy, it arises when your pregnancy prevents your body from producing enough insulin, causing your blood sugar levels to be higher than normal. Gestational diabetes only develops in pregnancy and disappears as soon as you give birth. Gestational diabetes affects 4% pregnant women and may raise your chances of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Signs and Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
- abnormal need for liquids
- frequent urination
- frequent vaginal, bladder and skin infections
- blurred vision
These symptoms can’t be used exclusively to diagnose gestational diabetes as they are common as pregnancy symptoms.
Could gestational diabetes harm the Mother and Baby?
Most women with gestational diabetes proceed to have normal pregnancies if the condition is diagnosed and observed properly. If it is not diagnosed or monitored properly, gestational diabetes may cause serious threat to both mother and child. If your blood sugar levels are too high due to gestational diabetes, your baby’s blood sugar levels will be too high as well, causing the baby’s pancreas to produce more insulin (fetal hyperinsulinemia). Likely issues are:
- Low blood sugar (neonatal hypoglycemia)
- Premature delivery
- Newborn jaundice
- Problems with breathing and the heart for your baby after delivery
- Stillbirth or miscarriage
- Difficulty in giving birth as a result of your baby growing too large and the baby may go on to become overweight in childhood and adulthood.
- Perinatal death
Gestational diabetes does not increase the chances of infant deaths.
How to manage Gestational Diabetes naturally
Gestational diabetes can be managed effectively through exercise and diet. Eating a good balanced diet (avoiding processed foods like chocolate, cake, fast food and refined grains), getting some form of exercise most days of the week should keep gestational diabetes under control and lower any potential risk to you or your baby. Drugs could also be administered if diet and exercise alone don’t help to lower your glucose levels.
How the test is done?
Make sure you have a very good meal as you will have to fast from midnight and won’t be able to take anything until after the test and you can either take a snack or pack food to eat after because you will go very hungry.
Two step testing:
Amid the initial step, you will have a glucose screening test. You do not have to plan or adjust your diet by any means. You will be asked to take a fluid that includes glucose. After that, your blood will be drawn an hour after you drink the fluid. In the event that your blood glucose from the initial step is high, you should return for a 3-hour glucose tolerance test and for this test, try not to eat or drink anything for 8 to 14 hours other than nips of water.
You will drink a fluid that contains 100 grams of glucose and have your blood drawn before you drink the fluid and 3 more times every hour you drink it. Your blood glucose level will be checked each time. Results considered abnormal for this test are:
- Fasting results are >95 mg/dl
- One hour results are >180 mg/dl
- Two hour results are >155 mg/dl
- Three hour results are >140 mg/dl
Your doctor might ask you to change your diet if only one of the test results is higher than normal.
One step testing:
You have to go to the lab once for a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. Try not to eat or drink anything other than nips of water for 8 to 14 hours prior to the test, you additionally can’t eat during the test. After that, you will be asked to drink a fluid that contains 75g of glucose.
Your blood will be drawn before you imbibe the fluid and again two extra times every 60 minutes after you imbibe it. Your blood glucose will be checked each time.
Things to avoid before the test:
- Chewing gum
- Cigarettes: smoking can affect the test
- Indigestion remedies
You will have your blood tested for its glucose levels again after delivery. The testing would start immediately after you deliver until you are discharged from the hospital. Although, a woman’s blood glucose levels will go back to normal within two days of delivery but it is essential that you are tested for diabetes at your six weeks checkup. You will be referred to a general practitioner for further testing.
It is essential to ask for test results as well as the cut offs used as you can detect errors and also can be used for questionable treatment practices. In most scenarios, you won’t be able to ask for the test results from the lab technicians and are mostly not permitted to give the results to you. On the other hand, you have every right to know the exact results and see all documentation from your health provider. It is essential for a patient to be involved in her own care.
Side effects of Glucose Pregnancy Test
The side effects of glucose pregnancy tests are more ravaging. As expressed, the fluid that you will drink prior to the test is very concentrated and sugary. Although, it is flavored with orange, cola, lime and other different flavors, you may still find it not tasting good or leaving a terrible after taste in your mouth.
The high amounts of glucose can disturb your stomach, making you have the urge to throw up. As difficult as you may find it, resist the urge to throw up as throwing up can alter the test result and also cause you to start again.
You will also get the urge to go to the bathroom badly because your bladder is full due to the fluid drunk prior to the test. It is advisable to go to do bathroom before you drink the fluid.
Are there alternatives to glucose pregnancy test?
Yes there are alternatives, you can try the suggestions below:
- A good diet and random glucose testing should be considered. This requires finger stick blood testing which you can even do at home and it is usually used by women who can’t go on with the glucose pregnancy test. One test result is not enough to diagnose gestational diabetes.
- The jelly bean test: you will have to eat 28 jelly beans which provide 50 grams of sugar for this test. This test is quite reliable than the oral glucose test drinks usually used and mostly preferred by women because they have fewer side effects.
- Hemoglobin A1C test: it is an easy test which does not require drinking anything prior. This test when done early in pregnancy can determine whether you had undetected diabetes before you even got pregnant.
In the event that you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, do not let the anxiety get to you which will have an effect on your baby. It is so essential to stick to healthy eating habits and exercises throughout your life, this anomalous condition will get back to normal after delivery in most cases.