When Should I Measure My Blood Glucose
Throughout the rest of your pregnancy, you will need to measure your blood glucose levels at various points through the day, to check that they are within the limits you have been given at each of those times:
When you get up You need to measure your blood glucose levels each morning when you get up, before you have anything to eat or drink. This blood glucose level is called your fasting blood glucose level because you will have an empty stomach. You must not have eaten or drunk anything apart from water overnight, for at least eight hours.
Your team should have discussed this with you and agreed the ideal morning blood glucose level for you to aim for.
Before or after every meal You will probably be asked to measure your blood glucose level around the time of a meal. Some services measure before eating while others measure one or two hours after a meal .
Again, you will have discussed and agreed an ideal blood glucose level after meals with your diabetes team. These levels will be higher than your fasting blood glucose levels, as you will just have eaten.
If you are taking insulin to help to control your blood glucose levels, you may need to do a separate test before you go to bed, or even during the night, although this is unusual.
Ã¢When we did go out for a special meal or two, and IÃ¢d have a little bit of cheesecake or something, it really affected my sugar levels. But that wouldÃ¢ve been just twice in the whole pregnancy.Ã¢Gemma, mum of one
What Are The Things That Might Make You Think You Dont Have Gestational Diabetes
Things like normal weight gain, no high blood sugars prior to pregnancy, and no family history of diabetes do put you at a lower risk. However, its still not unusual for people with all of these positive signs to STILL have diabetes!
Hence, you HAVE to take the test.
And yes, this does seem complicated to have something that can be so problematic be an issue so detrimental to your baby. Its annoying our body cant detect it on its own.
Want to simplify pregnancythis is the one to do that!
Why Do I Need A Glucose Tolerance Test
In pregnancy, women who will be offered a GTT will have been identified as having one of the following:
- A raised body mass index over 30kg/mÂ². BMI is a measurement of your weight in kilograms and your height in metres.
- A previous baby over 4.5kg .
- Confirmed gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.
- Family origin .
- First degree relative that has diabetes .
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How Is Gestational Diabetes Screening Done
Screening for gestational diabetes may be done in a couple of ways.
- Two-part screening.
- Part one : A blood sample is taken after you drink a liquid that contains sugar . You don’t need to stop eating or drinking before this test. If the test shows that you don’t have a lot of sugar in your blood, you don’t have gestational diabetes.
- Part two : If the first test shows a lot of sugar in your blood, then you may have an OGTT. You can’t eat or drink for at least 8 hours before this test. A blood sample is taken, then you drink a sweet liquid. You have more blood tests after 1 to 3 hours. If the OGTT shows that you have a lot of sugar in your blood, you may have gestational diabetes.
- One-part screening.
Sometimes doctors use the OGTT on its own. If the test shows that you don’t have a lot of sugar in your blood, you don’t have gestational diabetes. If you do have a lot of sugar in your blood, you may have the condition.
Can I Refuse The Glucose Challenge Test When Pregnant
Yes, you can refuse the glucose screening. However, most major medical associations and pregnancy care providers recommend all pregnant people be screened for gestational diabetes. Glucose screenings are the only way to help your provider diagnose gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes puts you and the fetus at risk for complications.
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Gain The Right Amount Of Weight
Gaining too much or too quickly during pregnancy can increase the chances for GD, so talk to your doctor about what you should be seeing on the scale. In general, you should aim to gain 25 to 35 pounds if your pre-pregnancy body mass index was in the normal range, 15 to 25 pounds if you were overweight before becoming pregnant, and 11 to 20 pounds if you were obese before coming pregnant.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
How Does Having An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Feel
You may find it hard to drink the extremely sweet glucose liquid. Some people feel sick after drinking the glucose liquid and may vomit. Vomiting may prevent you from completing the test on that day.
When a blood sample is taken, you may feel nothing at all from the needle. Or you might feel a quick sting or pinch.
You may feel faint from having several blood samples taken in one day. But the amount of blood taken will not cause significant blood loss or anemia.
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What Is The Glucose Tolerance Test
Prior to the taking the glucose tolerance test, your doctor will ask you to make sure and eat at least 150 mg of carbohydrates for three days prior to the time you will be asked to fast. You will not be permitted to eat or drink anything but sips of water for 14 hours prior to the test, so it is best to schedule the test for first thing in the morning.
Additionally, you should plan to have someone drive you to and from the test since your energy levels may be low and there is a slight possibility you may feel light-headed.
3-Hour Glucose Test
When you arrive, the technician will draw blood to measure your baseline fasting blood glucose level. You will be asked to drink a larger volume of the glucose drink than was used in the initial Glucose Challenge Screening test. Your blood will be drawn and tested every hour for the next three hours.
The following are the values that the American Diabetes Association considers to be abnormal during the Glucose Tolerance Test:
Alternatives To The Glucose Test During Pregnancy
Glucose tests are considered the gold standard for diagnosing gestational diabetes, and doctors strongly recommend that all women get the initial screening. However, we recognize that in some circumstances, including women whove had bariatric surgery, performing these tests may not be possible, says Greves.
Klein acknowledges that people may have trouble tolerating the highly concentrated drink. She says that, instead, they may be able to use a glucometer at home to regularly self-monitor their levels and assess if theres any blood glucose dysregulation. She adds that some doctors will allow alternatives to the Glucola beverage if its something equivalent to 50 or 100 grams of glucose. Another form of simple sugar, such as jelly beans or fruit juice may be acceptable, she says. Of course, protocols vary by practice, and Klein and Greves stress that youll want to discuss options with your doctor. They may want you to stick with the tried-and-true oral glucose tolerance test.
The initial glucose test during pregnancy is par for the course for moms-to-be. And those that need to carve out the time for the three-hour glucose tolerance test will come to realize that some minor unpleasantness is no big thing if it means keeping you and your little one on the path to a healthy delivery. Well drink to that.
About the experts:
Stephanie Klein, RD, LDN, CDCES, is a registered dietitian and the clinical director of diabetes prevention and reversal at Simplex Health.
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Is There Anyway To Cheat A Fasting Blood Sugar Test
There is no way to cheat the test. You wont be able to manipulate the way your body processes sugar unless you have access to specific medications.
I wont go into any more details because YOU SHOULD NOT try to cheat the glucose pregnancy test.
This test is really important if you care about the health of your pregnancy and baby.
We need to be able to see how youre body processes sugar.
If you have gestational diabetes and try to falsify your results, you will increase
- the risk of your baby having birth defects
So get tested and do it right!
Glucose Test In Pregnancy Fasting
Being pregnant means extra routine tests and screenings that women wouldnt take before they were expecting. The glucose test in pregnancy fasting is one such screening that is conducted early in the third trimester. It is an important check up to measure the levels of glucose in a pregnant womans blood. With an understanding of what this test entails, as well as why its done, women can feel better prepared.
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What To Do During The Procedure
- You must remain seated quietly for 30 minutes before and during the test.
- You will be at the collection centre for a minimum of 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- You are required to remain in the collection centre until the procedure is completed.
- Bring some reading material or other activity to pass the time.
- If you feel unwell during the test, please inform the collection staff as you may wish to lie down.
- A fasting blood sample collected.
- A 75g bottle of glucose to drink within 5 minutes.
- A 1 hour post glucose blood sample collected.
- A 2 hour post glucose blood sample collected.
What Are The Risks Of A Glucose Tolerance Test
I hear that there are no risks associated with a glucose tolerance test.
However, I have personally be affected by a VERY low blood sugar following the 3-hour test. Honestly, so low that I probably should have been in a coma.
SO, I always recommend that on both the 1-hour and the 3-hour test that you bring something that has a nice balance of carbs and protein to eat right after the test is over. I usually take a peanut butter and honey sandwich since its easy to keep in my bag or my car. And can easily be eaten quickly.
NOTE: This snack is for AFTER the test is over. Make sure you follow the instructions for the test during the procedure. It is really important.
If you have any questions or concerns about the test, talk to your doctor or midwife. Theyll be happy to answer any questions you have.
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How To Pass The Glucose Tolerance Test In Pregnancy
So youre 24+ weeks, and you were told to take the glucose test.
If youre anxious, youre not alone.
After reading this post, youre going to learn how to pass the glucose tolerance test in pregnancy.
Specifically, youll learn:
- How to prepare for the 1 hour test, ,
- What you should eat before taking the glucose test, and
- What happens if you fail the 3 hour test.
Lets get started.
Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.
Ok, moving on.
What Is The Glucose Tolerance Test Like Do I Have To Fast
Fast overnight: Typically you’re instructed to eat a late meal the night before the test and then to eat or drink nothing after that, except for sips of water. The fasting period is usually 8 to 14 hours before the test, so you’ll want to schedule the test for first thing in the morning.
Here’s what to expect at the lab:
- First blood draw: When you arrive for the test, a blood sample is taken to measure your fasting blood glucose level.
- An even sweeter drink: Next, you’ll drink either a more concentrated dose or a larger volume of glucose solution.
- Three more blood draws: Brace yourself for three more arm pricks, as your blood is tested every hour for the next three hours. The lab tech should alternate arms each time your blood is drawn.
Some tips to make your test more comfortable:
- Have someone drive you to and from the test in case you feel lightheaded or are low on energy due to fasting.
- Bring something to distract you, because you have to stay nearby when your blood is not being drawn.
- Bring something to eat right after the final blood sample is taken, because you’ll probably be starving.
Results: After the test, if one of the readings is abnormal, you may have to take another test later in your pregnancy. Or your provider may ask you to make some changes in your diet and exercise routine. See “What is the treatment for gestational diabetes?” below.
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Glucose Tolerance Test Results
Itâs worth knowing that approximately 66 percent of pregnant women who take the glucose tolerance test end up not being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. So, just because your provider has ordered a glucose tolerance test during your pregnancy doesnât automatically mean you have gestational diabetes.So, what do the results of the glucose tolerance test indicate? Four blood samples are drawn during a glucose tolerance test. If just one of the four results is higher than normal, your provider may recommend that you make subtle changes to your current pregnancy diet. The provider may have you take another glucose tolerance test after youâve made those changes to check if the results have improved.If more than one of the results is higher than normal, your provider may determine that you have gestational diabetes. The following figures indicate higher than normal blood sugar levels:
Fasting blood sample: Higher than 95 mg/dL
1-hour blood sample: Higher than 180 mg/dL
2-hour blood sample: Higher than 155 mg/dL
3-hour blood sample: Higher than 140 mg/dL .
If itâs determined that you have gestational diabetes, your healthcare provider can help guide you in making changes to help manage it. Eating a healthy diet, exercising during your pregnancy, and taking medication prescribed by your provider have been shown to help control blood sugar and to help keep you and your baby healthy.
How Do You Prepare And What Can You Eat Before The Glucose Tests
In preparation for either of the glucose tests, you can continue to eat normally in the days leading up to the test. Thereâs no specific prep you need to do or any reason for you to change your pregnancy. However, the glucose tolerance test does require you to fast beforehand. If youâre taking any medications, let your healthcare provider know in advance as some medications may affect test results.
How Do You Pass Your Pregnancy Glucose Test
How your body works to process glucose during pregnancy is mostly out of your control. However, eating sugary, sweet foods before your screening will affect your results. These include things like bread, pasta, cakes, sugary cereals, juices and soft drinks. If you want to pass your glucose screening test, avoid these foods and drinks prior to the test.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Screening for gestational diabetes is just one of the many tests youll have during pregnancy. Its become a routine part of prenatal care because unmanaged diabetes can cause complications for both you and the fetus. Glucose tests are simple and relatively painless. It involves drinking a sweet, sugary liquid and getting blood drawn from a vein in your arm at specific intervals. If your body isnt processing glucose correctly, your blood glucose levels will be elevated or abnormal. Talk to your pregnancy care provider to make sure you understand what a glucose test is, when to get it and where you need to go. They can help you understand the process.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy
How Does The Glucose Test Work
You arrive to the lab. Some doctors want you to fast prior to the test, although most often anymore you dont need to arrive fasting. I have a whole post on what to eat before your gestational diabetes test.
If your doctor wants a fasting blood sugar, they will take a blood sample .
They will have you drink a very sweet glucose solution . They will then check your blood glucose level 1 hour after you drink the solution. After they test that, they will know if youre OK or if it was abnormal and you need to take the 3-hour test, or if it was high enough they are confident to diagnose gestational diabetes at that point.
During the test pregnant women should not eat or drink anything else.
Pro Tip: Make SURE to bring a snack with carbohydrates and proteins with you during this test. For me, my blood sugar always drops afterwards and I dont feel too well. Making sure that I eat right after helps a lot .
I also have an article that gives tips to passing your glucose test. Cliff notes: There isnt much .
The most important thing to be aware of in this article is that there are no particular signs of gestational diabetes. Yes, if people have wild blood sugar swings, or specific bad symptoms that CAN be a sign, but the VAST majority of people diagnosed with gestational diabetes have no idea that they had it. The good news is that you only really need to follow the diet recommendations for the remainder of your pregnancy
- About the Author
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