Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
The OGTT measures blood glucose after you fast for at least 8 hours. First, a health care professional will draw your blood. Then you will drink the liquid containing glucose. You will need your blood drawn every hour for 2 to 3 hours for a doctor to diagnose gestational diabetes.
High blood glucose levels at any two or more blood test timesfasting, 1 hour, 2 hours, or 3 hoursmean you have gestational diabetes. Your health care team will explain what your OGTT results mean.
Your health care professional may recommend an OGTT without first having the glucose challenge test.
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So What Is Gestational Diabetes
GDM is diabetes of pregnancy. That means once you have birthed, you are no longer considered diabetic.
That being said, history of GDM is linked to higher risk of Type 2 diabetes later in life, so it is important to have diabetes follow-up with your GP at 6-8 weeks post birth and ongoing.;
The hormones produced by the placenta are vital in helping a baby grow and develop.
However, these hormones also block the action of insulin, which lowers blood glucose levels.
In pregnancy, the need for insulin is 2-3 times higher because of this insulin resistance.
In the case of GDM, the body isnt coping with the extra demand for insulin and the blood glucose levels are therefore higher.;
How To Pass The 3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test
Just like the 1 hour glucose test, there isnt any special way to ensure that you pass the 3 hour oral glucose tolerance test aka the ogtt.
Your best bet is to eat a well-balanced diet leading up to the test and minimizing the consumption of simple carbs like cereal, white flour, juice, and soda.
Making these changes the night before or the week before is unlikely to make a big difference. You should make these changes months in advance.
Its also a good idea to try and maintain these habits postpartum as well. Unfortunately, 60% of women with gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes later in life.
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Pregnant People Undergo This Type Of Glucose Screening To Test For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a condition that develops during pregnancy when too much glucose stays in your blood instead of being used for energy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says.
If you have gestational diabetes, your body passes more sugar to your baby that it needs, ACOG explains. That can cause your baby to gain a lot of weight and cause complications for you, including labor difficulties, the need for a C-section, heavy bleeding after delivery, and severe tears in your vagina. It also raises your risk for high blood pressure during pregnancy, which can place extra stress on your heart and kidneys.
The glucose screening usually happens near the end of the second trimester, between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. It may be done in one or two steps: The standard two-step version of the test starts with a one-hour test thats recommended for all pregnant people. Then, if your results on the one-hour test show that you have too much glucose in your blood, you may then be required to complete a three-hour test, MedlinePlus explains. In the single-step version of the test, the whole thing is done in two hours.
The test you get depends on your doctor and their preference. No matter which test you’re given, though, they all look for the same thing: to see how your body and blood sugar responds to receiving a load of glucose, Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified ob/gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, tells SELF.
What To Eat Before Glucose Test Pregnancy
You will need to fast about eight hours before going to your doctors office. They will draw blood for testing your fasting glucose level, then you will have the sugary drink . They will then draw your blood one hour after drinking.
When figuring out what to eat during the days before the test, it’s best to stick with nutrient-dense foods with complex carbohydrates and fiber. Here are some examples:
- Whole wheat bread and pasta
- Brown rice or quinoa
- Certain fruits less in sugar
- Non-starchy vegetables)
- Meat, poultry, eggs, and fish
Besides what to eat, there are also certain foods you have to avoid. You should NOT have simple carbohydrates or food high in sugar. This can have your blood sugar levels spike, leading to a false positive.
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How To Pass The Glucose Tolerance Test For Pregnancy
If you have no choice but to take the glucose test, Ill pass on this tip that my doctor shared with me: Rather than eating a low-carb meal before you take the test, as so many doctors recommend, she actually recommends eating a low-fat, higher-carb meal because the body seems to respond to the test better that way.
Since false positives are fairly common with the one-hour glucose test, I wonder if this tip might help to avoid that. Also, its not uncommon for fasting numbers to be higher than post-meal numbers, so if I had to do it again, I would definitely eat something 2 hours before taking the one-hour test. I fasted for my one-hour test the last time, and failed it by one or two measly points, but went on to pass my 3-hour test with flying colors.
Reader Feedback: If youve ever been pregnant, did your doctor offer you an alternative to the glucose test? Id love to hear if there are any;other options available!
Get 7 To 9 Hours Of Sleep Each Night
We all know sleep is good for us, but can the right amount of sleep help prevent gestational diabetes?;
A few studies have found a correlation between poor quality sleep and gestational diabetes. Surprisingly, this study also found that women with poor sleep and longer duration of sleep had the highest risk of GDM .;
Another study associated poor sleep quality AND getting less than six hours of sleep per night with an increased risk of GDM.
Getting too little sleep and getting too much sleep both possibly lead to an increased risk of gestational diabetes so aiming for about 7 to 9 hours each night might help prevent GDM.;
How The Hell Did I Pass The Gestational Diabetes Test
I gave birth to my first daughter when I was 40. At the time, I was in good shape and a healthy eater, so I was shocked when, at 28 weeks, I flunked the gestational diabetes test.;I heard from other mamas that the condition can be age-related, so I chalked it up to the fun of AMA . Still, my third trimester was super frustrating as I adopted a strict, low-carb diet mandated by an unyielding nutritionist who clearly did not understand the intensity of my cravings. My sweet tooth was never satisfied by small portions of berries, and a sandwich just wasnt a sandwich atop a single high fiber tortilla.
When my daughter was born, and our first visitor to the maternity ward asked what he could bring, my husband wisely told him, Krispy Kremes. I will never forget how good those forbidden donuts tasted.
So when I got pregnant again, youd think I would have adopted a GD diet proactively, but I did not. Far from it. First trimester, I was so nauseous that I lived on bread products, including Stove Top stuffing . After that, my sweet cravings kicked in hard, and I didnt deny them, nor did the bakery across the street. If gestational diabetes was more age than diet related, why suffer until I absolutely had to? I even procrastinated taking the test, certain that Id once again fail and soon be deprived of all my favorite foods. My hormones hate that.
If Your Blood Glucose Levels Are Too High After The One
This one is a little more intense. For starters, youre not supposed to eat or drink anything other than sips of water for 8 to 14 hours before this test, according to MedlinePlus.
When you get to your doctors office or lab, theyll draw your blood and then hand you another super sweet drink to enjoy . Then, youll have your blood drawn three more timesevery 60 minutes from the time you first had the drink. After that, youll be sent on your way and, again, you can expect results anywhere from the next day to three days later.
This test looks for abnormalities from each blood draw. So, if the results of only one of your blood tests is higher than normal, your doctor may recommend that you alter your diet and then test you again later, Dr. Greves says. But if more than one of your results is higher than normal, that’s an indicator that you might have gestational diabetes, MedlinePlus says.
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When To Seek Medical Care
Do I Need To Be Fasting For The Pregnancy Glucose Test
You do not need to be fasting for the traditional 1 hour test.
However, there is a 2 hour 75-gram glucose test that can be done.
For the 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test, you need to be fasting, and you have to have your blood sugar level taken three times.;
The first blood test will look at your fasting glucose, then you will get two more blood tests done. Once after an hour, and again after 2 hours.
Most OBGYN providers use the 1-hour test.
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Risks And Side Effects
Most people do not experience any side effects from glucose testing, and serious complications are rare.
As it involves fasting and blood testing, the glucose tolerance test might cause nausea, light-headedness, shortness of breath, and sweating in some people.
The doctor uses a needle to draw the blood, so the injection may cause moderate pain for some.
More serious but less common risks include:
- excessive bleeding
The glucose tolerance test is not the only way to diagnose diabetes. Doctors use other tests to diagnose and monitor the condition.
Preparing For Your Test
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Gestational Diabetes: 8 Facts You Need To Know
If you are trying to get pregnant or are currently in the early stages of pregnancy, you probably have concerns about certain pregnancy-related health issues and risks. One condition that many mothers have heard of and are concerned about is gestational diabetes.
According to the CDC, gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes prior to pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to process sugar and convert it into energy. This leads to high glucose levels in the blood .;
If you have concerns about gestational diabetes, it is best to consult your doctor. But there are some important things you should know about it in the meantime.;
What Is A Pregnancy Glucose Test
A pregnancy glucose test, also known as a gestational oral glucose tolerance test, screens for potential gestational diabetes. It is usually performed between 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy in women who have not been diagnosed with diabetes before. There are two different strategies for testing. A one-step approach and a two-step approach.
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What Happens If I Fail My Glucose Test During Pregnancy
Around 24-28 weeks gestation, most practitioners will order a blood glucose test to see if the pregnant patient has gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar condition that 2-5 percent of pregnant women develop during pregnancy. Because this condition rarely causes any visible symptoms, performing a glucose test is the only way to find out if a patient has it. If a patient tests positive for this screening, a glucose tolerance test is needed. A GTT is a longer more definitive test that will tell a patient definitively whether or not she has gestational diabetes.
What Happens Once Diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes?;
There are many different plans that a practitioner could set a patient on depending how high the glucose levels were on the glucose tolerance test. Most patients are referred to a high-risk OB-GYN as additional screenings are needed to ensure the fetus is not in any distress and monitor the fetus growth, as a result of this condition.
Patients who are unable to control their glucose levels could need to try medication to aide throughout the rest of their pregnancy. It is important for a patient to discuss her feelings and any side effects of gestational diabetes medication with a doctor while on them.
What Can I Do To Avoid Gestational Diabetes
There are some factors that increase a womans risk for developing gestational diabetes, including an age > 30 years, body mass index > 25, having a first-degree relative with diabetes, and being a woman of Hispanic, African American, Native American, South or East Asian, or Pacific Island descent – and, clearly, not many of these factors can be adjusted!
However, no matter a womans size or presence of other risk factors, eating well and exercising often prior to and during pregnancy can help a woman achieve better health during pregnancy.
Between the 1-hour glucose test and my upcoming 3-hour test, I had to remind myself that even though I was doing the best that I could with eating and exercise, perhaps pregnancy could change my body in ways that I and others may not yet understand. Maybe my blood sugar regulating hormones just couldnt keep up, maybe my body was an overachiever at pumping out other hormones that impaired insulins action, or maybe there was a metabolic framework or genetic code that I couldnt control even with a healthy, balanced eating pattern! As challenging as it was, I had to give myself grace that I and some of my former choices – like the ice cream I had on my birthday and the candy I ate on a family vacation while pregnant – were not to blame or acknowledge in shame. So, I breathed. And I researched more
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What Is The Test
The initial test, or the Glucose Challenge Screening, consists of a pregnant woman drinking 100 grams of glucose within 5 minutes, fasting for one hour and getting her blood drawn at the end of the hour. The test determines how your body processes sugar. If the test is positive, the woman will need to take Glucose Tolerance Test. With the secondary test, you will have;to fast prior to the test, drink a larger volume of liquid and get your blood drawn before and after drinking the glucose drink multiple times.
I am going to outline my strategies for passing the initial Glucose Challenge Screening. This is what has worked for me and I hope it will help you too!