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What Is A Glucose Test When Pregnant?

All You Need To Know About The Glucose Tolerance Test

All You Need To Know About The Glucose Tolerance Test

Most of the food people eat is turned directly into glucose when digested, and the body uses it as energy. The pancreas is responsible for making the hormone insulin which helps to get glucose into the cells of the body. Diabetes is a long-term disease that occurs due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the body being unable to use the insulin it produces effectively. The body is unable to process food properly to use for energy. Glucose builds up in the blood, which can lead to severe health problems. There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and is also known as juvenile diabetes. With type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin. According to The American Diabetes Association, only 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In people with type 2 diabetes, their body does not use insulin properly, which is known as insulin resistance. The pancreas responds by making more insulin to cover the deficiency but is not able to keep blood glucose at normal levels. As glucose builds up in the blood, the body's cells do not receive the energy they need. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. Glucose tolerance test: Testing for diabetes A simple blood test can often detect diabetes. If the test produces borderline results, a glucose tolerance test may help with the final diagnosis. In a healthy person, glucose levels will rise after eating a meal and return to normal once the glucose is used or stored by the body. A glucose tolerance test can help to work out the difference between normal glucose levels and the levels seen in diabetes and prediabetes. The glucose tolerance test is used to measure t Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. It can occur at any stage of pregnancy, but is more common in the second half. It occurs if your body cannot produce enough insulin – a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels – to meet the extra needs in pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can cause problems for you and your baby during and after birth. But the risk of these problems happening can be reduced if it's detected and well managed. Who's at risk of gestational diabetes Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but you're at an increased risk if: your body mass index (BMI) is above 30 – use the healthy weight calculator to work out your BMI you previously had a baby who weighed 4.5kg (10lbs) or more at birth you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy one of your parents or siblings has diabetes your family origins are south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern If any of these apply to you, you should be offered screening for gestational diabetes during your pregnancy. Symptoms of gestational diabetes Gestational diabetes doesn't usually cause any symptoms. Most cases are only picked up when your blood sugar level is tested during screening for gestational diabetes. Some women may develop symptoms if their blood sugar level gets too high (hyperglycaemia), such as: But some of these symptoms are common during pregnancy anyway and aren't necessarily a sign of a problem. Speak to your midwife or doctor if you're worried about any symptoms you're experiencing. How gestational diabetes can affect your pregnancy Most women with gestational diabetes have otherwise normal pregnancies with healthy babies. However, gestational diabetes can cause problems s Continue reading >>

Glucose Screening And Glucose Tolerance Tests

Glucose Screening And Glucose Tolerance Tests

Why do I need a glucose screening test during pregnancy? Most healthcare practitioners routinely recommend a glucose screening test (also called a glucose challenge test or GCT) between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy. Between 2 and 5 percent of expectant mothers develop this condition, making it one of the most common health problems during pregnancy. And because the condition rarely causes any symptoms, testing is the only way to find out whether you have it. Like any screening test, the GCT won't give you a diagnosis. Instead, it's designed to identify as many women as possible who may have a problem and need more testing to find out. So a positive result doesn't mean that you have gestational diabetes. In fact, only about a third of women who test positive on the glucose screen actually have the condition. If you test positive on the screening, you'll need to take the glucose tolerance test (GTT) – a longer, more definitive test that tells you for sure whether you have gestational diabetes. Your practitioner may want you to be screened earlier than 24 weeks if a routine urine test shows a lot of sugar in your urine or if you're considered high risk. If the results are normal, you'll be screened again at 24 to 28 weeks. Of course, if you were diagnosed with diabetes before pregnancy, you won't need to be screened. Instead, you'll continue to work with your practitioner to manage your condition during pregnancy. How is the glucose screening test done? When you arrive for the test, you're given a sugar solution that contains 50 grams of glucose. The stuff tastes like a very sweet soda pop (it comes in cola, orange, or lime flavor), and you have to Continue reading >>

Glucose Screening And Glucose Tolerance Test

Glucose Screening And Glucose Tolerance Test

Nearly 1 in 10 women will develop gestational diabetes (GD or GDM) during pregnancy — which is why almost all practitioners screen for it in all their patients. Fortunately, gestational diabetes is also one of the most easily managed pregnancy complications. When blood sugar is closely controlled through diet, exercise and, if necessary, medication, women with gestational diabetes are likely to have perfectly normal pregnancies and healthy babies. When a glucose screening is done The glucose screen is usually done between week 24 of pregnancy and week 28 of pregnancy. Some practitioners may test earlier if you're at higher risk for the disorder, including if you're obese, 35 or older, have a family history of diabetes or had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy. How a glucose screening is done The glucose screening is simple, especially if you have a sweet tooth. First, you'll drink a very sweet glucose (aka sugar) drink, which usually tastes like flat orange soda. Then you'll wait for one hour before having some blood drawn and tested for glucose. Most women chug the stuff with no problem and no side effects; a few, especially those who don't have a taste for sweet liquids, feel a little queasy afterwards. How a glucose tolerance test is done If the results of your glucose screening show elevated levels of glucose in your blood, it's possible that you might not be producing enough insulin to process the extra glucose in your system. Your doctor may then order a glucose tolerance test. For this diagnostic test, you'll be asked to fast overnight. Your blood will be drawn in the morning, and then you'll drink a higher-concentration glucose mixture. Your blood will be drawn three more times, at one, two, and three hours later. If a glucose tolerance test diagnose Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

What Is Gestational Diabetes? Gestational diabetes sometimes develops when a woman is pregnant. It’s when the blood glucose level (blood sugar level) of the mother goes too high during pregnancy. Having an elevated blood glucose level during pregnancy can cause problems for your baby—if it’s left untreated. Fortunately, doctors are vigilant about checking for gestational diabetes so that it can be identified and effectively managed. A pro-active treatment plan helps you have a good pregnancy and protects the health of your baby. Gestational Diabetes Symptoms Gestational diabetes doesn’t often cause noticeable symptoms for the mother. Other types of diabetes (eg, type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes) do cause symptoms such as increased thirst, but that is hardly ever noticed in gestational diabetes. Because there aren’t often symptoms, it’s very important to be tested for a high blood glucose level when you’re pregnant. (Your doctor will most likely test you for gestational diabetes sometime between the 24th and 28th week. You can learn more about the diagnostic process here.) Then your doctor will know if you need to be treated for gestational diabetes. Gestational Diabetes Causes and Risk Factors Gestational diabetes develops when your body isn’t able to produce enough of the hormone insulin during pregnancy. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose—what your body uses for energy—into the cells. Without enough insulin, you can build up too much glucose in your blood, leading to a higher-than-normal blood glucose level and perhaps gestational diabetes. The elevated blood glucose level in gestational diabetes is caused by hormones released by the placenta during pregnancy. The placenta produces a hormone called the human placental lactogen (HPL), also Continue reading >>

1-hour Glucose Challenge Test Or Gct (plasma, Serum) During Pregnancy

1-hour Glucose Challenge Test Or Gct (plasma, Serum) During Pregnancy

What is the 1-Hour Glucose Challenge Test GCT? The 1-hour glucose challenge test or GCT measures the effect of a glucose solution on blood glucose levels. Patients are brought into the lab where one blood sample is taken 1-hour after a glucose solution is consumed. The glucose solution typically contains 50 grams of glucose but may also contain 75 or 100 grams. The 1-hour glucose challenge test is a screening test done to identify who may be at risk of diabetes. It does not usually diagnose diabetes but done to identify those who require additional testing. Pregnant women take the 1-hour glucose tolerance test as a screening tool for gestational diabetes. If the test results are below 130 mg/dl (or below 140 mg/dl) then no additional testing is required. If the test is above 130 mg (135 or 140 mg) then a 3-hour glucose tolerance test or GTT is ordered. The 3-hour glucose tolerance test uses a 100 gram glucose solution. If non-fasting glucose levels are greater than 126 mg/dL or normal daily glucose levels are greater than 200 mg/dL, glucose tolerance testing is not necessary as these measurements indicate diabetes. Normal Value Range Adult Non-Pregnant and Pregnant: Below 130 to 140 mg/dL or 7.2 to 7.8 mmol/L < Laboratory Values During Pregnancy Continue reading >>

Glucose Tolerance Test

Glucose Tolerance Test

What is a glucose tolerance test? A glucose tolerance test measures how well your body’s cells are able to absorb glucose, or sugar, after you ingest a given amount of sugar. Doctors use fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c values to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and prediabetes. A glucose tolerance test can also be used. Doctors primarily use a glucose tolerance test to diagnose gestational diabetes. Doctors often diagnose type 1 diabetes quickly because it usually develops quickly and involves high blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, often develops over years. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it usually develops during adulthood. Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman who doesn’t have diabetes before pregnancy has high blood sugar levels as a result of the pregnancy. The American Diabetes Association estimates that gestational diabetes occurs in 9.2 percent of pregnancies. Doctors should screen all women for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can cause pregnancy complications, so early detection and prompt treatment are important. If you’re pregnant, your doctor will usually recommend this test between the 24th and 28th week of your pregnancy. Your doctor may also recommend that you have this test earlier if you’re having the symptoms of prediabetes or diabetes. Preparing for the glucose tolerance test involves the following: Continue to eat a normal diet in the days leading up to the test. Consult with your doctor about any medications you’re currently taking. Some medications, such as corticosteroids, beta-blockers, diuretics, and antidepressants, can interfere with the results. Abstain from food for at least eight hours before the scheduled test. You may drink water, but avoid Continue reading >>

Pregnancy And Gestational Diabetes Screening

Pregnancy And Gestational Diabetes Screening

All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Screening may be done by taking the woman's medical history and examining certain risk factors, but an oral glucose tolerance test is also recommended. The oral glucose tolerance test is used to screen for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a specific type of diabetes that can develop in some women late in pregnancy (usually after the 24th week). Women who develop this complication do not have diabetes before becoming pregnant. The test is generally given between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If you have had gestational diabetes before, or if your health care provider is concerned about your risk of developing gestational diabetes, the test may be performed before the 13th week of pregnancy. The oral glucose tolerance test involves quickly drinking a sweetened liquid (called Glucola), which contains 50g of glucose. The body absorbs this glucose rapidly, causing blood glucose levels to rise within 30 to 60 minutes. A blood sample will be taken from a vein in your arm about 60 minutes after drinking the solution. The blood test measures how the glucose solution was metabolized (processed by the body). A blood glucose level of 140mg/dL or higher will identify 80% of women with gestational diabetes. When that cutoff is lowered to 130mg/dL, the identification increases to 90%. If your blood glucose level was greater than 130 mg/dL, your provider will likely recommend you take another diabetes screening test that requires you to fast (not eat anything) before the test. During this second test, called the 100-gram oral glucose tolerance test, your blood glucose level will be tested four times during a three-hour period after drinking the sweetened (many flavors are availabl Continue reading >>

Glucola Pregnancy Glucose Test: What I Do

Glucola Pregnancy Glucose Test: What I Do

In my post about the pregnancy and prenatal care options I chose, I mention that I don’t take the pregnancy glucose test that requires drinking glucola (that syrupy orange or grape drink) and that I use an alternate method of testing. I’ve gotten so many questions about this that I decided it deserved its own post, especially while I am still pregnant and the topic is fresh on my mind. IMPORTANT: Please note that I am only writing about my own personal experience with this and the decisions I made after consulting with my OB or midwife (depending on which pregnancy it was). The information in this post (or any post I write) is not medical advice in any way… I’m just sharing my experience. Always consult with your own medical providers before making health decisions, especially during pregnancy, and make sure that you find providers who are willing to work with you to make the best decision for your pregnancy. All that being said, here’s what I do when it comes to the pregnancy glucose test. What is the Pregnancy Glucose Test? This was one of the sections I found in all of the many pregnancy books I read when pregnant with my first child. Current guidelines call for a glucose challenge test somewhere between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy to test for gestational diabetes. This test typically involves drinking a sweetened drink called Glucola that contains 50, 75, or 100 grams of sugar in different forms. In most cases, the first part of this test is an Oral Glucose Challenge Test (OGCT) that involves drinking the 50 gram solution and having a blood test exactly one hour later to measure blood sugar. If a woman passes this test, she typically won’t be given further testing for gestational diabetes. If a woman does not pass the test, a longer test involving a higher Continue reading >>

Glucose Tolerance Test (gtt)

Glucose Tolerance Test (gtt)

What is a glucose tolerance test? A glucose tolerance test (GTT) diagnoses diabetes in pregnancy by checking how well your body regulates your blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes, or GD, is a common pregnancy complication. It's thought to affect one pregnant woman in six. Although GD is common, testing for it is not routine. Your midwife will offer you the test only if she thinks there's a chance you could develop GD. Usually, you'll have the test when you’re between 24 weeks and 28 weeks pregnant. You could have the test earlier than this, usually at 16 weeks, depending on your medical history and where you live in the UK. For example, your midwife will offer the GTT sooner if you’ve had GD before. Why do I need a GTT? GD doesn’t often cause obvious symptoms, which is why testing is important. If GD isn’t recognised and treated it may put your health and your baby's health at risk. GD happens when your body fails to make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that keeps your blood sugar levels stable. It also helps your body to store sugar for when you need it later. During pregnancy, your body has to produce extra insulin to meet your baby’s needs, especially when he's growing rapidly. If your body can't make enough insulin, you may end up with too much sugar in your blood, resulting in GD. Having too much sugar in your blood may mean that your baby grows large. This increases your chances of having an induced labour, and a caesarean birth. GD, especially if it's not controlled, even raises the risk of a baby being stillborn. That's why it's so important to follow the advice of your midwife or doctor if you're diagnosed with GD. Am I at risk of developing GD? You’re more likely to develop GD if: Your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or above. You have previo Continue reading >>

Glucose Test During Pregnancy For Gestational Diabetes

Glucose Test During Pregnancy For Gestational Diabetes

Congratulations! A baby is on the way. Your nine months will be filled with preparations, from decorating the nursery to stocking up on bibs and booties to going for regular checkups to ensure that you and your baby are as healthy as possible. One of the tests that you’ll have during this time is to check for gestational diabetes. A few weeks ago, we looked at Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes, which is growing more common among pregnant women, will be our focus this week. What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes, or GDM for short, is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. In fact, it only occurs during pregnancy. (Gestational diabetes is not the same as diabetes in women who have existing diabetes and become pregnant). Diabetes, as most of you know, is a condition in which blood glucose levels go too high. High blood glucose levels can be harmful to you and, in the case of pregnancy, to your unborn child. Fortunately, blood glucose, or sugar, levels can be controlled during pregnancy, and in most instances, high blood sugar levels return to normal after the baby is delivered. According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 10% of pregnant women in the United States have gestational diabetes. What causes gestational diabetes? A lot of changes occur in the body during pregnancy, many of them occurring due to widely fluctuating hormone levels. The placenta, which is what connects the baby to the mother’s uterine lining, makes various hormones, and while this is a good thing, these hormones can sometimes make it hard for the body’s insulin to work properly (a condition called insulin resistance). As a result, blood sugar levels can start to climb in women who cannot produce enough insulin to deal with the insulin resistance. How do you Continue reading >>

Is The Glucose Test During Pregnancy Optional?

Is The Glucose Test During Pregnancy Optional?

Doctors recommend having a glucose test for gestational diabetes, but it's not mandatory. Here's what you need to know to make an informed choice. It’s an appointment on the calendar most pregnant women dread: the glucose test (or oral glucose screening), usually scheduled around week 26 to week 28 of pregnancy. You’ve no doubt seen many Instagram or Facebook pics posted by women tasked with drinking the super-sweet, typically orange liquid to gauge their body’s ability to handle glucose. This test is one of the ways to screen for gestational diabetes, a temporary form of diabetes that occurs only in pregnancy and typically resolves after delivery. The mama-to-be drinks the juice, hangs out for an hour in the waiting room, and then has blood taken to measure her glucose levels. (Ask your doctor, midwife or blood lab if you should fast beforehand or not—it can vary by clinic.) Your care provider may also specify a time constraint, like drinking the whole bottle in three to five minutes. A reading higher than 7.7 millimoles/L on the gestational diabetes chart calls for further follow-up testing, often called the glucose tolerance test. A reading higher than 11.1 millimoles/L likely means a gestational diabetes diagnosis. When I was expecting my second baby, the nurse at my bloodwork clinic told me there are two kinds of women when it comes to the glucose test: chuggers and sippers. I was totally a chugger. I downed that syrupy drink in just a few mouthfuls, to get the test over with as soon as possible. But a couple of days later, the doctor’s office called me back. There had been an error at the lab. I had to do the test again. I chugged the second time, too, eager to get back to work. That time my results were borderline, just a hair above acceptable levels, a Continue reading >>

Glucose Screening And Glucose Tolerance Testing

Glucose Screening And Glucose Tolerance Testing

Learn what these painless tests are, and why it's important to have them done during your second trimester. When is the test taken? Glucose screening is usually done between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If the test, which screens for gestational diabetes, reveals elevated levels of blood glucose (sugar), a glucose tolerance test is then given to confirm the gestational diabetes diagnosis. Who needs to take the test, and why? You should have a glucose screening during pregnancy if you are over 30, have a family history of diabetes, had a troubled earlier pregnancy or are obese. But even if you don't fit any of these criteria, your practitioner may still advise taking this safe and simple test, because about half of the women who develop gestational diabetes have no known risk factors. About 15 to 20 percent of women who take this screening will show abnormal levels of glucose and will be given the more involved (and more precise) glucose tolerance test. About 15 percent of the women given the second test will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can be controlled by diet, exercise or insulin. But if the elevated glucose levels remain undetected, the excess sugar in the mother's blood raises the odds of the baby being macrosomic, or overly large—generally 9 pounds, 14 ounces or more. Macrosomic babies may have difficulty fitting through the birth canal and are at risk for health problems such as jaundice, low blood calcium levels, or hypoglycemia. Luckily, glucose screening and glucose tolerance testing can help you detect gestational diabetes early, and give you a chance to minimize the risks of this condition. What's involved? For glucose screening, you will be given a syrupy (and a little unpleasant) glucose solution to drink. An hour after y Continue reading >>

Glucose Testing In Pregnancy: Should It Be Routine?

Glucose Testing In Pregnancy: Should It Be Routine?

“Gestational diabetes is one of those conditions where we just can’t seem to decide how to define it and how we should screen for it.” ~ Michelle Williams, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, August 2013 Tests should be done on the basis of individual risk. It’s rare that a test needs to be universally done – meaning that everyone gets it, pretty much no matter what. And healthy women should not be bullied into getting tests, as many pregnant women report happens when the 24 week mark rolls around signaling their doctor or midwife that it’s time for glucose testing. But should all women get glucose testing in pregnancy? This article explores just that… Pregnancy is Natural; Diabetes is Rampant…So What Should a Pregnant Mom Do? My strong belief in our ability to grow and birth healthy babies usually leads me to say less is more when it comes to pregnancy testing. In fact, if you’d asked me ten years ago, i, I’d have said, nope, routine glucose testing in pregnancy is just another example of the medicalization of a natural life process. While I still don’t recommend universal routine testing, here’s an interesting twist on the subject that has caused me to revisit my opinion on the potential value of glucose testing: The high rates of obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes in our country, and our growing knowledge of the risks posed to the developing baby from chronic exposure to mom’s elevated blood sugar suggest that many pregnant women – and their babies – might actually benefit from knowing their blood sugar status and adjusting their diets if their sugar is found to be chronically high. That said, there is uncertainty about whether glucose testing makes a difference in pregnancy outcomes, which gl Continue reading >>

Glucose Screening Tests During Pregnancy

Glucose Screening Tests During Pregnancy

TWO-STEP TESTING During the first step, you will have a glucose screening test: You DO NOT need to prepare or change your diet in any way. You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose. Your blood will be drawn 1 hour after you drink the glucose solution to check your blood glucose level. If your blood glucose from the first step is too high, you will need to come back for a 3-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test: DO NOT eat or drink anything (other than sips of water) for 8 to 14 hours before your test. (You also cannot eat during the test.) You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose, 100 grams (g) . You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 3 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it. Each time, your blood glucose level will be checked. Allow at least 3 hours for this test. ONE-STEP TESTING You need to go to the lab one time for a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test: DO NOT eat or drink anything (other than sips of water) for 8 to 14 hours before your test. (You also cannot eat during the test.) You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose (75 g). You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 2 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it. Each time, your blood glucose level will be checked. Allow at least 2 hours for this test. Continue reading >>

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