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Diabetes Pregnancy Test

3 Secret Ways To Pass The Glucose Test Your Doctor May Not Tell You About

3 Secret Ways To Pass The Glucose Test Your Doctor May Not Tell You About

One in 10 women will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her pregnancy – that's a big percent of all moms by any means. But a whole lot more will get a positive result on their glucose tolerance tests – one in two, by some estimates. This test is important, as it's often the first sign that a mom has a condition that needs extra-special care and attention throughout the rest of her pregnancy. But why the huge discrepancy between the test result and number of women who actually have the condition? Often, women test positive simply because of what they ate in the hours before the test. This happened to me with my first baby (when I was actually diagnosed with borderline GD very late in the pregnancy). So, I did a lot of research before my test with Baby #2 and discovered the following "secret ways" to beat the sugar test with flying colors -- things your doctor may not tell you. The second time around all the tests came back completely normal, and I was complication-free. 1. Avoid high-sugar foods shortly before the test and cut back on simple, or refined, carbs. I was completely clueless when it came to all this my first time around. I didn't know that eating a moderately sugary cereal for breakfast the morning of the glucose screening test -- which involves downing a sugar-laden drink in a matter of minutes and then getting blood drawn an hour later -- could yield a positive result and force a poor pregnant mom to go back for a longer, more brutal 3-hour version (called the glucose tolerance test). But that's exactly what happened to me. I proceeded to take the 3-hour torturous test a week later. Luckily, it came back negative... that time. Little did I know that was only the beginning. 2. Chow down on healthy carbohydrates and make sure you eat a good bal Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes Test: What To Expect

Gestational Diabetes Test: What To Expect

Gestational diabetes occurs only during pregnancy, and it usually goes away once you’ve delivered your baby. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes have higher than normal blood sugar. This is because their bodies aren’t producing enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Gestational diabetes can happen at almost any time during pregnancy, but it typically occurs between 24 to 28 weeks. This is also when testing typically takes place. Getting tested for gestational diabetes is an important part of prenatal care. Doctors test all pregnant women at least once during pregnancy. Your doctor will consider your risk factors when determining when you should have this test and how often you should have it. Learn what to expect during this test and how to prepare. Many women who have gestational diabetes have no symptoms. If symptoms do appear, it’s possible you may overlook them because they’re similar to typical pregnancy symptoms. These symptoms may include: frequent urination extreme thirst fatigue snoring You should call your doctor if you’re experiencing these symptoms to a greater degree than is normal for you. The exact cause of gestational diabetes is unknown, but it may be due to hormones your placenta produces. These hormones help your baby grow, but they can also stop insulin from doing its job. If your body can’t make enough insulin, the sugar in your bloodstream stays put. The sugar is then unable to convert into energy in the cell. This is called insulin resistance. If it’s left untreated, gestational diabetes can have significant consequences for both you and your baby. Once your doctor knows you have this condition, they’ll work with you on a treatment plan to ensure your and your baby’s health. Any pregnant woman can g Continue reading >>

Foods To Avoid Before A Glucose Tolerance Test During Pregnancy

Foods To Avoid Before A Glucose Tolerance Test During Pregnancy

Between 26 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, you will have a glucose screening test to check your blood sugar levels. If the screening test results are high, your doctor will perform a glucose tolerance test in order to diagnose gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes puts you and your baby at risk for immediate and long-term health consequences. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions before the test to ensure an accurate test result and to follow a diet and exercise routine if you are diagnosed with this condition. Video of the Day For your glucose tolerance test, your practitioner will take a fasting blood draw to determine your blood sugar levels. You will then drink a glucose solution, and your blood will be tested once an hour for three hours. You will stay at the doctor’s office the entire time, so bring something to entertain yourself, arrange for child care for older children and have a snack on hand to eat after the blood draws are complete. If two or more of your blood readings are abnormal, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Eating the Day of the Test According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, you need to abstain from eating anything for at least eight hours prior to your glucose tolerance test. Eat a healthy meal the night before the test. From then on, you are only allowed sips of water. Typically, this test is scheduled for first thing in the morning, so most of the time you are fasting you are asleep. Consider having someone drive you to and from the test if you’re concerned about low energy levels from fasting. According to MedlinePlus, you can eat your standard diet leading up to the test. You may be advised that you need to eat at least 150 grams of carbohydrates per day for three days leading up to the Continue reading >>

Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes

Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes and plan to have a baby, you should try to get your blood glucose levels close to your target range before you get pregnant. Staying in your target range during pregnancy, which may be different than when you aren’t pregnant, is also important. High blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can harm your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy, even before you know you are pregnant. If you have diabetes and are already pregnant, see your doctor as soon as possible to make a plan to manage your diabetes. Working with your health care team and following your diabetes management plan can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you develop diabetes for the first time while you are pregnant, you have gestational diabetes. How can diabetes affect my baby? A baby’s organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs, start forming during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. High blood glucose levels can be harmful during this early stage and can increase the chance that your baby will have birth defects, such as heart defects or defects of the brain or spine. High blood glucose levels during pregnancy can also increase the chance that your baby will be born too early, weigh too much, or have breathing problems or low blood glucose right after birth. High blood glucose also can increase the chance that you will have a miscarriage or a stillborn baby.1 Stillborn means the baby dies in the womb during the second half of pregnancy. How can my diabetes affect me during pregnancy? Hormonal and other changes in your body during pregnancy affect your blood glucose levels, so you might need to change how you manage your diabetes. Even if you’ve had diabetes for years, you may need to change your meal plan, physical activity routine, and medicines. 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 >>

What To Expect From Gestational Diabetes Testing

What To Expect From Gestational Diabetes Testing

What to Expect From Gestational Diabetes Testing What to Expect From Gestational Diabetes Testing Two tests are available to screen for gestational diabetes. Most women will get the oral glucose tolerance test, only following up withgetting the three-hour glucose test if their results are concerning. If you are pregnant, your obstetrician has probably told you that you will need gestational diabetes testing. Don't worrygestational diabetes testing is an important part of routine prenatal care. Most women are tested during weeks 24 through 28 of pregnancy. If you have any risk factors for diabetes, your doctor may consider testing your blood sugar as early as your first prenatal visit. Certain hormones increase during pregnancy, transferring valuable nutrients from the mother to the baby so that the fetus develops and grows. Other hormones block the action of insulin , ensuring that the mother herself does not develop low blood sugar. To compensate, the mothers insulin levels rise. If her insulin levels cannot increase sufficiently, rising blood sugar levels will eventually result in gestational diabetes. Untreated, gestational diabetes can lead to complications for both the mother and the baby. These complications may include: Multiple gestation (twins, triplets or more) Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy Being American Indian or Alaska native, African American, Asian, Hispanic or Pacific Islander Two tests are available to screen for gestational diabetes. Most women will get the oral glucose tolerance test, only following up withgetting the three-hour glucose test if their results are concerning. Why it's Done: The oral glucose tolerance test (also known as the glucose challenge screening) is routine for all pregnant women. It is far from definitive, so don' 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 >>

Testing For Gestational Diabetes

Testing For Gestational Diabetes

Your ‘booking appointment’ is your first appointment with your midwife or GP to talk about your pregnancy. This usually happens around 8–12 weeks of pregnancy. During that appointment, the midwife or GP will carry out some routine tests (tests offered to every woman) and ask lots of questions. Some of the questions will help find out if you are at risk of developing gestational diabetes (they will be looking to see if you have any of the risk factors). If you are considered at high risk, you will be offered a test. Agreeing to these tests is important because if you have gestational diabetes, there is a small increased risk of serious birth complications. Finding out if you have it and treating the condition can reduce those risks. The key things you need to know are: If you are at risk of gestational diabetes but don’t take the test, it can’t be found and treated. This may increase the risk to you and your baby. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will have more check-ups and extra care during your pregnancy and labour. In some women, gestational diabetes responds to changes in diet and exercise, while others will need to take medication, which may be in the form of tablets or insulin injections. "I wasn’t obviously skinny, but I wasn’t massively obese either… I had no symptoms whatsoever. I had no expectation that the Lucozade test would be anything other than a formality." What if I had gestational diabetes in an earlier pregnancy? If you have had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, you need to take action before you become pregnant again. You need to be scanned for diabetes when you are planning your pregnancy to make sure that your blood glucose levels are safe. You also need to be tested as soon as possible after your book 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 >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes definition and facts Risk factors for gestational diabetes include a history of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, There are typically no noticeable signs or symptoms associated with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can cause the fetus to be larger than normal. Delivery of the baby may be more complicated as a result. The baby is also at risk for developing low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) immediately after birth. Following a nutrition plan is the typical treatment for gestational diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight and following a healthy eating plan may be able to help prevent or minimize the risks of gestational diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is diabetes, or high blood sugar levels, that develops during pregnancy. It occurs in about 4% of all pregnancies. It is usually diagnosed in the later stages of pregnancy and often occurs in women who have no prior history of diabetes. What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is thought to arise because the many changes, hormonal and otherwise, that occur in the body during pregnancy predispose some women to become resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by specialized cells in the pancreas that allows the body to effectively metabolize glucose for later usage as fuel (energy). When levels of insulin are low, or the body cannot effectively use insulin (i.e., insulin resistance), blood glucose levels rise. What are the screening guidelines for gestational diabetes? All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Most pregnant women are tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy (see 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 >>

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

Print Medical experts haven't agreed on a single set of screening guidelines for gestational diabetes. Some question whether gestational diabetes screening is needed if you're younger than 25 and have no risk factors. Others say that screening all pregnant women is the best way to identify all cases of gestational diabetes. When to screen Your doctor will likely evaluate your risk factors for gestational diabetes early in your pregnancy. If you're at high risk of gestational diabetes — for example, your body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy was 30 or higher or you have a mother, father, sibling or child with diabetes — your doctor may test for diabetes at your first prenatal visit. If you're at average risk of gestational diabetes, you'll likely have a screening test during your second trimester — between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Routine screening for gestational diabetes Initial glucose challenge test. You'll drink a syrupy glucose solution. One hour later, you'll have a blood test to measure your blood sugar level. A blood sugar level below 130 to 140 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 7.2 to 7.8 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), is usually considered normal on a glucose challenge test, although this may vary by clinic or lab. If your blood sugar level is higher than normal, it only means you have a higher risk of gestational diabetes. You'll need a glucose tolerance test to determine if you have the condition. Follow-up glucose tolerance testing. You'll fast overnight, then have your blood sugar level measured. Then you'll drink another sweet solution — this one containing a higher concentration of glucose — and your blood sugar level will be checked every hour for three hours. If at least two of the blood sugar readings are higher than normal, you'll 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 >>

Gestational Diabetes: Please Don’t Drink The “glucola” Without Reading The Label

Gestational Diabetes: Please Don’t Drink The “glucola” Without Reading The Label

I’m a midwife and MD who specializes in the health and wellness of pregnant mommas. While I’m one of the original crunchy mamas, I got the science thing down tight in my medical training at Yale, so I can keep you informed on what’s safe, what’s not, and what are the best alternatives. This article, in which I take on the toxic ingredients in oral glucose test drinks, is the first in a 3-part series on gestational diabetes. If you’re pregnant, planning to be pregnant, or working with pregnant mommas – this series is for you! Is Gestational Diabetes Really an Issue? In the past decade obesity has become rampant in our country. With it the rates of diabetes in the general population, and gestational diabetes (GDM) – which is an excessive increase in glucose intolerance in pregnancy (some increase in glucose intolerance is actually normal and allows more sugar to get to the baby for growth) – have risen dramatically. Current estimates are that 5%-7% of pregnant women in the U.S. develop GDM. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of a host of serious medical problems for mom and baby. However, at levels even lower than those that would qualify a woman for a GDM diagnosis, chronically elevated blood sugar also puts mom and baby at much higher risk of pregnancy and birth complications. Elevated blood sugar creates a condition in the body called “oxidative stress” and in pregnancy, which is already a state of somewhat increased oxidative stress, this can lead to high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and preterm birth. Also, babies born to overweight or diabetic moms have a much higher lifetime likelihood of developing chronic health problems associated with obesity and diabetes. Women who develop GDM also have at least a 50% change of becoming diabetic later 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 >>

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