Glucose Screening And Glucose Tolerance Tests During Pregnancy

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 among the most typical illness during pregnancy. And due to the fact that the condition seldom causes any symptoms, testing is the only method to find out whether you have it.

Why Do I Require A Glucose Screening Test During Pregnancy?

A lot of healthcare professionals regularly recommend a glucose screening test (also called a glucose challenge test or GCT) between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy to look for gestational diabetes.

Like any screening test, the GCT will not provide you a diagnosis. Rather, it’s developed to recognize as numerous women as possible who might have a problem and need more testing to learn. So a positive result doesn’t indicate that you have gestational diabetes.

In truth, only about a 3rd of women who test positive on the glucose screen in fact 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 specialist may desire you to be evaluated earlier than 24 weeks if a routine urine test reveals a lot of sugar in your urine or if you’re considered high risk. If the outcomes are normal, you’ll be evaluated once again at 24 to 28 weeks.

Glucose screening test during pregnancy

A glucose screening test is a routine test during pregnancy that checks a pregnant female’s blood sugar level.

Obviously, if you were identified with diabetes prior to pregnancy, you will not have to be screened. Instead, you’ll continue to work with your professional to manage your condition during pregnancy.

How Is The Glucose Screening Test Done?

When you show up for the test, you’re given a sugar solution which contains 50 grams of glucose. The stuff tastes like a very sweet soda water (it is available in soda pop, orange, or lime flavor), and you need to get all of it down in five minutes. Some centers keep it cooled or let you put it over ice and drink it cold.

An hour later on (bring something to read!), a blood sample is taken from your arm to examine your blood sugar level. The idea is to see how efficiently your body processes sugar. The outcomes need to be readily available in a couple of days.

If the reading is expensive, which occurs 15 to 23 percent of the time, you’ll be asked to come back for a three-hour glucose tolerance test to see whether you really do have gestational diabetes. The bright side is that most women whose screening test shows elevated blood sugar don’t turn out to have gestational diabetes.

Will The Test Make Me Feel Sick?

Some moms-to-be feel nauseated after consuming the glucose service, and a couple of even throw up. It may help to eat something a couple of hours before the screening test. If you vomit soon after you’ve gotten the drink down, you’ll need to return on another day and repeat the test.

It’s actually more typical for women to feel sick during the three-hour glucose tolerance test, due to the fact that the solution for that test may be two times as sweet or contain twice as much liquid as the one for the screening test, and you need to drink it after fasting.

What Is An Abnormal Blood Sugar Level While I’m Pregnant?

Different specialists use various standards for identifying whether your level is expensive. Some will state that if your one-hour blood sugar level is 140 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood plasma (mg/dL) or more, you have to have the glucose tolerance test. Others put the cutoff at 130 mg/dL to catch more women who may have gestational diabetes, although there are most likely to be more incorrect positives by doing this.

If your blood sugar level for this screening is greater than 200 mg/dL, a lot of specialists will consider you diabetic and you won’t be needed to take the glucose tolerance test. However any rating in between 140 and 200 methods that you’ll have to take the three-hour glucose tolerance test for a certain diagnosis.

What’s The Glucose Tolerance Test Like?

The exact procedure differs, but typically you’re advised to eat a late meal the night prior to the test. After that you might be told not to eat or drink anything but sips of water, so you’ll want to set up the test for first thing in the morning.

When you get here for the test, a blood sample is taken to determine your fasting blood sugar level. Then you drink either a more focused dose or a bigger volume of the glucose service. At that point, brace yourself for 3 more arm pricks, as your blood is checked every hour for the next 3 hours. The professional must alternate arms each time your blood is drawn.

You’ll certainly wish to bring something to sidetrack you, because you need to remain seated in the waiting space when your blood is not being drawn. Also bring something to eat right after the last blood sample is taken, since you’ll most likely be starving.

If among the readings is unusual, you might have to take another test later in your pregnancy. Or your practitioner might ask you to make some modifications in your diet and workout regimen.

If 2 or more of your readings are irregular, you’ll be identified with gestational diabetes. Your professional will talk with you about a treatment strategy.

This chart reveals the levels that the American Diabetes Association thinks about unusual at each interval of the test:

Interval Abnormal reading
Fasting 95 mg/dl or higher
1 hour 180 mg/dl or higher
2 hours 155 mg/dl or higher
3 hours 140 mg/dl or higher

What Happens If I’m Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes?

You’ll deal with your practitioner or a diabetes professional and perhaps a nutritional expert to come up with a plan to handle your condition.

Your high blood sugar should just last as long as your pregnancy. But some women who establish diabetes during pregnancy still have it after delivery, so you’ll need to take another glucose test six to eight weeks after your baby is born.

 


Last Update - September 20, 2017

References

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures. Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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