What You Should Do
Do exactly what your doctor tells you to do before this test.
Some doctors want you to load up on carbs for a few days before the test, others want you to avoid sugar, and almost all of them will want you to be fasting from midnight until the time of the test in order to make sure that your body is clear of everything.
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I Have The Results Of My Glucose Screening Test What’s The Normal Range For Blood Sugar
Different providers use different standards for determining whether your level is too high. Some will say that if your one-hour blood sugar level is 140 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood plasma or more, you need to have the glucose tolerance test. Others put the cutoff at 130 mg/dL to catch more women who may have gestational diabetes, even though there are likely to be more false positives this way.
If your blood glucose level for this screening is higher than 200 mg/dL, most providers will consider you diabetic and you won’t be required to take the glucose tolerance test.
But any score between 140 and 200 means that you’ll have to take the three-hour glucose tolerance test for a definite diagnosis.
How To Prepare For The 1
You dont need to do anything special to prepare for a glucose tolerance test. Just make sure you eat and drink normally in the days leading up to the test.
On the day of the test, you may be asked to fast for a period of time before the test. You can usually drink water during this time. I have a whole post on what to eat before your pregnancy glucose test.
The time period where youre to fast before the test varies, so talk with your provider or the lab to make sure youre doing it to their specifications.
You will likely have blood drawn before you take the glucose. This is to test how much sugar is in your blood when you havent eaten.
Then, youll be asked to drink a sugary solution. The amount of sugar in the solution is about the same as in a can of soda. After you drink the solution, your blood will be drawn one or more times over the next hour.
You might feel a little dizzy after drinking the sugary solution. This is normal. Just make sure you dont drive or operate machinery until the effects wear off.
An hour after you drink that drink they will draw your blood again to see how your body is processing that sugar.
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What Abnormal Results Mean
Abnormal blood values for a 3-hour 100-gram oral glucose tolerance test are:
- Fasting: greater than 95 mg/dL
- 1 hour: greater than 180 mg/dL
- 2 hour: greater than 155 mg/dL
- 3 hour: greater than 140 mg/dL
Abnormal blood values for a 2-hour 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test are:
- Fasting: greater than 92 mg/dL
- 1 hour: greater than 180 mg/dL
- 2 hour: greater than 153 mg/dL
If only one of your blood glucose results in the oral glucose tolerance test is higher than normal, your provider may simply suggest you change some of the foods you eat. Then, your provider may test you again after you have changed your diet.
If more than one of your blood glucose results is higher than normal, you have gestational diabetes.
Why Do You Need A Glucose Test During Pregnancy
A glucose test helps your pregnancy care provider diagnose gestational diabetes. If you have diabetes during pregnancy, managing your blood sugar level is important. If left untreated, diabetes can cause serious complications. Some of the complications are:
- Delivering a large baby, which increases your risk of birth injuries or C-section.
- Low blood sugar for your baby after theyre born .
- Your babys at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes later in life.
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Group B Streptococcus Test
GBS is a healthy vaginal bacterium however, not all women will test positive. GBS does not usually pass to the baby, but if it does, it can cause serious illness. A vaginal-rectal swab will be done around 35-37 weeks to identify whether you have this bacteria present. If our laboratory identifies that the bacteria is present, you will be treated with antibiotics while in labour.
Why Do I Need A Glucose Screening Test During Pregnancy
Most healthcare providers routinely recommend a glucose screening test to check for gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy. Between 2 and 10 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.
The GCT is a screening test, which means it wonât give you a diagnosis. Instead, itâs designed to identify as many women as possible who might have gestational diabetes but need more testing to find out. So a positive result doesnât mean that you have gestational diabetes.
In fact, only about a third of women who test positive on the glucose screening test actually have the condition. If you test positive, youâll need to take the glucose tolerance test a longer, more definitive test that tells you for sure whether you have gestational diabetes.
Some providers skip the glucose screening test altogether and instead order a shortened version of the glucose tolerance test, which is also called a one-step test .
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What Is Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes starts when the body is unable to make all of the insulin it needs for pregnancy.
Low insulin levels, combined with hormonal changes, can lead to insulin resistance. When this happens, high levels of glucose build up in the blood.
This can lead to the following complications:
- high blood glucose in the fetus and low levels after birth
- difficulties during labor and the need for a cesarian delivery
- a higher risk of vaginal tearing during the birth and bleeding after delivery
- a risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future
Doctors usually recommend a glucose tolerance test between weeks 2428 of pregnancy. Those with a higher risk may need a test earlier in the pregnancy.
Treatments For Gestational Diabetes
If you have gestational diabetes, the chances of having problems with your pregnancy can be reduced by controlling your blood sugar levels.
You’ll be given a blood sugar testing kit so you can monitor the effects of treatment.
Blood sugar levels may be reduced by changing your diet and exercise routine. However, if these changes don’t lower your blood sugar levels enough, you will need to take medicine as well. This may be tablets or insulin injections.
You’ll also be more closely monitored during your pregnancy and birth to check for any potential problems.
If you have gestational diabetes, it’s best to give birth before 41 weeks. Induction of labour or a caesarean section may be recommended if labour does not start naturally by this time.
Earlier delivery may be recommended if there are concerns about your or your baby’s health or if your blood sugar levels have not been well controlled.
Find out more about how gestational diabetes is treated.
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Whos At Risk Of Gestational Diabetes
Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but youre at an increased risk if:
- your body mass index is above 30 use the BMI healthy weight calculator to work out your BMI
- you previously had a baby who weighed 4.5kg or more at birth
- you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
- 1 of your parents or siblings has diabetes
- you are of south Asian, Black, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern origin
If any of these apply to you, you should be offered screening for gestational diabetes during your pregnancy.
How Long Does A Test Take
The test can last up to 3 hours. In pregnancy, a person may do the test in two parts. The first phase is a 1-hour test. If the test indicates that they may have diabetes, the person must do a longer 3-hour test.
In either case, a person will drink a liquid containing glucose, and then a healthcare professional will draw blood to determine how much glucose is in the blood.
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Cost And Insurance Coverage
It is difficult to determine a price of these tests, as it can vary widely based on the laboratory, doctors office, or hospital performing the procedure.
Health insurance companies may cover some or all of the cost, but it is best for a person to contact their insurance provider directly and check what they offer.
People who do not have insurance can look for independent labs, which may have lower prices than a doctors office or hospital.
Some labs may also have a patient assistance program that allows monthly payments and suits those needing regular tests.
If a person does not have health insurance through an employer or the marketplace, they may qualify for Medicaid, depending on their state policy and income. They may also be able to receive care from a federally qualified health center, which provides care to all individuals regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
There are advantages and disadvantages of the challenge test or the OGTT:
Who Is At Risk
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- having had gestational diabetes in an earlier pregnancy
- a family history of diabetes
- having obesity or other diabetes-related conditions
- being physically inactive
If a person gains more weight than is usual during pregnancy, this may be a sign of gestational diabetes, according to the
- attending more frequent screening and seeking medical help if glucose levels go up
- insulin use, in some cases
The healthcare provider will advise on each persons needs and treatment plan, as diabetes affects everyone differently.
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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 for 8 to 14 hours before your test. You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose, 100 grams . 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 for 8 to 14 hours before your test. You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose . 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 > >
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
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What Is A Glucose Test During Pregnancy
Glucose tests are used to screen for and diagnose gestational diabetes. They measure how efficiently your body processes sugar, which is key, since pregnancy hormones can affect this natural regulation process. Gestational diabetes is one of the most common pregnancy conditions up to 10 percent of pregnant women in the US develop it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Left untreated, gestational diabetes has some potentially dangerous consequences. An increased chance of preeclampsia, preterm labor and c-section are among the risks Mom may face. Whats more, baby may be born at a higher birth weight or with complications, such as respiratory distress or low blood sugar. Fortunately, proactive monitoring and treatment can help ensure you and baby stay healthy and safe. Suffice to say, the glucose test is a small price to pay.
So exactly what is a glucose testand what does it entail? First, its important to clarify that there are actually two different glucose tests during pregnancy: The first is a screening that identifies if youre at an elevated risk for gestational diabetes. If the initial glucose blood test shows that youre not processing sugar quickly, youll move on to the second, more involved glucose tolerance test. The latter is diagnostic, meaning youll have a definite answer.
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What Can I Eat Before Glucose Test
The night before the test, its important to eat nutrient-dense foods with complex carbohydrates and fiber. Here are some examples: Whole wheat breads or pastas Brown rice/quinoa Beans & lentils such as kidney beans for example-, Nuts+ nut butter like peanut butter!, Oats , Seeds have both fats found in them which provide energy but also contain protein making them helpful post workout). FRUITS THAT ARE LESS IN SUGAR AND HAVE A LOT OF VITAMINS! Nonstarchy vegetables including leafy greens etc., Meats
The question sounds so tricky. In reality, this test will tell you the truth whether you like it or not. How to pass glucose tolerance test during pregnancy? Passing is possible, but you must work hard to get the result that you want.
Having gestational diabetes when you are pregnant is no joke. The condition puts you and the baby in danger of health problems that may be long-term. There is no way that I will encourage you to find ways to pass the test when in all honesty you must not. However, I will guide you in taking this glucose tolerance test the right way.
Just because I care for you, and your baby, let us do this!
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How Can Gestational Diabetes Affect My Baby And Me
Gestational diabetes poses risks to both you and your baby, but with proper treatment during pregnancy, you can both live healthy lives.
- Risks for baby: Low blood sugar at birth, early birth, large birth weight, jaundice and childhood obesity.
- Risks for mom: Urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, cesarean section and preeclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition related to high blood pressure.
- Risks for both: Difficult or dangerous birth of a larger than average baby and Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Bixler says the risk for Type 2 diabetes increases along with age. Its more likely to occur in the mother within 10 years after pregnancy, and in her child anytime in adolescence or adulthood. Diabetes is also associated with other metabolic disorders and related conditions like weight gain and heart disease. Being active as a family and focusing on weight management lowers your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, she says.
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Glucose Challenge Test Results
What many medical experts consider a normal result for a glucose challenge test is a blood sugar level equal to or less than 140 mg/dL . The mg/dL means milligrams per deciliter and the mmol/L means millimoles per liter. This is how the glucose is measured in your blood sample. A normal result means you do not have gestational diabetes.If your level is higher than 140 mg/dL , your healthcare provider may recommend you do the glucose tolerance test, which can help better determine if you have gestational diabetes or not.
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Avoid Sugars And Refined Carbs
Dont eat high-sugar foods or simple carbs the morning of your glucose screening. The body breaks these foods down quickly, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels. That means avoiding breakfast favorites like:
- Orange juice and other fruit juices
- Sweetened toppings like jam or syrup
- Pancakes, waffles and French toast
What Happens If You Fail The 3
If you fail the glucose test and are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the main thing you need to know is that you didnt really DO ANYTHING to cause it. Although we talked about ways that can potentially help prevent GDM, it is basically an intolerance to glucose that is caused by changes in your body during pregnancy.
So, dont feel guilty or think that you did something wrong or didnt do something you should have been doing.
If you are told you have gestational diabetes, your doctor will work with you to manage your blood sugars and monitor you and your baby closely throughout your pregnancy for any complications.
After you give birth, your body should go back to using insulin appropriately and blood sugar levels should normalize.
However, its important to get proper follow-up care since women with GDM are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
You should have another glucose tolerance test 4-12 weeks postpartum. If that test is within the normal range, the ADA recommends diabetes testing every 1-3 years.
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