First Of All What Are Some Concerns About Drinking The Glucola Drink
While glucola is largely considered to be safe, some of the ingredients it contains give people a bit of pause. While the crux of the glucola drink is the 50 grams of glucose that it contains, many also contain artificial colors, artificial dyes and a substance called BVO .
- BVO, or bromated vegetable oil, is an emulsification agent used in citrus drinks. BVO has actually been banned in many countries due to concerns about potential toxicities. To be fair, concerns about the effects of BVO are related to long-term use, not the amount found in a single glucola drink.
- The inflammatory effects of artificial colors and dyes on the body are being studied more and more and while the amount in the glucola drink is minimal, many people want to avoid unnecessary exposure.
Ingredients In The Orange Drink For The Glucose Test During Pregnancy
The ingredients in the glucose solution are nowhere near real food and have some quite nasty additives, some of which are not recommended for pregnant women. They may include:
- purified water, 50g Dextrose , Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate, 0.1%, FD& C Yellow #6. It also labeled as Gluten Free & Dairy Free.
- Orange/Fruit Punch/Lemon Lime flavors: Dextrose from corn, Citric Acid from corn, Natural Flavoring , Sodium Benzoate, Yellow #6, Purified Water
- Simply Pure flavor: Dextrose from corn, Potassium Sorbate, Purified Water
- Glucose syrup, maltodextrin, purified water, acidity control compound E330, preservative E211, cola aroma, foodstuff color E150, and carbonic acid.
Healthcare: What Are The Alternatives For Glucose Test During Pregnancy
A glucola test or the glucose tolerance test in pregnancy also called the oral glucose challenge test is a prenatal test give to women around 24 to 28 weeks pregnant. This test is provided as a preliminary screening to know if a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes. Women who have resulted in positive to this challenge will be asked to take the oral glucose test.
However, some women ask if there isan alternative to the 3-hour glucose test. Well, yes. Thereare alternatives to glucose tests during pregnancy. The traditionalpregnancy glucose test uses the syrupy orange or grape drink butthere are side effects of the pregnancy glucose test andthere are also calories in the glucose drink which is quite bad forpregnant women.
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Gestational Diabetes: Alternative Test Options
Did you know that there are options to drinking the glucose test drink?
Well, there are!
And talking to your doctor about it is easy. You don’t have to decline it or feel like you are ‘opting out’ of anything – instead, you are allowing your body to get a more accurate reading during the test!
You see, real foods will give true results. According to the American Pregnancy Association: Pregnant women can develop a condition known as Gestational Diabetes which can pose a risk to both mother and baby. A glucose tolerance test is a common type of testing for potential gestational diabetes. Lets get the basics straight:
My Concerns With Glucola
While I agree that it is important to test for gestational diabetes, I had concerns with the glucola test itself, mainly that it contained ingredients I would not normally consume while pregnant and that it has a higher amount of sugar than I would consume at any one time. Most women describe this drink as tasting like an un-carbonated and syrupy orange soda. No thanks!
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How Different Foods Affect My Blood Glucose Levels
As it turns out, my glucose numbers are perfect, so Ive started having a little bit of fun while I have this glucose monitor and must poke my finger anyway. By fun, I mean Ive been trying out different food combinations to see how they affect my glucose levels.
For example, yesterday I had an all-fruit meal for breakfast to see if it would spike my blood sugar the way everyone always assumes it will, and in contrast, I had a low-carb breakfast another morning to see how my blood sugar responded to that. Below are my results!
What Are The Complications Of Gestational Diabetes ^
Glucose is a nutrient that helps babies grow, so as you might imagine too much of it causes them to grow larger than normal for their gestational age. According to this study of over 25,000 women, the complications associated with gestational diabetes are:
- Babies that are larger than normal for their gestational age. Its important to note here that according to Dr. Brian M. Casey 70-80% of overgrown infants are born to women WITHOUT GDM . So gestational diabetes is not the main cause of big babies, but it can be a cause.
- Increased C-section rates
- Shoulder dystocia or birth injury. Because baby is bigger than normal, their shoulders may get stuck in the birth canal during delivery.
- Neonatal hypoglycemia
- Fetal hyperinsulinemia In other words, the baby is used to receiving large amounts of glucose and has adjusted his/her insulin production accordingly. When the amount of glucose available drops after birth, the baby ends up with too much insulin.)
- The need for neonatal intensive care
- Newborn jaundice
Does GD increase the risk of infant death? No. According to the researchers, there is no association between gestational diabetes and infant deaths.
However, mothers who develop gestational diabetes do have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
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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!
Pregnancy Glucose Test Alternatives
Consider using real food instead of the glucola drink .
Some doctors provide alternatives to glucola and test pregnant women after theyve consumed things like:
- 6 ounces of organic grape juice + a banana.
- 1 cup milk + 1.5 cups cereal.
- Pancakes with 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Natural soda or drink with 50 grams of total sugar
- 16-ounces orange juice.
Another option that you can consider if youre trying to avoid the test altogether is to monitor your blood sugar with a glucometer throughout your pregnancy. This is the alternative that I chose while pregnant because it wouldnt create an extreme blood sugar spike, and allowed me to follow my regular healthy diet. I was also able to avoid feeling like I was going to vomit and did not have to experience the dreaded crash and burn that women report after drinking the glucola.
Personally, I used this monitor and these strips to monitor my glucose . I kept a log for two weeks to ensure everything was on track. I showed this log to my midwife and used this to officially opt-out of the traditional test.
Here is what the normal levels should look like:
- Fasting blood glucose of 86 or lower
- 1 hour after eating = 140 or lower
- 2 hours after eating = 120 or lower
- 3 hours after eating = back to fasting level
There can be some variation in this, but the majority of your readings should be in these ranges.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Women who have gestational diabetes have a high chance of developing type 2 diabetes at some point later in their lives. However, type 2 diabetes can be prevented. The following steps can reduce your risk:
- maintain a healthy eating plan
- maintain a healthy weight for your height
- do regular physical activity
- have regular follow-up blood tests every one to 3 years to check your blood glucose levels, especially if you have further pregnancies.
Talk to your doctor about follow-up blood tests to check for diabetes. The frequency of the tests will depend on your risk for developing diabetes.
Who Is At Risk Of Gestational Diabetes
Between 3% and 8% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. It is usually detected around weeks 24 to 28 of pregnancy, although it can develop earlier. Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes can be both unexpected and upsetting. It is important to reach out and get support and help with managing it.
Some women are at increased risk of developing gestational diabetes. This includes women who:
- are over 40 years of age
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What Causes Gestational Diabetes
No one knows for sure, but the medical communitys best guess is that it could be caused by the placentas growth. As the baby grows, the placenta grows to support him. But that growing placenta also releases a growth hormone called human placental lactogen that can block the action of insulin in the mothers body. If your body doesnt have enough insulin to change the glucose in your blood to energy, it can build up to high levels, which leads to a failed glucose test and a diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
How Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed
Most women are diagnosed using a pathology test, which requires blood samples to be taken before and after a glucose drink. This is known as a pregnancy oral glucose tolerance test . This test is usually performed between 24 and 28 weeks into the pregnancy, or earlier if you are at high risk.
A pregnancy oral glucose tolerance test involves:
- fasting overnight
- having a blood test in the morning
- having a drink containing 75 grams of glucose
- having a blood test one hour after having the drink
- having a blood test 2 hours after having the drink.
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed if any of the results from the test show that your blood glucose is raised.
During COVID-19, further diagnostic guidelines have been added as alternatives to the OGTT where this cannot be performed due to a contagion risk. Check with your doctor or hospital about current guidelines.
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What Is In The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Glucola is a standard brand of OGTT glucose solution prescribed by doctors and midwives that does not have adverse effects other than some rare cases of intolerance . However, some ingredients in it have caused a bit of an alarm, specifically brominated vegetable oil . It’s used as a flame retardant, contains artificial flavors, coloring, and high fructose corn syrup. BVO is also a food stabilizer used in soda drinks to help keep citrus-flavor oils suspended and prevent them from floating to the top of the liquid, at about 8 parts per million. This ingredient is also banned as a food additive in Europe and Japan.
The FDA’s response to the concerns about BVO is that it is a safe additive and does not exceed the recommended maximum dose of 15 ppm . By this standard, you would have to consume several liters of beverages to have any negative effect.
But, some mamas-to-be are still concerned about consuming this concoctionworrying, having read that BVO affects the body and presents potential negative health effects similar to brominated flame retardants, like accumulating in body fat, the brain, the liver, and other organs, and affecting behavior and cognitive skills in children. However, studies in rats performed decades ago that confirmed that BVO is transferred from mother’s milk to the nursing offspring also demonstrated the occurrence only after ingesting megadoses of the chemical.
What About Juice ^
Orange, apple and other juices are a combination of glucose and fructose. Though both are simple sugars, fructose does not stimulate insulin the same way that glucose does. Because the goal here is to measure the bodys insulin response to glucose and were not exactly sure how much is contained in a glass of juice, I think one of the other methods is likely to be more reliable.
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Why Is Ethnicity A Risk Factor For Gestational Diabetes
Hispanic/Latina, African-American, Native American, Alaska Native, Asian American, or Pacific Islanders are all at a higher risk, and researchers dove into this issue. Researchers found that Latina mamas born outside of the US had higher rates of gestational diabetes than Latina mamas born in the US.
Although there isnt one specific explanation for this phenomenon, researchers suspect that the following factors play a big role:
- Exposure to the western diet
- Their diet may also naturally include more carbohydrates from corn, rice, beans and fruit juices.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied the link between obesity rates among different ethnic groups. While obesity is a contributing factor for the increased risk of gestational diabetes, the researchers concluded that there are more factors at play when looking at ethnicity and gestational diabetes.
Curious About Alternatives To The Glucola Drink Check These Out
Idries J. Abdur-Rahman, MD, FACOGObstetrician/GynecologistTwinDoctorsTV
If you are between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant, its time to test for Gestational Diabetes. And that means that it is time for the Glucose Loading Test . While testing for Gestational Diabetes is hugely important, many mothers-to-be just dont want to drink that sugary glucola drink? While the glucola drink is generally considered to be safe, there are a bunch of alternatives if you want the benefits of being tested but dont want to actually drink glucola. All the GLT requires is that you take in 50 grams of glucose in a short period of time and that you have your blood glucose levels checked one hour after finishing. So, what are some alternatives to drinking the glucola drink?
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What Is The Pregnancy Glucose Test
The pregnancy glucose test is an artificially sweetened, syrupy drink called Glucola that pregnant women drink to test for Gestational Diabetes . Doctors typically encourage pregnant women to take this one- or two-part test between 24-28 weeks during their pregnancy. The first test is an Oral Glucose Challenge Test that contains around 50, 75, or 100 grams of sugar. Once the expectant mom has consumed the 50-gram solution, an hour later, she will take a blood test to measure her blood sugar. If she passes this test, more than likely, she wont receive further testing for gestational diabetes. If she does not pass the test, a longer test with a higher level of glucose may be given.
Foods You Can Eat For The Gestational Diabetes Test In Pregnancy
If youre looking for alternatives to the orange glucose drink for gestational diabetes testing in pregnancy, it sounds like there are also a myriad of foods you can eat and still have the regular blood draw. They potentially include :
- 20 oz. of a natural ginger ale
- 14 oz. of orange juice not from concentrate
- 10 oz. of cranberry juice
- 10 oz. of grape juice
- you could choose from this list to equal 50g as measured at the beginning of each line:
- 6 oz Grape juice
- two slices of bread
- 16 oz orange juice
- 8 oz apple juice
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What Is The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Gestational diabetes is tested with the oral glucose tolerance test . The test is simple and will not harm you or your baby. It may be carried out at your usual clinic or at a special diabetes clinic.
Step 1 You will usually be asked not to eat anything and drink only water the night before and on the morning of the test.
Step 2 A nurse takes a blood sample from you to measure your blood glucose level.
Step 3 You drink a glucose drink.
Step 4 After 2 hours, the nurse takes another blood sample and measures your blood glucose level, to see how your body processed the sugars in the glucose drink.
You shouldnt eat anything before or during the glucose tolerance test. But if you dont live near the clinic its a good idea to bring a snack with you, as you will probably be hungry afterwards.
When Is The Best Time During Pregnancy To Screen For Gdm
One of the challenges in diagnosing gestational diabetes is that many people are not screened for diabetes before pregnancy, so it can be difficult for the provider to tell if GDM is undiagnosed, pre-existing type 2 diabetes or new onset GDM. Currently, ACOG recommendations suggest that providers test people with risk factors for type 2 diabetes at their first prenatal visit . People diagnosed with diabetes in the first trimester are classified as having pregestational type 2 diabetes, instead of GDM. There is disagreement about the best test for type 2 diabetes in early pregnancy. Some providers use the one-part diagnostic method, others use the two-part screening and diagnostic method, and others measure hemoglobin A1c. We wont be covering the evidence on type 2 diabetes screening in this article, as our focus is on GDM.
Right now, researchers are conducting studies to evaluate early testing for GDM, and its possible they may discover that GDM can be identified in the first or second trimester. But as weve already mentioned, most guidelines today recommend that GDM be diagnosed between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. In 2014, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that there is not enough evidence on the benefits and harms of screening for GDM before 24 weeks of pregnancy .
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