Can You Rig The Test
So you failed your one-hour glucose test, and now you have to do the dreaded three-hour test? Yeah, me, too. I have had to do the three-hour test with two of my pregnancies, and it stinks!
Alas, there is no way to really make it so that you pass this test, unless you really dont have gestational diabetes.
Sure, youll find tips around the Internet about what you could do that might help, but in all honesty, trying to do something to get a false passing reading on this test is dangerous to your health and the health of your baby, too.
Its important for the test results to be accurate so that if there really is a medical issue, your doctor can treat you properly and watch for the safety of both of you.
Blood Glucose Strips Explained: Wrapping Up
Well, there you have it. If you’ve ever wondered, “how do glucose test strips work” you now know the answer. This technology can literally save lives. It allows diabetics to monitor their blood sugar levels when their body can’t do it on its own.
This can prevent scary complications like diabetic ketoacidosis, limb amputation, and even death. While the potential complications are scary, the good news is that diabetes is completely manageable thanks to technology like glucose test strips and glucometers.
Have more questions about this technology, diabetes, or something else? Don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you’re looking for affordable diabetes supplies, check out our wide selection. You can also check out our blog for more information on health, medical technology, and more.
When Is The Glucose Screening Test Taken During Pregnancy
You typically get a glucose screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. However, your provider may want you to be screened earlier than 24 weeks if a routine urine test shows a high level 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 provider to manage your condition during pregnancy.
When Are Glucose Screenings Done
Screening for gestational diabetes usually is done at 24 to 28 weeks. It can be done earlier for women who are at higher risk for the condition, such as those who:
- have previously had a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- have a family history of diabetes
- are older than age 25
- have sugar in the urine on routine testing
- have high blood pressure
- have polycystic ovary syndrome
What Is Glucose Used For
Consistent blood sugar levels in your bloodstream power your cells, maintain your energy, and ensure that your body functions properly.
Your pancreas, an organ in your abdomen, helps monitor your blood glucose. Your blood sugar levels rise every time carbs are digested, which signals certain cells in your pancreas to release insulin into your blood. These cells monitor blood sugar levels every few seconds.
Insulin then guides the glucose into your fat, liver, and muscle cells so that it can be used for energy. Once glucose moves to these cells, your blood sugar levels return to a normal level between meals.
During the process where insulin helps glucose move from the bloodstream to cells, your blood sugar levels drop. The pancreas can tell when this is taking place and slows down insulin production. This in turn slows down the amount of glucose entering your cells.
When everything is working normally, this careful process ensures that you are getting the right amount of energy to power your cells.
One of the most important roles glucose plays is providing the main source of energy for your brain. Having too much or too little glucose can negatively impact the brainâs ability to function and can lead to memory problems and poor attention, as well as other cognitive issues.
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What Are The Usual Treatments For Diabetes
For type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type of diabetes, losing excess weight, eating a healthy diet that is high in fiber and restricted in carbohydrates, and getting regular amounts of exercise may be enough to lower your blood glucose levels. In many cases, however, medications may be necessary to achieve the desired glucose level. With type 1 diabetes , insulin injections several times a day are necessary. See the article on Diabetes for more on treatment.
What Does The Blood Glucose Test Involve
All pregnant women are offered this screening test between 24-28 weeks gestation. When other risk factors are present, such as obesity, the test may be offered earlier and then repeated if initially normal. The screening test for GD is called a glucose challenge, which aims to see how your body is handling sugars. The measurement is taken 1 hour after you consume a glucose drink. This test can be conducted at any time of day as it is not a fasting test. If your blood sugar is normal after the challenge, you will not require any more testing. If it is high, you will have a second test. This test is done in the morning while you are fasting and will require you not to eat prior to the test. You will have your glucose tested before consuming a glucose drink and then tested again 1 and 2 hours later. If your glucose is higher than specific cut-off values, it means you have GD. See the table for more specific information.
Screening for gestational diabetes
|Higher than 9.0 mmol/L = GD|
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Choosing A Blood Glucose Monitor
A blood glucose monitor, testing strips, and a lancet to draw the blood are all necessary for testing. Some testing kits offer all three, while others require separate purchases for each piece.
People with diabetes use many testing strips, and so it may be wise to carefully consider the cost of the testing strips as well as the monitor.
Some other tips for buying a monitor include:
- Select one with automatic coding to avoid the need to code in results with every test.
- Check insurance plans to see if an insurer only covers certain monitors.
- Look at whether the unit stores previous data.
- Consider portability, since larger units can be difficult to carry around.
- Think about blood sample size, particularly for people who do not like pricking themselves.
Monitors that require a smaller blood sample may be more comfortable as the depth of the lancet can be less.
Many people with diabetes have no signs of the disease at all. However, the lack of symptoms does not necessarily mean the absence of diabetes.
When symptoms occur, many of the effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the same since both affect blood sugar regulation in the body. Symptoms include:
- increased hunger and thirst
Why The Test Is Performed
This test checks for gestational diabetes. Most pregnant women have a glucose screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. The test may be done earlier if you have a high glucose level in your urine during your routine prenatal visits, or if you have a high risk for diabetes.
Women who have a low risk for diabetes may not have the screening test. To be low-risk, all of these statements must be true:
- You have never had a test that showed your blood glucose was higher than normal.
- Your ethnic group has a low risk for diabetes.
- You do not have any first-degree relatives with diabetes.
- You are younger than 25 years old and have a normal weight.
- You have not had any bad outcomes during an earlier pregnancy.
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When Does A Person Need To Have Their Blood Glucose Measured With This Test
Prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes often have no symptoms at first. A person can have the condition and not know it. Healthcare providers usually order a fasting blood sugar test:
- As part of a standard annual physical examination to monitor a persons blood glucose over time.
- For pregnant women to ensure that pregnancy hormones are not causing diabetes.
- When a person has symptoms of diabetes, a family history of diabetes or risk factors for diabetes .
- When a person has had a previous blood glucose level that was higher than normal.
How To Prepare 1 Hour Test
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Screening For Gestational Diabetes
During your first antenatal appointment at around week 8 to 12 of your pregnancy, your midwife or doctor will ask you some questions to determine whether you’re at an increased risk of gestational diabetes.
If you have 1 or more risk factors for gestational diabetes you should be offered a screening test.
The screening test is called an oral glucose tolerance test , which takes about 2 hours.
It involves having a blood test in the morning, when you have not had any food or drink for 8 to 10 hours . You’re then given a glucose drink.
After resting for 2 hours, another blood sample is taken to see how your body is dealing with the glucose.
The OGTT is done when you’re between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant. If you’ve had gestational diabetes before, you’ll be offered an OGTT earlier in your pregnancy, soon after your booking appointment, then another OGTT at 24 to 28 weeks if the first test is normal.
Find out more about an OGTT.
Gain The Right Amount Of Weight
Gaining too much or too quickly during pregnancy can increase the chances for GD, so talk to your doctor about what you should be seeing on the scale. In general, you should aim to gain 25 to 35 pounds if your pre-pregnancy body mass index was in the normal range, 15 to 25 pounds if you were overweight before becoming pregnant, and 11 to 20 pounds if you were obese before coming pregnant.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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Dangers Of High Blood Glucose
High blood sugar levels are quite common in diabetics, especially before they’re diagnosed or if they’re not managing their diabetes properly.
High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, can cause a number of symptoms that might not be noticeable until levels are much higher than they should be. You usually won’t see symptoms until blood glucose is at 200 mg/dL, which is significantly higher than a “normal” level of 140 mg/dL or less.
Some early symptoms of high blood glucose include:
Both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia can be treated if they are recognized, tested, and taken care of. The way to do this is with blood sugar testing and monitoring.
How To Take A Urine Glucose Test
At your appointment with your healthcare provider, you will be given a container to collect a sample of your urine and instructions on the clean catch method to help ensure the sample is sterile. Then a healthcare professional will show you to a restroom so you can collect the sample in privacy.
Once you have collected an ounce or two of urine, you will return the container to the healthcare provider, and it will be sent to the lab for analysis.
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Tests For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. Youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes , your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.
How Accurate Are Glucose Test Strips
Blood glucose strips have to be approved by the FDA to ensure they meet the right standards. Therefore, they have to perform up to a certain standard and accuracy to be eligible for the market.
In general, glucose meters and their test strips should generate a result that is within 20% or 20mg/dL of laboratory results. A study done by the Diabetes Technology Society determined that the following glucometers and their corresponding glucose test strips are the most compliant based on consistent accuracy:
- Bayer Contour Next 100% compliant
- Roche Accu-Chek Aviva Plus 98% compliant
- Arkray Walmart ReliOn Confirm 97% compliant
- Agamatrix CVS Advanced 97% compliant
- Abbott Freestyle Lite 96% compliant
- Roche Accu-Chek SmartView 95% compliant
It is important to mention that any inaccuracy in blood glucose readings may not be the result of faulty test strips. Inaccuracy in glucose test strips can be a result of user error in some cases. For example, not washing your hands when you have residue from food on them can lead to abnormal readings.
Abnormal readings can be very dangerous. Getting a reading that is much higher than ones actual blood sugar can lead to an overdose of insulin. Too much insulin may potentially lead to hypoglycemia, which is life-threatening if not treated right away.
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What Does The Test Result Mean
Screening and Diagnosis
High levels of glucose most frequently indicate diabetes, but many other diseases and conditions can also cause elevated blood glucose.
A random glucose level in a person with signs and symptoms of diabetes and hyperglycemia that is equal to or greater than 200 mg/dL indicates diabetes.
The following table summarizes the meaning of fasting glucose results.
Can I Do A Fasting Blood Sugar Test At Home Instead
There are kits that allow you to test your blood sugar at home. But they should not be used to diagnose diabetes.
The results are often not as accurate as tests by a healthcare provider. Several factors can affect accuracy, such as:
- Environmental conditions.
- Unclean skin on the finger being pricked.
- Expired or damaged test strips.
- Not enough blood in the testing sample.
At-home blood testing kits are intended to help people who have already been diagnosed. They help people with diabetes manage the condition and understand what factors affect their blood sugar.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Fasting blood sugar is a simple, common blood test to diagnose prediabetes, diabetes or gestational diabetes. Before the test, you shouldnt have anything to eat or drink for 8 to 12 hours. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need a fasting blood glucose test.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/17/2021.
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Are There Any Risks
While the test itself does not come with any real risk, there are certain risk factors for developing gestational diabetesincluding being over the age of 25, having a family history of diabetes, and/or being obese. That said, half of those who develop gestational diabetes have no known risk factors, making testing is so important.
Why Should I Buy Diabetes Test Strips
A blood glucose meter and blood glucose test strips are necessary diabetes care supplies for blood glucose monitoring, the most important starting point for managing your diabetes.
If you dont know what your blood sugar is doing, you cant know what you need to do to manage it. Based on if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your health care provider will often tell you how many times per day you should check your blood sugar levels. But, your own specific diabetes management and self-monitoring needs may lead you to check your blood sugar more often, requiring a good blood glucose meter and quality test strips.
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How To Prepare 3 Hour Test
If your doctor would like to see additional testing, based on your results from the 1 hour test, you may be asked to have a 3 hour OGTT. It is important to follow all of the instructions very carefully, as it will affect the results of the test.
When you arrive at the office a sample or baseline glucose test will be run and used for comparing other glucose values. You will be asked to drink a sweet liquid containing a measured amount of glucose, it is best to drink it quickly. Then blood samples will be collected at timed intervals of 1,2, and 3 hours after you drink the glucose.
Here is the best method of preparation: