Preparing For The A1c Test
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.
Why Do You Take A Glucose Test In Pregnancy
The glucose test is basically a simple way to determine how your body processes sugar in the third trimester of pregnancy.
In other words, it is a screening test to look for gestational diabetes mellitus.
You will be asked to drink a solution that contains a certain amount of glucose and have your blood drawn 1 or 2 hours later at your doctors office.
The glucose challenge test can be done between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy, which is about 6 months.
If you fail, you will then need to perform the glucose tolerance test.
The American College of OBGYN and the American Diabetes Association recommends that ALL pregnant women be screened for gestational diabetes. If you are at high risk, you will be screened twice- once in the first trimester, and again in the third trimester.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
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How The Test Is Done
Glucose Challenge Screening Test
This preliminary test is often used as the first point of testing for gestational diabetes and youll often hear it referred to as the 1-hour test or two-step test. You wont need to do anything to prepare for this like change your diet, because when you go in, youll be given a sweetened liquid to drink and then need to wait approximately 1 hour before having your blood drawn . This will tell doctors how effectively your body is processing sugar. If blood sugar levels are higher-than-normal or there are any other concerns, your doctor may order a glucose tolerance test.
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What Can You Do If Youre At Risk For Gestational Diabetes
If youre at risk for gestational diabetes, there are a few things you can do to help lower your chances of developing the condition:
-Get regular exercise. Exercise can help your body use insulin more effectively.
-Eat a healthy diet. Eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help your body control blood sugar levels.
-Maintain a healthy weight. If youre overweight, losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight can help lower your risk of gestational diabetes.
It is important to consider these things even before pregnancy, so Im glad youre thinking about it.
Preparing For The Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
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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.
What Do My Results Mean
If your test results come back abnormal or slightly elevated, your doctor may suggest dietary changes or another glucose test later on in pregnancy. Two or more positive glucose tests may lead to a diagnosis of gestational diabetes or another blood sugar issue. Your doctor will be able to help advise on a treatment plan to help you better manage it .
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What Is An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
An OGTT is a way to measure your bodys ability to use glucose. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, which helps your body use the glucose in your blood. If your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin or if your body is unable to use the insulin it makes, you may have a high blood glucose level. The OGTT involves fasting overnight and then having your blood checked early in the morning. You will then drink a special glucose drink and have your blood tested again after 2 hours. Sometimes blood sugar levels are also checked at other times such as 1 hour, 3 hours, or 4 hours after the glucose drink.
How To Prepare For A Diabetes Check
Are you preparing for your first Diabetes Check? It is essential for you to be proactive when it comes to your health. This means if you think you might have diabetes or even be prediabetes, then making an appointment to get checked is vital. It is always best to identify potential health concerns before they start to affect your body. It is easier for medical professionals to treat illnesses and diseases in their earlier stages.
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Choose Healthy Carbohydrates Instead
Complex or unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grain breads and cereals, whole fresh fruits and even baked potatoes are absorbed more slowly into your bloodstream and are less likely to give you the large sugar jolts that can result in excess glucose filtering into your urine.
In fact, since complex carbohydrates contain more fiber, they actually slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. Whats more, they provide lots of essential nutrients for pregnancy .
Why Is Gestational Diabetes An Issue
Poorly controlled GDM increases the risk fo having a large baby, pregnancy and birth complications, induction or other interventions of labour, caesarean section, unstable blood sugars of baby, and poorer outcomes for Mum and baby.
If blood glucose levels are well controlled with diet and lifestyle changes or good medication management, the risks of GDM can be minimised.
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How To Prepare For Glucose Test Pregnancy
Preparing for the Gestational Glucose Test is the Fourth Method of the Four Methods Download the Article
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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How To Pass The 3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test
Just like the 1 hour glucose test, there isnt any special way to ensure that you pass the 3 hour oral glucose tolerance test aka the ogtt.
Your best bet is to eat a well-balanced diet leading up to the test and minimize the consumption of simple carbs like cereal, white flour, juice, and soda.
Making these changes the night before or the week before is unlikely to make a big difference. You should make these changes months in advance.
Its also a good idea to try and maintain these habits postpartum as well. Unfortunately, 60% of women with gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Is Gestational Diabetes My Fault
- Women who are unable to produce enough insulin or who are unable to utilise the insulin that is already present in their bodies in an efficient enough manner are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
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So What Is Gestational Diabetes
GDM is diabetes of pregnancy. That means once you have birthed, you are no longer considered diabetic.
That being said, history of GDM is linked to higher risk of Type 2 diabetes later in life, so it is important to have diabetes follow-up with your GP at 6-8 weeks post birth and ongoing.
The hormones produced by the placenta are vital in helping a baby grow and develop.
However, these hormones also block the action of insulin, which lowers blood glucose levels.
In pregnancy, the need for insulin is 2-3 times higher because of this insulin resistance.
In the case of GDM, the body isnt coping with the extra demand for insulin and the blood glucose levels are therefore higher.
Besides Glucose What Other Tests Might Be Done
Hemoglobin A1c is an indicator of long-term glucose control that is commonly ordered in patients with prediabetes and diabetes and can also be used as a screening test. Other less common tests, such as islet autoantibodies, insulin, and C-peptide, may sometimes be performed along with these tests to help determine the cause of abnormal glucose levels, to distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and to evaluate insulin production.
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When Is It Ordered
Screening and Diagnosis
The American Diabetes Association recommends diabetes screening when you are age 45 or older. Several health organizations, including the ADA, recommend screening when you have risk factors, regardless of age. You may be at risk if you:
- Are overweight, obese, or physically inactive
- Have a close relative with diabetes, such as parent, siblings, aunt or uncle
- Are a woman who delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds or who has a history of gestational diabetes
- A woman with polycystic ovary syndrome
- Are of a high-risk race or ethnicity, such as African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander
- Have high blood pressure or are taking medication for high blood pressure
- Have a low HDL cholesterol level and/or a high triglyceride level
- Have prediabetes identified by previous testing
- Have a history of cardiovascular disease
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for abnormal blood glucose as part of a risk assessment for cardiovascular disease in adults ages 40 to 70 who are overweight or obese.
If the screening test result is within normal limits, the ADA and USPSTF recommend rescreening every 3 years. People with prediabetes may be monitored with annual testing.
A blood glucose test may also be ordered when you have signs and symptoms of abnormal blood glucose levels.
High blood glucose :
- Blurred vision
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.
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Does Walking Lower Blood Sugar
When you do moderate exercise, like walking, that makes your heart beat a little faster and breathe a little harder. Your muscles use more glucose, the sugar in your blood stream. Over time, this can lower your blood sugar levels. It also makes the insulin in your body work better.
How do you feel if you fail a glucose test?
Glucose testing and screening is very low risk. As with any blood draw, there is a slight risk of: Feeling lightheaded or fainting.
Did I pass my glucose test?
According to the Mayo Clinic: Blood sugar level below 140 mg/dL is normal and considered passing. Blood sugar level between 140 mg/dL and 190 mg/dL is elevated, and requires the follow-up three-hour glucose tolerance test to confirm gestational diabetes.