What Is The Glucose Challenge Screening Test
No preparation is required prior to the test. During the test, the mother is asked to drink a sweet liquid and then will have blood drawn one hour from having the drink, as blood glucose levels normally peak within one hour. No fasting is required prior to this test.
The test evaluates how your body processes sugar. A high level in your blood may indicate your body is not processing sugar effectively . If the results of this screen are positive, the woman may have the Glucose Tolerance Test performed. It is important to note that not all women who test positive for the Glucose Challenge Screening test are found to have diabetes upon further diagnosis.
High Blood Sugar During Pregnancy Effects On The Baby
High blood sugar during pregnancy is always a problem and can lead to miscarriages, abnormal baby birth and so on. The other possible effects on the baby are
- Stillbirth , this is high with poor blood sugar control.
- Birth defects, if youre diabetic then this complication is high, frequently visit the doctor during the primary trimester.
- Macrosomia, it is a condition where the baby is more than normal.
- Birth injury, this happens when the baby is large in size and it is difficult for delivery.
- Hypoglycemia, the baby is born with low glucose levels.
- Respiratory distress or trouble while breathing as the babys lungs arent grown properly due to high sugar level.
Preeclampsia, heart issues, brain and spinal problems, oral clefts, gastrointestinal and kidney defects, and limb problems are also common.
Language Matters In Diabetes
Words make a difference when youre talking about diabetes. Thats especially true in the context of blood sugar levels and how someone manages their health.
Here are some suggestions on language choices when talking with someone about their blood sugars and glucose levels.
- Try to avoid using terms like good or bad for higher or lower blood sugars.
- Instead, try to not tie value judgments to these numbers. Think about them as just numbers, in range or not, and pieces of data to help make a decision in diabetes care. Sometimes glucose numbers are too low or too high, and its helpful for the person with diabetes to understand why those glucose fluctuations are happening.
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How Do I Track Blood Sugar Levels
In most cases, if gestational diabetes is suspected, a glucose meter will be part of your diabetes care plan. These can measure your blood sugar levels. Glucose meters measure blood sugar from small drops of blood drawn from finger pricks.
A diabetes educator or member of your OBGYNs health care team will review the procedures of testing blood sugar during your prenatal visits. This includes how to track health information like blood sugar levels and weight.
Keeping logs of your daily glucose levels can show your health care provider how your blood sugar levels change through your day and through various activities like exercising or working at your desk all day. .
Levels After Youve Eaten
Many foods have types of carbohydrates called starches and sugars. When you eat foods with these types of carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is a type of simple sugar, and releases the glucose into your bloodstream. Aside from glucose produced by your liver, food is the main source of plasma glucose.
Two hours after eating, your blood sugar levels rise. They rise more when you eat more carbohydrates, when you do not eat fiber, fat, or protein with your carbs, and when you eat certain types of carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and starches.
These are target values from The Joslin Diabetes Center, which include levels for people with diabetes:
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Different Types Of Foods To Avoid With Diabetes Diabetes
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Youâre more likely to get gestational diabetes if you:
- Were overweight before you got pregnant
- Are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Native American
- Have blood sugar levels that are higher than they should be but not high enough to be diabetes
- Have a family member with diabetes
- Have had gestational diabetes before
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome or another health condition linked to problems with insulin
- Have given birth to a baby who was stillborn or had certain birth defects
- Are older than 25
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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Different Levels And What They Mean
The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.
The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.
If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.
That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.
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Who’s At Risk Of Gestational Diabetes
Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but you’re 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.
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Continue Learning About Diabetes
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Although the cause of GDM is not known, there are some theories as to why the condition occurs.
The placenta supplies a growing fetus with nutrients and water, and also produces a variety of hormones to maintain the pregnancy. Some of these hormones can have a blocking effect on insulin. This is called contra-insulin effect, which usually begins about 20 to 24 weeks into the pregnancy.
As the placenta grows, more of these hormones are produced, and the risk of insulin resistance becomes greater. Normally, the pancreas is able to make additional insulin to overcome insulin resistance, but when the production of insulin is not enough to overcome the effect of the placental hormones, gestational diabetes results.
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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy
As women ages 35 and above the chances of getting affected with gestational diabetes are high and so it is important to know the ideal count of sugar to be present while carrying. If your test result is below 7.8 mmol/L after consumption of 50g glucose and lapse of 60 minutes then the sugar count is normal. There is also another way to know normal blood range by following the oral glucose tolerance test , with a sugared liquid having 75 g glucose and 3 blood tests. In the below 3 tests if minimum 1 out of the 3 blood tests values is greater than or equal to the mentioned readings then your blood count is not normal.
- 5.1 mmol/L fasting
- 10 mmol/L 1 hour after drinking the sugary drinks or the sugary liquid
- 8.5 mmol/L 2 hours after drinking the sugary liquid
Usually when blood sugar level is higher than 200 mg/dl is seen a second evaluation i.e., an oral glucose tolerance test is recommended.
Managing Your Blood Glucose Levels If You Are On Insulin
Your care team will review your insulin treatment with you, and may suggest a different type to help you achieve your blood glucose targets.
Your care team should explain how being pregnant can make it harder for you to recognise hypoglycaemia, especially in the first 3 months. You should make sure you have fastacting forms of glucose, such as sugarcontaining drinks or dextrose tablets, to hand in case your blood glucose gets too low.
If you have type 1 diabetes, your care team should also provide you with glucagon. This can be injected to increase your blood glucose in an emergency. Your partner or family members should be shown how to do this.
If you are finding it hard to keep your blood glucose at the right level or hypoglycaemia is affecting your daytoday activities, you may be offered an insulin pump instead of injections.
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The Night Before The Test
Do not eat or drink anything other than plain water from 10pm the evening before your test. This includes not eating mints, chewing gum and medication for heart burn.
Please note that if you forget and you eat something in the morning, it is important that you contact the antenatal clinic as your test will have to be rearranged.
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Basis For The Currently Recommended Therapeutic Targets
The current clinical recommendations for treatment targets in pregnancies complicated by diabetes are not uniform internationally or primarily based on the studies listed in Table 1. Although the therapeutic targets were chosen to attenuate the risk for fetal macrosomia, they have never been prospectively tested compared with lower targets . Even when current glucose targets are achieved in the pregnancy affected by diabetes, macrosomia still occurs and in utero programming may have a lasting metabolic impact on the offspring .
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What To Do After Being Diagnosed
For many women, being diagnosed with gestational diabetes can be upsetting. However, it is important to remember that the majority of women with gestational diabetes have a healthy pregnancy, normal delivery and a healthy baby. The treatment is a healthy eating plan, regular physical activity and monitoring and maintaining blood glucose levels in the target range while you are pregnant. Read more about managing gestational diabetes.
Managing diabetes is a team effort involving the woman, her family and health professionals. Some of the health professionals that may form part of the diabetes health care team include endocrinologists, obstetricians, credentialled diabetes educators, accredited practising dietitians, accredited exercise physiologists, GPs and midwives.
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = 7099 mg/dl
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = 80130 mg/dl
Two hours after a meal
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = Below 140 mg/dl
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = Below 180 mg/dl
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = Below 5.7%
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = 7% or less
**My Med Memo The measurement mmol is the abbreviation for millimole.
A Rationale For Omitting Two
Get rights and content Objective: In making decisions regarding initiation of insulin therapy in gestational diabetes, most maternal-fetal obstetricians rely more on elevated fasting glucose values than on elevated 2-hour postprandial levels. We sought to determine whether the latter test is necessary. Study Design: From the patients with gestational diabetes mellitus managed over a 17-month period at Grady Memorial Hospital, we retrospectively analyzed data to determine whether normal fasting plasma glucose values predict elevated 2-hour postprandial values and whether the latter predict adverse outcome. Results: From 194 patients with gestational diabetes mellitus, 546 paired fasting and 2-hour postprandial glucose values were recorded. Fasting levels were normal in 467 in those, 2-hour levels were < 120 mg/dl in 83% and < 140 in fully 96%. In 131 women with all fasting plasma glucose values normal, the birth weights and the rates of cesarean delivery, shoulder dystocia, and macrosomia were similar, regardless of whether 2-hour postprandial glucose values were> 120. The actual cost of the 546 2-hour postprandial glucose tests was nearly $10,000. Conclusion: For metabolic surveillance in gestational diabetes mellitus, the 2-hour postprandial glucose test seems unnecessary, provided fasting plasma glucose values remain normal.Continue reading > >
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Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels
Monitoring your blood glucose levels is essential. It gives you a guide as to whether the changes you have made to your lifestyle are effective or whether further treatment is required.
A diabetes nurse educator can teach you how and when to measure your blood glucose levels. They will discuss the recommended blood glucose levels to aim for.
Your doctor or diabetes educator can help you register with the National Diabetes Services Scheme for discounted blood glucose strips. Regular contact with your diabetes educator or doctor is recommended.
Tips To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy
Well, being careful with what you eat is of utmost importance. Here are other tips.
- Eat less but eat right, have more proteins and fewer carbs.
- Eat frequently in little quantities, probably for every 2 hours.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Be physically active.
- Go for regular checkups.
- Keep an eye on your medicines, dont take any drug without prior approval of your doctor.
Follow these steps and you will have the ideal blood sugar level during pregnancy.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.
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Importance Of A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is essential for the control of blood glucose levels and for a healthy pregnancy. When there is gestational diabetes, certain modifications need to be made to the mothers diet, including to the amount of carbohydrates in each meal. A carbohydrate-controlled diet is the foundation of the treatment. It is essential not to eliminate carbohydrates completely but rather to distribute them throughout the day.
What Should Someone With Gestational Diabetes Do
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, its important to start carefully managing your blood sugar levels. For most women, the aim is to keep blood glucose levels between 63 mg/dL and 140 mg/dL as much as possible they need to work with their healthcare team early and often after diagnosis, and determine their personal glucose targets. Treatments will often include strategic meal plans and exercise, and may incorporate medication and available diabetes technology.
The California Department of Public Health recommends a carbohydrate-controlled diet with meals and snacks spread two to three hours apart and walking after each meal.
For exercise, healthcare professionals suggest 30-60 minutes of moderately intense cardio and strength training three times per week.
Remember that there are many more factors that affect blood sugar, including sleep, stress, and your environment. Talk with a healthcare professional to come up with an individual approach to managing your blood sugar levels which may include meal plans, exercise routines, and insulin .
Some tools and technologies may be able to help you manage glucose. A continuous glucose monitor tracks glucose levels every few minutes throughout the day and night. This information can be exceptionally helpful for staying in your target glucose range, tracking and replicating the factors that create the best environment for mother and child.
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