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.
What To Do When You Encounter The Donut Hole On Diabetes Medication
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When To Take Medication For Diabetes
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What Are Normal Glucose Levels For Adults And Older Children
What should my blood sugar be in the morning?
Blood sugar in the morning is also called fastingblood sugar: This is a common screening test for diabetes. It involves having an overnight fast . You will have your blood tested once for this test. These are the current rules for what this test means:
» Normal for glucose levels for non-diabetic people is blood sugarless than 100 milligrams per deciliter
» Prediabetesbetween 100 and 125 mg/dL
Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes does not usually cause any symptoms.
Most cases are only discovered when your blood sugar levels are tested during screening for gestational diabetes.
Some women may develop symptoms if their blood sugar levels gets too high , such as:
- needing to pee more often than usual
But some of these symptoms are common during pregnancy and are not necessarily a sign of gestational diabetes. Speak to your midwife or doctor if you’re worried about any symptoms you’re experiencing.
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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.
Why Does Diabetes Medication Cause Weight Gain
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What Is Being Tested
This test measures the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucose is a simple sugar that provides energy for the body.
People with diabetes often monitor their own blood glucose at home. This is done using a finger-prick test and a special machine, rather than a blood sample taken from a vein.
You might have blood taken for a blood sugar level. You might or might not be asked to fast beforehand.
There is also a test called an oral glucose tolerance test, abbreviated as OGTT or GTT. For this test you fast, then have a blood sample taken, then drink glucose, then have a number of samples taken over a few hours.
Lower Glucose Blood Sugar
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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 Happens If Your Glucose Screening Test Is Abnormal
If your glucose screening test is elevated or “abnormal,” your body may not be producing enough insulin. Results over 130 mg/dL could be indicative of a problem. However, before your doctor can diagnose you with gestational diabetes, you will need to take a confirmatory three-hour glucose test.
To prepare for this three-hour gestational diabetes test, you will need to fast overnight and then drink a solution with an even higher dose of glucose. Your blood will then be sampled several times over a period of about three hours and tested for abnormal levels of glucose.
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Oral Glucose Tolerance Test During Pregnancy
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you be screened for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
However, rather than going right to a three-hour oral glucose tolerance test, healthcare providers usually recommend starting with a one-hour glucose challenge first, which you do not have to fast for.
The one-hour glucose challenge can be done before 24 weeks if a person has obesity, has a family history of diabetes, has been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome , or had gestational diabetes during previous pregnancies.
If the test shows that your blood glucose values are equal to or greater than 140 milligrams per deciliter , the results are abnormal. You would then move on to doing the full, three-hour oral glucose tolerance test. Some providers set the threshold for requiring a second test as low as 130 mg/dL.
Symptoms Of Diabetes That May Prompt An A1c Test
As mentioned by the , a doctor may recommend an A1C test if a person shows signs of poor glucose control, diabetes, or prediabetes.
Warning signs can include:
- increased urination, especially at night
- increased hunger
- numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- slow healing sores
- more than 45 years of age
- family history of diabetes
- long-term use of glucocorticoids, antipsychotics, and certain medications for HIV
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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.
Small Changes In Temperature Equipment Or Sample Handling
Even when the same blood sample is repeatedly measured in the same lab, the results may vary because of small changes in temperature, equipment, or sample handling. These factors tend to affect glucose measurementsfasting and OGTTmore than the A1C test.
Health care professionals understand these variations and repeat lab tests for confirmation. Diabetes develops over time, so even with variations in test results, health care professionals can tell when overall blood glucose levels are becoming too high.
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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.
Can I Use A Fingerstick To Test Whether I Have Normal Glucose Levels Or Diabetes
The HbA1C test, 2-hour post-meal blood sugar, and fasting blood sugar tests are crucial for detecting and diagnosing diabetes. However, its crucial to prevent self-diagnosing diabetes by performing a fingerstick with a home blood glucose meter if you suspect you have the disease and do not have a normal blood sugar level. Diabetes is diagnosed using laboratories standards that cant be obtained with a fingerstick.
You should request a laboratory test from your doctors office for this purpose. However, if you checked your blood sugar with someone elses meter and it came up high, like 200 mg/dL or more , that could be a sign of diabetes. In that scenario, I would strongly advise scheduling an immediate appointment with your doctor.
Additionally, its crucial to consult your endocrinologist to determine how frequently to check your blood sugar levels using tests like the HbA1C or fasting blood sugar. Additionally, be aware of the implications of your findings and your HbA1C and blood sugar goals.
Your endocrinologist may advise additional testing if your findings are above normal and you have never been diagnosed with diabetes, prediabetes, or insulin resistance.
Treatment options might include dietary and exercise regimens tailored to diabetics, weight loss, and regular exercise. You might need to start taking diabetic drugs, including insulin, when lifestyle modifications fail, though this is typically the final option.
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What Is Normal Blood Sugar After Eating
When you eat, your blood sugar levels naturally rise. For people without diabetes, normal blood sugar levels 2 hours after eating should be below 140 mg/dL. If your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than normal, you may have diabetes. Several factors can affect your blood sugar levels, including the type of food you eat, how much insulin you produce, and how well your body breaks down and uses glucose. If you have diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar levels is important to prevent complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. talk to your doctor about your target blood sugar levels should be 2 hours after eating and how to reach them. Keeping your blood sugar levels healthy can help you feel your best and prevent long-term complications from diabetes.
If the number falls close to the dividing line between two levels, it is usually a simple matter to recheck it or confirm the diagnosis with another test.
You can tell whether you have normal blood glucose levels in the last 3 months by looking at your HbA1c. Because red blood cells live in your body for about 120 days, this test can be done any time of the day without any fasting and will tell you how high your average blood sugar was over the previous three months. This is because glucose sticks to your red blood cells for their entire lifetime. We use this number to make these diagnoses:
» Normal A1c is less than 5.7%
» A1c for Prediabetesbetween 5.7% and 6.4%
Will The Glucose Tests Make Me Feel Sick
Some moms-to-be feel nauseated after drinking the glucose solution, and a few even throw up. It may help to eat something a few hours before the screening test. If you vomit soon after you’ve gotten the drink down, you’ll have to come back on another day and repeat the test.
It’s actually more common for women to feel sick during the three-hour glucose tolerance test, because the solution for that test is twice as sweet or contains twice as much liquid as the one for the screening test, and you have to drink it after fasting.
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Blood Glucose Sometimes Gets A Bad Rap But Its Not Always Bad
Blood glucose is an important number when it comes to diabetes management.
Many foods break down into blood glucose, which is used for energy to fuel our brain, heart and muscles. Blood glucose either comes from the food we eat or is made by the liver, and is found in the blood stream and inside the cells .
If youâre struggling to manage your blood glucose levels, youre not alone.
The good news is, with the latest tools and strategies, you can take steps to manage your blood glucose, prevent serious complications and thrive.