What Are The Complications Of Gestational Diabetes
If your blood sugar levels remain high during your pregnancy, this may lead to pregnancy problems such as a large baby, miscarriage or stillbirth. Having a large baby can lead to complications and injury during the birth, and increase the chances of having intervention in labour such as a caesarean birth. But the baby will not be born with diabetes.
If you have gestational diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure while you are pregnant and a 50% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Your baby is also at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life.
To reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes:
- keep to a healthy weight
- eat a healthy diet
- be physically active
- check your blood glucose levels
You can also call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse for advice and support.
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
- a dry mouth
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 youre worried about any symptoms youre experiencing.
What Is A Glucose Tolerance Test During Pregnancy And Why Is It Done
A glucose tolerance test is usually done during the second trimester of pregnancy, between 24 and 28 weeks. However if you have certain risk factors, like weight, or having a previously large baby they may test you earlier .
The test is used to screen for gestational diabetes, which is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes happens when your body cant make enough insulin to handle the extra glucose in your blood during pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use or store glucose for energy.
For most women, gestational diabetes doesnt cause any noticeable symptoms. Thats why its important to get screened for the condition with a glucose tolerance test. If Gestational diabetes is not treated, it can lead to high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. This can cause problems for you and your baby, such as:
-Excessive weight gain in your baby
-Increased risk of cesarean delivery
-Breathing problems in your baby after birth
I want to be really clear on the fact that most often there is no way for you to know if you have gestational diabetes. These women dont tend to feel much different than other pregnant women so taking this test is truly the only way!
Hey, did you know that you are also at the perfect spot to take this too?
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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 obese
- are older than age 25
- have sugar in the urine on routine testing
- have high blood pressure
- have polycystic ovary syndrome
Glucose Test Pregnancy Tips: Everything You Need To Know Before Taking The Test
January 28, 2022·Pregnancy
Are you in the second or third trimester of pregnancy? If so, here are the best glucose test pregnancy tips you will want to know before you take your glucose test!
Pregnancy is an exciting but sometimes stressful time in a womans life. There are so many things to keep in mind such as your pregnancy diet, whether youre exercising enough, making sure your baby is getting enough nutrients to grow, and so much more. Plus, there is a ton of bloodwork and tests throughout the pregnancy.
This post specifically talks about gestational diabetes, the glucose test and why its so important. It also includes the best glucose test pregnancy tips so you know exactly what to expect before you take the test!
This post is all about the top glucose test pregnancy tips.
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How Does Gestational Diabetes Develop
Your body makes a hormone called insulin to help keep your blood glucose at the right level. Your blood glucose levels become higher if your body doesnt make enough insulin or if your insulin does not work as well as it should.
During pregnancy, hormones are made by the placenta to help the baby develop and grow. These hormones, however, can stop the mothers insulin from working properly. This is called insulin resistance. As the pregnancy develops and the baby grows bigger, the mothers body has to make more insulin to keep her blood glucose in the recommended glucose range.
Later in pregnancy the amount of insulin needed to keep blood glucose levels in the optimal range is 2 to 3 times higher than usual. If the mother is unable to produce enough insulin to meet this demand then her blood glucose levels rise and gestational diabetes develops.
Good And Consistent Evidence
Gestational diabetes should be treated with nutrition therapy. If necessary, medications should also be used to benefit the mother and fetus.
Studies show a significant reduction in serious complications with treatment of gestational diabetes. Nutrition therapy includes nutritional counseling, a personalized nutrition plan, and a moderate exercise program, with the goal of achieving normoglycemia, preventing ketosis, facilitating adequate weight gain, and contributing to fetal well-being.
If target glucose levels cannot be met with nutrition therapy alone, medical therapy should be initiated. There is no conclusive evidence to guide when to start medications. Although insulin has been the standard medical therapy for gestational diabetes, insulin and oral medications are equally effective and appropriate for first-line therapy.
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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.
Alternatives To The Glucose Test During Pregnancy
Glucose tests are considered the gold standard for diagnosing gestational diabetes, and doctors strongly recommend that all women get the initial screening. However, we recognize that in some circumstances, including women whove had bariatric surgery, performing these tests may not be possible, says Greves.
Klein acknowledges that people may have trouble tolerating the highly concentrated drink. She says that, instead, they may be able to use a glucometer at home to regularly self-monitor their levels and assess if theres any blood glucose dysregulation. She adds that some doctors will allow alternatives to the Glucola beverage if its something equivalent to 50 or 100 grams of glucose. Another form of simple sugar, such as jelly beans or fruit juice may be acceptable, she says. Of course, protocols vary by practice, and Klein and Greves stress that youll want to discuss options with your doctor. They may want you to stick with the tried-and-true oral glucose tolerance test.
The initial glucose test during pregnancy is par for the course for moms-to-be. And those that need to carve out the time for the three-hour glucose tolerance test will come to realize that some minor unpleasantness is no big thing if it means keeping you and your little one on the path to a healthy delivery. Well drink to that.
About the experts:
Stephanie Klein, RD, LDN, CDCES, is a registered dietitian and the clinical director of diabetes prevention and reversal at Simplex Health.
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What Happens If I Fail My Glucose Test During Pregnancy
Around 24-28 weeks gestation, most practitioners will order a blood glucose test to see if the pregnant patient has gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar condition that 2-5 percent of pregnant women develop during pregnancy. Because this condition rarely causes any visible symptoms, performing a glucose test is the only way to find out if a patient has it. If a patient tests positive for this screening, a glucose tolerance test is needed. A GTT is a longer more definitive test that will tell a patient definitively whether or not she has gestational diabetes.
What Happens Once Diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes?
There are many different plans that a practitioner could set a patient on depending how high the glucose levels were on the glucose tolerance test. Most patients are referred to a high-risk OB-GYN as additional screenings are needed to ensure the fetus is not in any distress and monitor the fetus growth, as a result of this condition.
Patients who are unable to control their glucose levels could need to try medication to aide throughout the rest of their pregnancy. It is important for a patient to discuss her feelings and any side effects of gestational diabetes medication with a doctor while on them.
Pregnancy Glucose Tolerance Test Results
As the normal range of glucose tolerance test results may vary depending on the lab or clinic, your doctor is the best resource for information and advice on your specific results and recommended next steps. However, these general guidelines may apply:
If any one of the test results are higher than normal, a new test may be recommended for about four weeks later.
If two or more of the results are higher than normal, your doctor may diagnose you with gestational diabetes.
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Monogenic Diabetes In Pregnancy
Since pregnancy may be the first time in their lives that women undergo glucose screening, monogenic diabetes may be picked up for the first time in pregnancy. Monogenic diabetes first diagnosed in pregnancy should be suspected in the women with GDM who lack risk factors for GDM and type 1 diabetes and have no autoantibodies . A detailed family history can be very helpful in determining the likely type of monogenic diabetes. This is important because the type of monogenic diabetes influences fetal risks and management considerations. The most common forms of monogenic diabetes in Canada are maturity onset diabetes of the young 2 or MODY 3 . A history of family members with longstanding isolated elevated FBG with mild A1C elevations that do not progress to frank diabetes over a long duration is suggestive of MODY 2. During pregnancy, the usual phenotype for MODY 2 of isolated elevated FBG is not always seen, even though this phenotype may be present outside of pregnancy in the same woman . Fetal carriers of GCK mutations do not usually have macrosomia. Fetuses without the GCK mutation of mothers with GCK mutation are at increased risk of macrosomia. The best way to manage women with GCK mutation during pregnancy has yet to be established, but regular fetal growth assessment can aid in the establishment of appropriate glucose targets during pregnancy for women with documented or strongly suspected GCK mutations.
What To Eat Before Your Pregnancy Glucose Test
â Last updated: July 26, 2022
Heres what to eat before a pregnancy glucose test, which foods to avoid, and what happens if you dont pass!
If youre a first time mom you might be nervous to take your first glucose test which happens around 24 weeks of pregnancy.
But, dont fret!
This post will help relieve any fears and help you understand how to prepare and what to expect.
So, heres what to eat before a glucose test, foods to avoid, and what happens if you dont pass!
Read Also: What Happens When Your Glucose Is High
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.
Your Glucose Test During Pregnancy: How To Pass It
This post may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission your purchase at no cost to you. Feel free to check my disclosure and terms for more info! Please note the advice on this site is general advice and you should consult a provider before making choices for yourself.
If youre pregnant and expecting to have a glucose test as part of your prenatal care, you might be wondering how to prepare for the test. What can you eat and drink before the test? And what should you do on the day of the test? Keep reading for all the information you need to know about glucose tests during pregnancy.
But first, how do I know all of this?
Hi Im Hilary The Pregnancy Nurse . I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. I even helped in a diabetes clinic during my 3rd pregnancy. I have helped LOTS of diabetic moms, and fielded lots of questions about the glucose test during pregnancy.
Possibly, similarly important, I have taken the glucose test with my three pregnancies, and I understand your desire to PASS that test.
First, lets chat a bit about what it is.
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Glucose Tolerance Testing Diet
You will eat three meals per day and have a bedtime snack, and your meals should consist of at least 50% carbohydrates. 10 servings of carbohydrates equal approximately 150 grams of carbohydrates. You may check the package nutrition labels on most foods, as most labels will indicate the number of grams of carbohydrates the food contains. You must have at least 150 grams of carbohydrates each day for three days prior to your test.
The following are examples of one serving of carbohydrates :
- 1 slice of bread
- 1/2 cup of starchy vegetables
- 1 cup of milk
How To Lower Your Blood Glucose Levels
Even if you have a normal glucose screening and never test positive for glucose in your urine, its still important to follow a healthy diet during pregnancy, which can help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Here are some tips on what to eat to keep blood sugar spikes at bay, plus other smart strategies:
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If You Are Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that can affect some pregnant women. It happens when too much glucose stays in the blood instead of being used as energy. Gestational diabetes goes away after you give birth, and your doctor will advise you on steps to take to control the diabetes while you are pregnant. You will likely attend more frequent prenatal visits. Your provider may suggest lifestyle changes or medication to control your blood sugar levels, and you may need to periodically test your own blood sugar levels. You may also need to have regular glucose tests after your baby is born. Itâs daunting to receive this diagnosis, but it may help you to read more about how to handle gestational diabetes so that you have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Carbohydrates And Gestational Diabetes
Theres some evidence monitoring your carbohydrate intake in pregnancy is an effective way to control gestational diabetes without medication. The body turns carbohydrates into glucose within two hours of eating. This means your blood sugar levels are more easily affected by the carbohydrates you eat.
Most people eating a standard Western diet eat far too many simple or processed carbs and sugar. In recent years there has been a focus on improving the quality of carbs in our diets. You might have heard of low carb or keto diets and wondered whether they might help prevent or manage gestational diabetes.
Research on these diets and their effects on pregnancy is limited, due to ethics. What we do know is that eating a diet high in nutrition and reducing highly processed foods has many positive benefits for your pregnancy and growing baby.
You dont have to think of it as a restrictive diet. Instead, focus on healthy and nutritious food sources.
Carbohydrates come in many forms. Some are simple like white bread, crisps, candy and fruit juice. Others are complex such as whole grains, oats, brown rice and quinoa. Vegetables and legumes are unprocessed and whole food carbohydrates, and contain an array of important nutrients.
Fat are an important part of your diet, as your babys brain needs plenty for growth and development. Again, focus on healthy fats and avoid potato crisps and processed foods high in trans fats.
Examples of healthy lower carb foods:
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What You Need To Know About Glucose Testing During Pregnancy
From beginning to end, pregnancy involves all kinds of tests, and some are less pleasant than others. Amy Schumer, who revealed her pregnancy in October, recently shared on Instagram that she was undergoing glucose testing, which definitely looked like it was on the unpleasant end of the spectrum.
Fingers crossed sisters, Schumer captioned a photo of herself drinking a bright orange liquid called Sun-Dex. Some of her followers asked in the comments what the test was for, while others who had been through it relayed their tales of drinking the same oddly colored drink.