3-Hour Gestational Diabetes Test

In order to make sure that a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes, she needs to undergo the 3-hour gestational diabetes test. This test measures the body’s ability to use glucose, thus diagnosing prediabetes and diabetes. It is a very common test that is used for determining whether one has gestational diabetes or not.

Pregnant women have increased chances for having a high 3-hour gestational diabetes test if she was previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes in a past pregnancy. She is also at risk for the condition if she previously gave birth to a baby weighing nine pounds or 4.1 kilograms. Those who are overweight and younger than 25 years old are also at higher risk of getting an abnormal 3-hour gestational diabetes test result.

Preparing for the 3-Hour Gestational Diabetes Test

Before you undergo the 3-hour gestational diabetes test, your doctor will advise you to have a diet containing at least 150 grams of carbohydrates for the three days prior to fasting. Carbohydrate-rich foods include cereals, breads, grains, fruits, rice, crackers, potatoes, and corn. Eight to 14 hours before the test, you are not allowed to drink or eat anything. You are also discouraged from exercising or smoking because these can affect the results of the 3-hour gestational diabetes test. Some medications may also affect the test, so it is important to tell your doctor about them so that he can tell you whether those drugs can affect the test or not.

How the 3-Hour Gestational Diabetes Test is Done

During the duration of the 3-hour gestational diabetes test, you will be asked to sit quietly since physical activity can have an effect on the test. You are also not allowed to drink or eat anything during the duration of the test, other than water and the solution that will be given to you for consumption.

Upon arrival, your fasting blood sample will be collected. This will serve as the baseline for the rest of the results that will be collected during the 3-hour gestational diabetes test. You will then be asked to drink 75 grams of a sweet, glucose-filled syrupy liquid. Several blood samples will be extracted after one, two, or three hours. Although it is best to drink the liquid in one go, you might feel sick and nauseous and might feel the need to vomit, which will only prevent you from accomplishing the 3-hour gestational diabetes test. Therefore, it is advised that you drink the liquid at your own pace.

Results of the 3-Hour Gestational Diabetes Test

The normal values for the 3-hour gestational diabetes test are as follows. It is measured in milligrams per deciliters (mg/dl).

  • Fasting glucose – less than 95 mg/dl
  • One hour later – less than 180 mg/dl
  • Two hours later – less than 155 mg/dl
  • Three hours later – less than 140 mg/dl

If your 3-hour gestational diabetes test results go over these values, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Diagnosis is important in order to manage gestational diabetes properly and help prevent complications to you and your baby.

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes from this test and need management tools please sign up for my newsletter and receive FREE 3 dinner meal recipes for gestational diabetes and my FREE gestational diabetes ebook.  Find the sign up form on this page!

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About Mathea

Thanks for listening, I am a registered dietitian who had gestational diabetes and I want to help you find your way through this tough time. I have written several books and I have a book on Amazon about Gestational Diabetes Meal Plans.

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