Diabetic Pregnancy Test

Diabetic Pregnancy Test – What Does it All Mean?

Women who are pregnant should go through a diabetic pregnancy test between weeks 24 and 28 of their pregnancy though, under certain circumstances, your physician may order the screening earlier during pregnancy. The purpose of the diabetic pregnancy test is to determine whether or not you have a condition known as gestational diabetes.

What is the Diabetic Pregnancy Test?

The test is fairly simple. You’ll be given a syrupy drink that tastes like a super-sweet orange soda. This drink contains 50g of glucose that is quickly absorbed into the blood. After an hour, you’ll have blood drawn from your arm and that blood will be tested to see how quickly the body metabolizes the glucose.

A follow-up diabetic pregnancy test, also referred to as a glucose tolerance test, is usually ordered if your glucose levels are greater than 130mg/dL. The follow-up test will require you to fast (eat no food) prior to taking the test and is often administered early in the morning as a result.

This diabetic pregnancy test is more involved and results in four blood draws over a three-hour period of time. If the results of at least two of the four blood draws are abnormal, the diagnosis is one of gestational diabetes.

What does it mean to have Gestational Diabetes?

When the results of your diabetic pregnancy test indicate gestational diabetes your doctor will then determine if dietary changes should be adequate to help you recover or if more direct intervention is necessary. Early in pregnancy, most women can control blood sugar levels with dietary chances and exercises. As the pregnancy progresses and hormones begin to build up, more direct intervention in the form of pills or insulin shots may be required.

The goal of the diabetic pregnancy test is to get your blood sugar levels under control so that you can avoid certain complications that may result from high blood sugar including high birth weight in the baby, high bilirubin levels, extra red blood cells, and low blood calcium levels for the baby.

Are there Other Concerns Regarding Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes affects about 18 percent of pregnant women. Some women, depending on family history, weight, age, pregnancy history, and ethnic group; are more susceptible to developing this condition. According to the CDC, women who have gestational diabetes are at an increased risk (35-60 percent increase) of developing type 2 diabetes within the next 10 to 20 years. Education is critical in avoiding this outcome, which is another reason the diabetic pregnancy test is so import — to serve as a warning ahead of the fact.

Even if your diabetic pregnancy test determines that you have gestational diabetes, it isn’t a guarantee that you’ll eventually develop type two diabetes. It is a sign, however, that now is a good time to begin making changes in your diet and fitness routine to reduce that risk. Start following a diabetic friendly diet while pregnant and continue following the diet afterwards to reduce your risks of developing diabetes and the complications that often go along with it.

MATHEA FORD-REGISTERED DIETITIAN AND AUTHOR

Diabetic Pregnancy Test

Gestational Diabetes Testing

What You Need to Know About Gestational Diabetes Testing

gestational diabetes testing

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While other diseases are diagnosed based on the manifesting symptoms, this is not the case with gestational diabetes. In fact, gestational diabetes rarely ever has symptoms. That is why in order to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you have to undergo gestational diabetes testing.  There are two screening tests used for gestational diabetes testing. The first test is a preliminary one, while the second test confirms the positive results of the first test. Learn more about gestational diabetes testing as you continue reading this article.

Glucose Challenge Test

The glucose challenge test is the initial gestational diabetes testing that every pregnant woman should undergo. This is usually done between 28 and 28 weeks of pregnancy to determine if you are high risk for developing gestational diabetes. Since it is a preliminary gestational diabetes test, once you receive a positive result from this test, it does not automatically mean that you have gestational diabetes. Rather, you still need to undergo a confirmatory gestational diabetes test to diagnose your condition.

This gestational diabetes testing procedure is done by asking you to drink 50 grams of glucose solution. One hour after finishing the glucose drink, a blood sample will be taken from your arm to check your blood sugar levels. If the blood sugar reading is higher than 130 to 140 mg/dl, then you are considered to be a thigh risk for gestational diabetes. A second gestational diabetes testing will be done to you. However, if the reading is normal, then you do not have gestational diabetes

Glucose Tolerance Test

The glucose tolerance test is the second gestational diabetes testing that a pregnant woman undergoes. This is done only after having a positive result in the glucose challenge test. In this gestational diabetes testing procedure, you will be asked to fast for 8 to 14 hours prior to the procedure. Upon arriving at the institution, an initial blood sample will be taken that will be the basis for your fasting blood sugar level. Afterwards, you will be asked to drink a larger or more concentrated dose of the glucose solution that you had before. Blood sample will be taken one, two, and three hours after taking the solution.

If two of the results are higher than normal, then you are diagnosed to have gestational diabetes. Here are the normal results for this gestational diabetes testing procedure:

  • Fasting – 95 mg/dl or lower
  • 1 hour – 180 mg/dl or lower
  • 2 hours – 155 mg/dl or lower
  • 3 hours – 140 mg/dl or lower

After gestational diabetes testing

After undergoing gestational diabetes testing and being diagnosed with the condition, you have to work with your health care provider and nutritionist for ways on managing your condition. Even though your condition will only last during the duration of your pregnancy, there are still possible complications not just on you but on your baby as well, so your blood sugar levels need to be controlled. Some women also develop type 2 diabetes after pregnancy, so you need to undergo gestational diabetes testing again six to eight weeks after delivering your baby.

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MATHEA FORD

 

 

Gestational Diabetes OGTT Results

Determining the Normal Gestational Diabetes OGTT Results

gestational diabetes OGTT resultsIn order to get diagnosed for gestational diabetes, one has to undergo the oral glucose tolerance test or OGTT. The gestational diabetes OGTT results will determine whether you have gestational diabetes or not and what you can do to manage it. Keep in mind that OGTT is a confirmatory screening test for gestational diabetes, meaning higher than normal OGTT results already mean that you are suffering from gestational diabetes. Before you undergo this, you will first be asked to do the one-hour glucose challenge test between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation to see if you have a predisposition to develop gestational diabetes. Those who are seen to be at high risk for gestational diabetes go for the OGTT.

Preparation and Procedure for OGTT

Prior to determining the OGTT results, you have to prepare yourself for the test first. Your doctor will ask you to eat at least 150 grams of carbohydrates for three days before you are asked to fast for the test. This will ensure the validity of the gestational diabetes OGTT results. Fasting starts 8 to 14 hours before the test; all you will be allowed are small sips of water. It is best to schedule the OGTT first thing in the morning so that the hours that you sleep at night will be counted as fasting periods. Regardless of the gestational diabetes OGTT results, you might feel weak and lightheaded after the test because of energy depletion, so you should avoid driving afterwards. Instead, plan to have someone drive you home after the test.

Once you arrive at the laboratory, a blood sample will be extracted to determine your fasting gestational diabetes OGTT results. After that, you will be asked to drink and finish a glucose solution. For three hours after drinking it, blood samples will be extracted to determine your gestational diabetes OGTT results.

Gestational Diabetes OGTT Results

Your gestational diabetes OGTT results will be the key in diagnosing the condition. Basically, you will be treated as a gestational diabetic if two out of four of your gestational diabetes OGTT results are abnormally higher than normal. The normal gestational diabetes OGTT results are a fasting blood sugar of 95 mg/dl or lower, one-hour postprandial blood sugar of 180 mg/dl or lower, two-hour postprandial blood sugar of 155 mg/dl or lower, and three-hour postprandial blood sugar of 140 mg/dl or lower. Some considerations may be made depending on the health care provider, but in general, a value of 200 mg/dl in any of the gestational diabetes OGTT results is already indicative of gestational diabetes.

Once your gestational diabetes OGTT results are deemed abnormally high, you doctor might suggest some lifestyle changes, such as dietary and activity changes. You will be asked to cut back on foods that have a high glycemic index, and to engage in regular exercises that are safe for pregnancy. You might also be given insulin medications if your gestational diabetes OGTT results remain high and uncontrollable. Monitoring of blood sugar levels throughout pregnancy is essential to prevent gestational diabetes from worsening.

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My One Hour Glucose Tolerance Test Reading Was High

My One Hour Glucose Tolerance Test was High

Do I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Once you are suspected to have gestational diabetes, you will be subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test to determine whether or not you really have gestational diabetes. For most women who are going to undergo this test, this can be nerve-racking as they do not know what to expect. Hence, it is very important to educate yourself regarding the glucose tolerance test so that you know the preparation, the procedure, and the normal values for the test results. This will also prevent you from subjecting yourself to undue stress that might adversely affect your baby.

What is the one hour glucose tolerance test?

The oral glucose tolerance test, also known as the one-hour glucose challenge test, is administered between weeks 24 and 28 of your pregnancy. This test will initially determine whether or not you are at risk for developing gestational diabetes. The results of this test are not conclusive, for a high value is still subject to a confirmatory test, the three-hour glucose tolerance test. A high value in this test means that you indeed have gestational diabetes.

How do I prepare for the one hour glucose tolerance test?

For the one-hour glucose tolerance test, there is no preparation required. You can take it right there and then since no fasting is needed. However, if you are going to undergo the three-hour glucose tolerance test, you need to fast for 10 to 14 hours before the test. You should also refrain from drinking or eating anything during the three-hour duration of the test.

What happens in the one hour glucose tolerance test?

one hour glucose tolerance testIn the one-hour oral glucose tolerance test, you will be asked to drink a sugary beverage that contains 50 grams of glucose. After finishing the drink, your doctor will wait for one hour before testing your blood glucose levels. During this one hour, you cannot eat or drink anything. After one hour, your doctor will extract a blood sample from you and compare your values with that of the normal range. If your blood sugar level is less than 130 mg/dl, this means that you do not have gestational diabetes and you will not be subjected to any more tests. However, once the value exceeds 130 mg/dl, you might have gestational diabetes, but the doctor needs to make sure first. Hence, you will be subjected to the three-hour glucose tolerance test. This means that the results of the one-hour glucose tolerance test only determine the possibility of having gestational diabetes, but they do not establish the fact that you really have gestational diabetes.

Once you are subjected to the three-hour glucose tolerance test, your doctor will first draw a blood sample after your 14-hour fasting. Next, you will be asked to drink a sugary liquid containing 100 grams of glucose, then have your blood samples taken one, two, and three hours after finishing the drink. This means that your blood sample will be taken for a total of four times. The normal values for this test should be 95 mg/dl for your fasting blood sugar, 180 mg/dl after one hour, 155 mg/dl for two hours, and 140 mg/dl for three hours. Any two values exceeding this range confirm your condition of gestational diabetes.

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What Are The Blood Sugar Levels For Gestational Diabetes?

Recommended Blood Sugar Levels For Gestational Diabetes

It goes without saying that women who have gestational diabetes (GDM) should control their blood sugar levels. Just like other types of diabetes, the main problem in GDM is that the spiking blood glucose levels might cause problems for the pregnant mom. In order to keep the sugar under control, there are certain measures that every mom-to-be should know, especially the ones who are suffering from GDM. One of these measures is knowing how to take glucose levels in the blood, and this can be accomplished in a number of ways.  With gestational diabetes, you may have to do a blood sugar test up to 4 times per day.

blood sugar levels for gestational diabetes

Taking Blood Sugar Levels For Gestational Diabetes

There are several ways to determine the blood sugar levels of an individual. One of the most common is fasting blood sugar, more popularly known as FBS. This test is used to diagnose a person with in the diabetes or even pre-diabetes stage.  Eight hours of fasting is needed prior to this test to yield accurate results.

Another way of measuring glucose is through RBS or random blood sugar testing. As the name implies, this test is taken regardless of the last time you ate. This may be taken several times throughout the day, and is very useful for comparing values. Usually, healthy people do not have wide variations when it comes to blood sugar levels throughout the day, so those with noticeable fluctuations might be indicative of a problem. However, this is not a specific test for diagnosing diabetes.

The most common way of diagnosing GDM is through the oral glucose tolerance test or OGTT. In here, the woman is asked to drink a glass of a glucose-containing liquid. Afterwards, her blood sample will be taken to determine whether she has GDM or not. Once the woman is diagnosed with GDM, she might be asked to monitor her glucose levels throughout pregnancy through a glucometer and glucose strip, which should be taken at least two hours after meals.

Recommended Glucose Levels

In every glucose test, there is a corresponding glucose level that is deemed to be normal. Anything over that can strengthen the proof or even diagnose a pregnant woman with GDM. For example, in FBS, a glucose level of more than or equal to 95 mg/dl is already considered to be diabetic. This level can already be detrimental to the health of both the mother and the baby. If the glucose levels are tested one hour post-prandial or after eating, a value of more than or equal to 130 mg/dl is indicative of a glucose absorption problem. Two hours after eating, a pregnant woman should have less than 120 mg/dl in order to be considered healthy.

However, it is important to remember that a very low glucose level of less than 60 mg/dl is indicative of hypoglycemia, and can cause hunger, dizziness, confusion, and weakness.

Keeping a Food Log

If you are diagnosed with GDM, it is essential to keep a food log so that you know which foods increase your blood sugar levels, and which ones only do so minimally. Aside from that, you should also take note of your portion size, especially for foods high in sugar and carbohydrates.

Even getting a great book on meal planning will help.  Be sure to consult your nutritionist regarding a diet plan to keep your glucose levels in check.

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