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

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!

3-hour gestational diabetes test

FREE EBOOK