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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What Caused My Gestational Diabetes?

What Caused My Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women and poses risks to both the developing baby and the mother. This type of diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood. This can result into problems during pregnancy, at birth and in future. Many mothers will tend to ask themselves this. What caused my gestational diabetes?

What Caused My Gestational Diabetes?-Causes of gestational diabetes

what caused my gestational diabetesDuring pregnancy, women have some hormonal changes. This hormonal changes cause gestational diabetes. When some hormones made in the placenta (organ that links the developing baby to the mother’s uterus via the umbilical cord) increase, it becomes hard for insulin to manage the new levels of blood glucose. This situation is referred to as insulin resistance. As the pregnancy advances, the placenta increases in size thereby producing more hormones. Consequently, insulin resistance increases insulin resistance. Normally, a mother’s pancreas has the ability to prevail over insulin resistance by producing higher levels of insulin (approximately three times the regular amount). If, on the other hand, the mother’s pancreas fails to produce the necessary amounts of insulin to prevail over the effects of the high levels of insulin, blood glucose will increase leading to gestational diabetes. Luckily, pregnant women can take several precautions to control blood glucose and minimize health risks associated with gestational diabetes. A meal plan is important in preventing and managing gestational diabetes.

Meal plan essentials

Meal plan for pregnant mothers are built around a few essential ideas:

Carbohydrate issues: All types of foods have different combinations of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates affect blood glucose at a faster rate than proteins and fats. Proteins and fats affect blood glucose slowly and over a long period of time. Based on this fact, mothers should regulate intake of carbohydrate-rich foods.
Nutrition issues: It is necessary for pregnant mothers to choose healthy food options. Healthy foods contain nutrients that control gestational diabetes and sustain development and growth of the developing baby. A good meal plan should have healthy food choices.
Timing and portions issues: It is important for pregnant mothers to control their gestational diabetes by managing their eating patterns. A good meal plan outlines when to eat and the amount to eat.

Six important steps to follow:

-Eat less, frequent snacks and meals. Pregnant mothers should eat in intervals of 2 to 3 hours. Foods rich in carbohydrates should be spread evenly in order to maintain stable levels of blood glucose.
-Eat some healthy proteins. Proteins even out or balance blood glucose, make pregnant mothers feel satisfied and energized all day.
-Eat less breakfast. In the morning, blood glucose is often high. Breakfast should be light and have fewer carbohydrates to offset the high levels of blood glucose. Pregnant mothers should take some mid-morning snacks 2 hours after breakfast.
-Eat foods with high amounts of fiber. Pregnant mothers should eat breads, cereals, vegetables and fruits in their evening or afternoon meals for fiber.
-Avoid sweets and sugars. Fruit juices, soft drinks and desserts increase blood glucose rapidly. Pregnant mothers should avoid fruit juices during breakfast and soft drinks or desserts as they increase blood glucose without providing significant nutritional value.
-Avoid fats particularly if you have gained excess weight. Pregnant mothers ought to eat lean protein foods, avoid frying foods and shun convenience foods.

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