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Know More About Gestational Diabetes Glucose Screening Test

by | February 18, 2019

Most healthcare providers will recommend a gestational diabetes glucose screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If you are worried about what the test is and the procedure, here’s some info to help you understand things better.

Gestational Diabetes Glucose Screening test
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Gestational Diabetes Glucose Screening Test

Gestational diabetes happens to be one of the most common conditions that some pregnant women will develop. It is a high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes rarely shows any symptoms, and testing is the only way to find out whether you have it.

The initial gestational diabetes glucose screening test won’t actually diagnose you with gestational diabetes, but it will signify if you will need further testing. A positive result doesn’t necessarily mean that you have gestational diabetes. In reality, only around one-third of women who test positive on the first screening will have gestational diabetes.

If you do test positive on the screening, your healthcare provider will want you to take the glucose tolerance test (GTT). This a longer, more definitive test that will tell you whether you have gestational diabetes.

Your healthcare provider might order a screening before twenty-four weeks if a lot of sugar shows up on a routine urine test or if you’re considered high risk.

If you do have diabetes before you get pregnant, you won’t need to be tested. You and your healthcare provider will continue to manage the condition during pregnancy.

What is involved in the gestational diabetes glucose screening test?

You will be given a sugar solution that contains 50 grams of glucose to drink. It’s sickly sweet and usually comes in soda flavors like; orange, cola, fruit punch, and lime. You have to drink the whole solution within five minutes. Some women feel a little nauseous after drinking the sugary solution. If you vomit soon after finishing the drink, you may have to come back another day to try again.

An hour after drinking the solution, a blood sample will be taken to check your blood sugar levels.

If the sugar levels are too high, your healthcare practitioner will ask you to come back for a three-hour glucose tolerance test for a definitive diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

What is an abnormal blood glucose level?

Most healthcare practitioners will make the blood sugar level cut-off at 140 mg of glucose per deciliter of blood plasma (mg/dL) or more. Others put the cutoff at 130 mg/dL.

What does the glucose tolerance involve?

The procedure varies, but generally, you’re told not to eat or drink anything but sips of water for eight to fourteen hours before the test. It’s a good idea to schedule the test for the morning.

When you first arrive, a blood sample will be taken to measure your fasting blood glucose level.Then you will be given a more concentrated dose or a larger volume of the glucose solution to drink. Your blood will then be tested every hour for the next three hours.

If one of the readings comes back as abnormal, you might have to take another test later on in your pregnancy. If two or more of your blood tests come back as abnormal, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Your practitioner will advise treatment plan.

If you have got more doubts on gestational diabetes screening tests, ask us in the comments below.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]



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