The thing about gestational diabetes is that although it can produce complications during pregnancy and delivery, it rarely causes symptoms. That is why in order for you to know if you have gestational diabetes, you need to undergo tests. Although there are two tests that are used to diagnose gestational diabetes, only one of these tests will confirm that you indeed have the condition. The glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes is used for confirming whether you have gestational diabetes or not.
After testing positive to the glucose challenge test, which is done for all pregnant women, you need to undergo the glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes. Here are the preparation, procedure, and normal results for this test for gestational diabetes.
Why is the glucose tolerance test performed?
Since the glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes is a confirmatory test, it is done because you yielded a positive result during the glucose challenge test. This is usually done between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. This test for gestational diabetes will not be performed if the glucose challenge test showed normal blood glucose values.
How do I prepare for the glucose tolerance test?
This test for gestational diabetes requires fasting for 8 to 14 hours, so make sure that you do not eat or drink anything during this time. However, you might be allowed to have some sips of water, depending on the instructions of your healthcare provider. Because of the long fasting time, you might want to schedule the test for gestational diabetes early in the morning, so that you would not feel tempted to eat because you are sleeping. In addition, you should eat the usual foods that you eat before fasting so as to get accurate results on the test for gestational diabetes. If you are taking medications, ask your doctor if these medications can interfere with the results of the test for gestational diabetes and if they need to be put on hold for the test.
What will happen in the glucose tolerance test?
During the glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes, you will first be extracted a blood sample that will serve as your fasting blood glucose value. Next, you will be asked to drink a liquid containing a high concentration of glucose. Although it is best to drink the solution quickly, you should do it at your own pace because it might make you feel nauseous. After finishing the drink, your blood sugar levels will be checked every hour for a period of three hours. This is a pretty long waiting time, so make sure that you bring something to entertain yourself while waiting for the test for gestational diabetes to finish.
What do the results of the glucose tolerance test mean?
The abnormal values for the glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes are as follows:
• Fasting – 95 mg/dl or higher
• One hour – 180 mg/dl or higher
• Two hours – 155 mg/dl or higher
• Three hours – 140 mg/dl or higher
If you get two abnormal values in the test for gestational diabetes, then you are diagnosed with the condition. You need to work out a treatment and management plan with your health care provider so that you can keep your blood sugar levels under control throughout your pregnancy.
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