A glucose tolerance test is an important test done during pregnancy to check whether the pregnant woman is showing signs of glucose intolerance and to rule out gestational diabetes. Monitoring blood sugar levels in pregnancy is vital for the maternal and foetal health. High sugar levels can lead to gestational diabetes.
How To Do A Glucose Tolerance Test During Pregnancy
The test is done by taking or drawing blood from the veins. The blood is then sent to the lab to check blood sugar levels. The first part of the test is done in the morning when the person is asked to come to the lab on an empty stomach. The person’s blood sample is taken.
Thereafter the person comes after eating her breakfast and the test is done 2 hours after the person has consumed breakfast. This allows the blood to absorb nutrients from the food and gives an accurate idea of the amount of sugar in the blood.
A glucose challenge test may also be done in case the doctor suspects a patient to be having gestational diabetes. In this, the person is asked to eat a heavy breakfast and come to the lab. The person is then given excessively diluted glucose syrup to drink. The test is repeated half an hour after the drink.
When Is The Test done?
The test is normally done at 28 weeks gestation. It is also mandatory when the patient has a history of diabetes in the family. While the test is not compulsory for all women, many hospitals have started doing the test as a routine practice.
A reading of 140 is considered borderline. Anything above this reading, the person is sent for repeat testing until an accurate diagnosis can be reached. A reading below 130 is considered normal. The patient may however be kept under observation if the reading is between 130 and 140.
There are really no risks of this test. It is a straightforward procedure. The only pain is felt during the pinprick when the blood is removed. The pain is minimal. Some women are overly concerned about the concentrated sugar solution that they are drinking. Rest assured it does not harm the baby in any manner.
Where Do You Go From Here?
In case you fail the two-hour test then you may have to go in for the three-hour glucose tolerance test. In this, you will be asked to eat or drink something and your blood sugar levels will be checked at 30 minutes, 1 hours, 2 hours and 3 hours. You must pass in all these tests to pass the entire test. If you fail this test, you will be considered a gestational diabetic.
In such cases, your blood sugar levels will be monitored and controlled with the help of a diet. You may have to consult a qualified nutritionist who will chalk out a suitable menu for you to follow. Repeat glucose tests will be carried out for the entire duration of your pregnancy. The doctor may also consider the possibility of a C-section in case of gestational diabetes. A normal delivery in such cases may not be possible.