Glucose Tolerance Test During pregnancy

Gestational diabetes
is a serious complication that can arise during pregnancy. Most doctors recommend a glucose tolerance test towards the middle of the pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes.

The test is done to determine the efficiency of the body in processing the sugar. Failure in the glucose tolerance test would mean that the woman has gestational diabetes or is in the high risk category of developing gestational diabetes. A lot of food control has to be administered to stay safe during the pregnant months when you have gestational diabetes.

Glucose Tolerance Test During Pregnancy

The GTT test is mostly avoided by many women as it can be uncomfortable. Some even self test and take precautions to avoid GTT altogether. It is however very essential for all women to go through the procedure to check for susceptibility and take precautions.

Test Timing

The test is normally scheduled towards the end of the second trimester. A solution of glucose is given to the pregnant woman and after an hour of waiting, the doctor checks the blood to see how well the sugar has been processed.

Up to 23 percent of pregnant women may not process the sugar well which might mean that they have gestational diabetes or is prone to the condition. If the sugar is not processed well, i.e., if the sugar level is between 140 mg/dL and 200 mg/Dl, a three hour GTT test will be recommended by your doctor.

3 Hour GTT

Before the test, women will be required to have at least 150 grams of carbohydrates a day for three days. The pregnant woman will then be given glucose syrup on an empty stomach. The doctor will wait for three hours to check if the sugar has been processed well by the body.

Failure to process the sugar will mean that the woman is prone to gestational diabetes. A five hour glucose tolerance test will be recommended in case the woman fails the 3 hour test.

5 Hour GTT

In 5 hour GTT, the blood will be tested for gestational diabetes after five hours of administering the glucose syrup. If a pregnant woman fails both the tests, she will be in the high risk category and would require increased monitoring and food control to keep the baby safe and healthy.

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Test Results

The glucose levels that are safe for a pregnant woman are as follows:
Glucose levels after fasting95 mg/ dL
Glucose levels after an hour of glucose consumption – 180 mg/ dL
Glucose levels after two hours of glucose consumption – 155 mg/Dl
Glucose levels after three hours of glucose consumption – 140 mg/Dl

Women At High Risk Of Developing Gestational Diabetes

Glucose Tolerance Test During pregnancy

Women who are at high risk are those women who are overweight when they are pregnant, women who have had gestational diabetes in their previous pregnancy, women below the age of 25 and women who have delivered a baby that weighs more than 8.8 pounds in a previous pregnancy.

Severe gestational diabetes may be difficult to control with diet and in such cases women might experience seizures and develop high blood pressure. In such cases, insulin will have to be administered to regulate the sugar levels.