What Is This About?
You may be surprised when you visit your doctor one day during your third trimester and your doctor tells you that you need to take a glucose tolerance test.This test is one that is standard across the board for pregnant mothers and rightly so. Nearly 135,000 women are diagnosised each year in the United States with gestational diabetes. This condition is just as serious as standard diabetes only that it not only affects you but also your baby’s health as well. This test is simple, fast and an easy way to rule out a complex and detrimental problem.
What Is Glucose Tolerance Test?
The oral glucose tolerance test, or OGTT as it is commonly known, has the tasks of determining if your body has the ability to use a specific type of sugar called glucose. Glucose is what your body produces during the digestion process. It is what your body uses for energy to do everything all day long. As you can see, this is an important part of the process of remaining healthy during your pregnancy. The test is used to determine if you have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Gestational diabetes is similar in that it is a form of diabetes that is associated with being pregnant.
The test is usually given to the mother to be between her 24th and her 28th week of pregnancy. During this time, you have the highest risk of developing gestational diabetes. What is important to realize is that the gestational diabetes complications you could be facing could effect the baby’s development and overall health. For this reason, while you may not like the gestational diabetes testing that you have to do, you should make sure to follow the instructions given to you carefully. The glucose tolerance test is not that difficult to do!
Some people are at a higher risk for developing gestational diabetes than others are. For example, if you have had it before in another pregnancy, your chances of having gestational diabetes now are much greater. Moreover, if you have had a baby that weighed over 8.8 pounds, you too may be at a higher risk for having this form of diabetes. Those that are under the age of 25 and are overweight by 20 percent or more of their ideal body weight have a much greater chance of having gestational diabetes than those that are not.
What can you do to prepare yourself for this test? First, relax because only four percent of women actually have the condition. Second, be sure to eat a well balanced diet with at least 200 grams of carbohydrates daily for at least three days prior to the test. This includes foods like breads, rice, grains, and fruits. You should not eat, drink, smoke or overwork your body in any way during the eight hours before your glucose test. What’s more, if you are taking any type of medications, be sure to contact your doctor before taking your gestational diabetes test to confirm that it will still be allowable.
The test itself is very simple. Your doctor is likely to draw your blood right when you come in and then again during your appointment. Within a matter of minutes they will have a good understanding of where your blood glucose numbers are and you both can work on a gestational diabetes treatment. The key is to remember that most mothers do not experience any type of symptoms before they are diagnosed with gestational diabetes and therefore they have no indication that they have it. Therefore, take this test seriously and be sure to talk to your doctor about any possible symptoms you may have.