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Glucose Tolerance Test and Anxiety

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new here so I hope this is the right place for this.

I am incredibly anxious about my upcoming glucose tolerance test. I have a history of panic attacks, this is my first pregnancy and I've never had a GTT before. What's bothering me is... everything! First of all fasting for 8 hours sounds like literal torture to me. I have pretty bad acid reflux and since I got pregnant I have been voraciously hungry. Oh my, I've never experienced hunger like this! After sleeping for about four hours, I wake up with my tummy hurting and acting like it's starving to death. Since I got pregnant, I haven't slept longer than 4 or 5 hours without waking up to eat.

The other issue is, I am very sensitive to sugar and have been my entire life. I am downright horrified at the thought of drinking/eating something that most other people consider too sweet. To me, milk is sweet. I dilute my orange juice because it's too sweet, and I never eat desserts prepared at shops or restaurants because they are too sweet although everyone else seems to like them. I certainly never consume anything with near as much sugar as soda.

So how can I do this test?? I start to feel panicky just thinking about it... the prospect of first fasting while pregnant and then overloading myself with more sugar than I have ever consumed in my life! I've been led to believe (by "natural pregnancy" sources as well) that the GTT is pretty important. I think that's probably the case, but really... it goes against all my instincts to not eat despite crippling hunger and then consume something that in large amounts feels like poison to my body, while *pregnant*.

I guess I just want support because this is killing me! Is anyone actually unable to tolerate the GTT? Did anyone choose not to it for other reasons? Is there anyone like me who can't stand sugar but did OK on the test? Are there alternatives?

Is it actually be worth it to my baby to go through fasting and sugar overload and panic attack (almost a given with something about which I feel so anxious) for this test? FYI, I am 24, petite and low/normal weight, and my grandmother had GD with her 5th child.

Thank you for any input!!
post #2 of 18
Ask if they have any other alternative options. My midwife gave me the choice between drinking the icky glucola syrup... or having a protein-packed breakfast an hour and half before my appointment and testing with a glucometer

way less stressful for me and I passed without issue, I was sure I would have failed the glucola test as I dont eat much sugar (my baby craves protein!) but I never failed it with the other two kids when I did it, despite not being big on sugar then (well fruits, but not SUGAR...) and having a family history of GD and diabetes.
post #3 of 18
check out this website:


Technically it's for "plus-size" pregnancy, but it's a very thorough review of information about the GTT.

eight hours of fasting? Not necessary. In fact, many women do better if they wake up, have a high-protein snack, then take the test 3 or so hours later.

Sugar syrup? Not necessary. As someone else mentioned, you can sometimes get a doctor to agree to a high calorie breakfast, or there is a very widely accepted "jellybean" test that has shown to reduce the number of moms who feel sick or throw up the glucosa syrup.

You don't have to take the GTT, but some practitioners will insist upon it if you want their care. If this is really important to you, you might need to search out other options, or even other practitioners. Another option that doctors sometimes don't mind is just blood glucose readings (those little blood sugar meters you can get at the drugstore)...if you're showing all normal readings, then the GTT test might not be so important to your dr.

Talk with your doctor. Make sure you tell him/her that your sugar tolerance (in terms of making you feel ill) is very low because you eat a very healthy diet. Ask about alternatives. Ask about refusing the test. It's a conversation a lot of people have with their doctors and midwives.

And take a deep breath!
post #4 of 18
I just wanted to send you a virtual .

I thought the thing sounded horrible as well, and my ob had me fast for 12 hours! I didn't think I would survive. The drink wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and the draw didn't take very long. If you can't get an alternative, like what MP and ROM are talking about, then bring a snack with you to the clinic and eat as soon as they have drawn the blood. Drink plenty of water and eat a big meal before your fast. It seemed to help me.

Here's another virtual

Hoping for the very best for you, mama!
post #5 of 18
I know how you feel about having anxiety over testing. You don't HAVE to do it. I did it with my first and it was fine, but skipped it with these last two becuase I don't have any risk factors, and I think the whole thing is quite silly. if i did anything it would be the breakfast. I think that glucola thing is gross and ridiculous. JMO
post #6 of 18
I didn't do well with the test at all. My doc didn't have me take it with my first pregnancy. With my second, I had to fast for it but passed fine. With my third, again I fasted and was just at the limit. I got very very ill. For days afterward I couldn't get my blood sugar back in line. I don't ever flood that much sugar into my body after fasting because I know it makes me sick. My OB wanted me to do the 3 hour and I refused. She then labeled me as gestational diabetic, even though I took my blood sugar on a home meter and it was fine. She "didn't like" a few of my "fasting" numbers even when I explained to her that I had probably sipped some soda when I got up to go to the bathroom because I would get nauseous otherwise. So it wasn't a true fasting. Anyway...I didn't want to be labeled GD, so I switched providers. I explained it to my new OB and she agreed that I was fine. No need to saddle me with an incorrect diagnosis.

This last time, I said I didn't even want to endure the 1 hour. She had my HA1c drawn early in pregnancy to see what my 3 month average blood sugar was. I got test strips and took random fasting and 1 hour after eating numbers from about 26-28 weeks. I took those to her and they looked good. She also took another HA1c just to be sure. I was going for my 3rd VBAC and have some of the risk factors, but having a couple blood draws and sticking my finger a few times helped make everyone happy.
post #7 of 18
To clarify what a few ladies have mentioned, since I was pretty confused about this at first.
There is different kind of tests, some initial test are not fading, others are. You need to do the right things for each type of test, it's not just up to you if you fast or not. But you certainly can talk with your care provider about your health and concerns and hopefully find the one that is best for you.

I also do not ingest sugar like that and it makes me skin crawl to think about taking that test again(I have before this pregnancy) I will be having a similar conversation with my care provider.
post #8 of 18
The thought of the "standard" American glucose tolerance test makes my skin crawl, too. Aren't we supposed to do healthy things during pregnancy? Fasting for 8 hours and then having a super-sugary drink on an empty stomach really doesn't strike me as a healthy choice for mother or baby. Fortunately for me, my midwives for my first pregnancy (in Toronto, where they tend to be more evidence-based in their care than most places in the States) don't even recommend doing the test at all, although they will do it if a woman wants to. Apparently the research shows that diagnosing a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes doesn't actually make any difference in terms of outcomes (other than increasing the woman's stress). If you do want to do the test, I would agree with the other people that you should check into whether or not they are able to do the "breakfast" approach (my sister did this one with midwives in Florida, and it seems like a far better way to do it if you do it at all).

Good luck!
post #9 of 18
My MW is letting me eat candy and no fasting, just restricted breakfast.

If its really causing you panic, refuse to do it unless they can prove its warranted, such as other signs that would show concern.
post #10 of 18
Does anyone know why my instructions only say nothing by mouth for 2 hours? I've so far heard 12, 8, and 2 hours. How do they standardize it when everyone does the test differently?
post #11 of 18
Originally Posted by WifeofAnt View Post
Does anyone know why my instructions only say nothing by mouth for 2 hours? I've so far heard 12, 8, and 2 hours. How do they standardize it when everyone does the test differently?
Im not sure about the differences between offices and providers, but just wanted to chime in. I work at an OB/GYN in Illinois and for the one hour glucose test we tell our patients to fast for 2 hours prior, with water being okay.

So 2 hours fits within the "norm" of test rules.
post #12 of 18

they are not different ways to do the same test, they are different tests that all give you results that are ranked on different scales.

your doc or mw is not taking one test and letting you do it differently ('cept maybe subbing oj for glucola or things like that) they are picking a type of test for some reason and it is possible to get some of them to pick a style of test that sounds better for you
post #13 of 18
Even with a strong family history of diabetes (my sister died from it, and less than 20 years after diagnosis...and she's just the tip of the iceburg), my midwives have never even suggested the GTT. I got a glucometer (google free onetouch glucometer!) and tested frequently, as I do when I'm not pregnant. Some of my numbers were high last pregnancy, but the overwhelming trend ws for normal readings.
If that route appeals to you, see if a doc will write you a script for the test strips, 'cause they're spendy.
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post #14 of 18
Is this the 1-hour test or the 3-hour test? I didn't have to fast before my 1-hour test when I was pg with DS. However, I did have a bad reaction to it. I got very shaky and finally got very hot feeling and lightheaded. The room started going black, but I did not fully pass out. I felt like I was going to though...either that or throw-up. I didn't pass the 1-hour test and had to take the 3-hour test. I somehow managed not to throw up or feel like I was going to pass out but it messed me up for the rest of the day.

During my pregnancy with DD, I asked about an alternative test and was told that there wasn't one . Senior OB said I didn't have to do the test; junior OB nearly had a fit and then wanted me to eat a bunch of jelly beans instead. No thanks. I declined altogether.

This time, they (different practice) have offered to have me do a fasting blood sugar first thing in the morning, eat breakfast, and then do another blood sugar 2 hours later. I'm fine with that. It's not that I don't want to know; it's just that I don't want to make myself physically sick over it.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the reassurance! It really does help just hear from other women.
Luckily I have a great midwife who I know is willing to work with me on this (previously she said we'd do the breakfast and not the Glucola. That seemed OK before I was this pregnant but not anymore!). We'll see how it goes and I will NOT STRESS about it
post #16 of 18
What a great update! My midwife would not let me do the alternative food, but she did let me drink Odwalla OJ instead of glucola 2 hours after a good breakfast. She said I could dilute the OJ as long as I drank it all, but my stomach cannot handle too much liquid so I didn't dilute.

I hope you get your results soon! I got mine the next day and I pased, despite failing my last pregnancy.
post #17 of 18
I think it is gross too, and declined the test. I have zero risk factors, and would not even be tested in most other countries. My OB agreed to sign off on not doing it provided we revisit the issue if I started having any signs or symptoms of GD.

I did do it with my first, and had a horrible time not puking it right back up, then felt shaky and weird for the entire day after. Yuck!
post #18 of 18
You can refuse any test or procedure. I choose not to take the gtt at all.
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