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Mothering › Groups › May 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Gestational Diabetes Test?

Gestational Diabetes Test?

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

I'm curious if anyone can explain to me how this test works, what I can expect, what the different results will mean? Are there alternatives? What if I refuse and I DO have GD?

 

I have a lot of anxiety about this test - normally when I know I'm going to get my blood drawn, I make sure to eat and drink before going in and have still passed out or gotten lightheaded before, so the idea of fasting, downing a surgery drink, and then getting my blood drawn makes me really nervous.

 

At my very first blood draw (granted, they took a million vials), I passed out, spilled apple juice all over myself, lost bladder control, and almost had to be sent someplace else because I wasn't waking up (I vaguely remember someone saying, "should we call code ____?" and someone else said, "no she's waking up"), and then had to wait an hour and a half before they would let me leave. It was really scary.

post #2 of 72
I'm a fainter, too. I also cannot fast at all or I get dizzy and faint. I refused the GD test last time around and won't be doing it this time either. My urine gets checked at every appointment, so my midwife would know if I was spilling sugar. (A sign of GD). I'm not at risk for it and frankly, the science supporting doing the test on all pregnant women is pretty shaky. Here is a long, but interesting article about it: http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/gdhgoer.html

If you were worried, you could get a glucose monitor and check periodically throughout the day and track your numbers. That is actually how my midwife handles any suspected GD cases. She doesn't do a GD test on all of her clients.

People will often do the test with jelly beans or a fruit substitute. I'll see if I can find the link with substitution suggestions.
post #3 of 72
Jelly Bean alternative: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10561636

Real food alternative: http://boston.todaysmama.com/2011/08/third-trimester-glucose-test-alternatives/


Found this interesting, too:

New research questions the value of routine screening for gestational glucose intolerance. A 1990 study of 1,307 women (533 of whom were not screened and 774 who were screened) showed that screening resulted in more tests and worry during pregnancy and a significantly higher cesarean rate in the screened mothers, but it did not decrease the number of large infants. These researchers concluded that the routine use of GTT caused more worry than the benefits derived. Discuss with your practitioner whether or not the GTT is necessary in your particular pregnancy.

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/pregnancy-childbirth/first-month/glucose-tolerance-test
post #4 of 72
I will say that I am only instructed to fast for the hour after I drink the glucola drink before I am tested and to eat as normal prior to it, so that may help you out if you decide to go ahead with it. I really agree that routine testing is unnecessary, but I go along with it as it doesn't bother me to have a little blood drawn and it is one less thing I am "being difficult" about during pregnancy as I decline and refuse a lot of other stuff, especially during labor, so I try to save up my difficult points for the things I care more about.
post #5 of 72
You don't have to fast for the 1 hour GD screening, but 15-25 percent of women test high on that and end up having to take the 3 hour GTT, where you are supposed to fast for 8-12 hours before, from what I understand. Out of all those women who test high on the screening, only about a third end up testing high on the GTT. Does not seem worth it to me, especially since I avoid artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, etc, etc anyway. Luckily,my care providers have always been on board with my decisions and don't give me a hard time when I refuse various tests/procedures that I've deemed unnecessary.
post #6 of 72

During my last pregnancy we discussed this extensively with our CNM. She remarked that women who eat a balanced, healthy diet that is normally low on junk and extra sugar are more likely to have a false + on the 1 hour test because their body isn't used to such a high increase in blood sugar. She prefers to do an hA1C blood test (no nasty drink etc) which is a blood test that is done on actual diabetics too and looks at overall blood sugar levels over the previous couple of months. It is more accurate at how your body has been processing what you normally eat, which is more important if you don't normally eat highly sugary foods and drinks etc.

 

You could refuse the 1 hour test but volunteer to do the hA1C instead, especially if you have problems with fainting etc while fasting. Its another alternative to using a glucose meter for a couple of weeks, and is only one small vial of blood taken at any time during a routine visit.

post #7 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post

I will say that I am only instructed to fast for the hour after I drink the glucola drink before I am tested and to eat as normal prior to it, so that may help you out if you decide to go ahead with it. I really agree that routine testing is unnecessary, but I go along with it as it doesn't bother me to have a little blood drawn and it is one less thing I am "being difficult" about during pregnancy as I decline and refuse a lot of other stuff, especially during labor, so I try to save up my difficult points for the things I care more about.

I had the test for the same reason as Katie.  And you only fast for the 3 hour test, not the 1 hour test.  They actually recommend having a good meal before hand.

 

I also agree with Philsbabymama, that it's not an overly accurate or good test, just the best available currently.  

post #8 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilsBabyMama View Post

I'm a fainter, too. I also cannot fast at all or I get dizzy and faint. I refused the GD test last time around and won't be doing it this time either. My urine gets checked at every appointment, so my midwife would know if I was spilling sugar. (A sign of GD). I'm not at risk for it and frankly, the science supporting doing the test on all pregnant women is pretty shaky. Here is a long, but interesting article about it: http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/gdhgoer.html

If you were worried, you could get a glucose monitor and check periodically throughout the day and track your numbers. That is actually how my midwife handles any suspected GD cases. She doesn't do a GD test on all of her clients.

People will often do the test with jelly beans or a fruit substitute. I'll see if I can find the link with substitution suggestions.


I'm glad to hear there's another fainter out there! I get my urine checked at every appointment, too. I'll have to ask what it is they are tracking. I don't think I'm at risk for it, either. I eat really healthy and my only weaknesses are occasionally ice cream and chocolate. :)

post #9 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post

I will say that I am only instructed to fast for the hour after I drink the glucola drink before I am tested and to eat as normal prior to it, so that may help you out if you decide to go ahead with it. I really agree that routine testing is unnecessary, but I go along with it as it doesn't bother me to have a little blood drawn and it is one less thing I am "being difficult" about during pregnancy as I decline and refuse a lot of other stuff, especially during labor, so I try to save up my difficult points for the things I care more about.


Oh that's interesting, see maybe I have it all wrong. I thought I had to fast beforehand, too. I try to get most tests done, too, I'm just so nervous about this one. I don't want another completely embarrassing and scary passing out episode :/

post #10 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilsBabyMama View Post

You don't have to fast for the 1 hour GD screening, but 15-25 percent of women test high on that and end up having to take the 3 hour GTT, where you are supposed to fast for 8-12 hours before, from what I understand. Out of all those women who test high on the screening, only about a third end up testing high on the GTT. Does not seem worth it to me, especially since I avoid artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, etc, etc anyway. Luckily,my care providers have always been on board with my decisions and don't give me a hard time when I refuse various tests/procedures that I've deemed unnecessary.


okay, good to know. There would definitely be no way I could fast for 8-12 hours. My doctor's office hasn't been the type to want to discuss anything like this or look for alternatives. So I'm trying to do my own research so I can figure out where I stand and be strong about it when I go in. :/

post #11 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynann View Post

During my last pregnancy we discussed this extensively with our CNM. She remarked that women who eat a balanced, healthy diet that is normally low on junk and extra sugar are more likely to have a false + on the 1 hour test because their body isn't used to such a high increase in blood sugar. She prefers to do an hA1C blood test (no nasty drink etc) which is a blood test that is done on actual diabetics too and looks at overall blood sugar levels over the previous couple of months. It is more accurate at how your body has been processing what you normally eat, which is more important if you don't normally eat highly sugary foods and drinks etc.

 

You could refuse the 1 hour test but volunteer to do the hA1C instead, especially if you have problems with fainting etc while fasting. Its another alternative to using a glucose meter for a couple of weeks, and is only one small vial of blood taken at any time during a routine visit.


Now that is interesting, because I do eat healthy. I'm going to call and ask about the blood test. I can handle that.

post #12 of 72

I have opted out last 2 pregnancies. w/ #2 it was awful and i had to do the 3 hr test too and i felt so so so sick but didnt have GD. I might do it this time, idk....probably not ...

post #13 of 72
I'm doing this test as well. I've been googling and researching how to avoid false positives. What I've found is:

- Eat slightly more fruit and carbs the 3 days before the test than your normal diet
- Eat a high protein, semi-low fat diet the day of the test (eggs, white meat). Avoid fruit, juice, and sugary things.
- Go for a walk between drinking the Glucola and the blood draw

I've also read the Orange and Lemon Lime are the best flavors- go for Lemon Lime if you prefer Sprite over Orange pop. And drink it with a straw.

Also- no fasting for me before the 1 hour. Only fasting if you fail it and have to take the 3 hour.
post #14 of 72

I'm taking some kind of test but to be honest I forget if it's just a glucose test or the actual GD test or what. All I remember my CNM saying is a half hour before she comes for my appointment, I am to drink an 8 oz. bottle of Welch's grape juice and then a half hour into our appointment she will prick me. She said if I have a positive on that *then* I do the yukky 3 hour thing. 

 

She never tests my urine. Kind of wish she did, but it's not how she rolls. She is so hands off to the point it makes me think "what if there WAS something wrong with me that just went undetected?" I gotta chill about it though. 

 

The most recent episode of Downton Abbey didn't help....

post #15 of 72

although yes, i know that was eclampsia...but still...aw, poor cybill. 

post #16 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwilightJoy View Post

I'm doing this test as well. I've been googling and researching how to avoid false positives. What I've found is:

- Eat slightly more fruit and carbs the 3 days before the test than your normal diet
- Eat a high protein, semi-low fat diet the day of the test (eggs, white meat). Avoid fruit, juice, and sugary things.
- Go for a walk between drinking the Glucola and the blood draw

I've also read the Orange and Lemon Lime are the best flavors- go for Lemon Lime if you prefer Sprite over Orange pop. And drink it with a straw.

Also- no fasting for me before the 1 hour. Only fasting if you fail it and have to take the 3 hour.


great info, thank you for sharing!!! I think I might ask if I can do the jelly bean alternative, and then follow some nutritional advice like this.

post #17 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loogiejane View Post

I'm taking some kind of test but to be honest I forget if it's just a glucose test or the actual GD test or what. All I remember my CNM saying is a half hour before she comes for my appointment, I am to drink an 8 oz. bottle of Welch's grape juice and then a half hour into our appointment she will prick me. She said if I have a positive on that *then* I do the yukky 3 hour thing. 

 

She never tests my urine. Kind of wish she did, but it's not how she rolls. She is so hands off to the point it makes me think "what if there WAS something wrong with me that just went undetected?" I gotta chill about it though. 

 

The most recent episode of Downton Abbey didn't help....


oh I wish I could drink grape juice!

 

I get my urine tested every time, but I actually have no idea what they are testing it for...

 

jeezlouise, I know. I've been a wreck all week overthinking pre-eclampsia. Did NOT need that right now!!

post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessmn View Post


oh I wish I could drink grape juice!

 

I get my urine tested every time, but I actually have no idea what they are testing it for...

 

jeezlouise, I know. I've been a wreck all week overthinking pre-eclampsia. Did NOT need that right now!!

I think they test for protein in the urine. Apparently that can be a sign of preeclampsia. I think perhaps my MW just goes off the blood pressure reading she does. I dunno, I wonder if I should ask her about urine tests. 

 

Yea...Welch's grape juice. I guess its pretty cool compared to the other stuff since I hear the other stuff is pretty bad- why is it so bad though...it's not just a junky sugar drink?

post #19 of 72

Honestly I don't find the stuff that bad.  I was given orange flavor (which has NO orange in it, BTW) and it just tasted like flat orange pop.  I didn't sit there and savour it, certainly, just gulped it down but it's really not that bad (and I am not a sugary, sweet, junk food person.  My vices run to salty things like nuts or tortilla chips winky.gif).

post #20 of 72

Our midwives test urine at every appointment (and did with my first pregnancy too, with CNMs).  I think it's a pretty vital part of the visit, IMO.  They are checking for:  white blood cells, red blood cells, protein spilling, glucose, and one other thing I can't remember right now.  With our homebirth midwives this time, I actually love that they showed me how to take the strip into the bathroom, pee on it, and check it against the results spectrum myself (or course I still have to show them!).  But I understand exactly what they're looking for, and if it's bad, how bad it is.  

 

I did the GTT with my first pregnancy and it was fine.  I have never had blood sugar issues of any kind in my life, so I wasn't surprised that this wasn't my problem area (I tend to have blood pressures issues instead).  

 

I won't do the GTT this time, for the same reason.  I can tell if my sugar is getting weird by how I feel.  Also, there is some debate about whether gestational diabetes is really a "diagnosis," per se.  Or what problems it might present (like "huge" babies? - I think that's it.  Possibility of shoulder dystocia because of large upper body in babies?).  And the diet that is recommended for GD is really just a sensible pregnancy diet, IMO.  

 

And 100% yes on Lady Sybil!  I was sobbing the whole time.  I had a possible brush with pre-e the first time around, and it made me terrified all over again!

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