First Trimester of Pregnancy — Glucose Testing | Parents
You know, I think a pregnancy sometimes is
like a little crystal ball. If we have an underlying predisposition to become diabetic,
pregnancy sometimes brings that out. The glucose testing in pregnancy is recommended for all
women. Certainly, some are at higher risk especially if you have a family history of
diabetes, if you have multiple gestation, or if you are — already make some carbohydrate
intolerance from before pregnancy, or if you’d had a prior pregnancy that’s been affected
with gestational diabetes. The screening test doesn’t require any special preparations.
You would come into the office or go to the laboratory. You drink a sweet drink. It’s
a glucose solution and blood is drawn 1 hour later. It’s a quick and easy test that we
run in the laboratory. Typically, you get the results the next day after blood is drawn.
Generally, you want to screen negative meaning you are below whatever cutoff your particular
doctor or laboratory uses. For most glucose challenge tests, they are generally done at
between 24 or 28 weeks and the cutoff is somewhere between 130 or 140. So, if somebody screens
positive, you’re above that cutoff number, you do a 2- hour or 3- hour glucose tolerance
test; and this is the diagnostic test to see if you really have diabetes on pregnancy.
If that is positive, then you do have diabetes, then it’s a combination of nutrition counseling
to eat an appropriate diet that avoids high concentrations of sweets. So, you control
the amount of carbohydrates. Exercise is an important part of it. So, diet and exercise
are used to help keep your glucose levels in good control. And the way we know if you
are in good control or not is you do some self- testing. These are the fingerstick blood
sugars that are done and they are mapped out, and hopefully just with diet and exercise,
that adjusts the numbers. If not, then medication would be used.