Glucose Tests During Pregnancy?
A glucose screening test measures a woman’s blood glucose (sugar) level during pregnancy. But why do you need to worry about your blood sugar levels during pregnancy? Because of gestational diabetes (GDM). Gestational diabetes affects one in ten pregnant women, and usually begins between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy, because the body is not producing enough insulin. While some women are at a higher risk, it is recommended that all women get tested during pregnancy (according to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists).
Getting a glucose screening is relatively painless — there are no risks involved, and it only requires that you drink a very sugary drink and wait one hour before having your blood drawn. In fact, unlike other blood tests, you don’t even have to fast for this one! If, after the initial test, your blood glucose levels are found to be high, you’ll have to have another test that last three hours (glucose tolerance test), which will give you solid confirmation of a diagnosis.
The causes for gestational diabetes can vary, but some of the most common causes include being overweight, being older, having a family history, and having a personal history of the disease (if you had GDM in a previous pregnancy, for example). Being overweight is the most common symptom of getting gestational diabetes, because if a woman is overweight going into pregnancy, the weight can affect the insulin’s capacity to monitor the blood glucose levels.
It’s important to get glucose tests during pregnancy because it can affect both you and your baby. Fifty percent of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes, so it’s imperative to cultivate healthy eating habits and keep an eye on your blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Immediately after birth, it’s necessary for your baby to be tested for hypoglycemia, even if they don’t exhibit any symptoms, and continuing afterward to create and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle for you and your baby.
Ask your doctor if you have any further questions about glucose testing by calling 305.270.2331.
Originally published at www.miami-obgyn.com on December 15, 2016.