It is pertinent for pregnant women to go through a glucose screening test. It is a routine pregnancy test conducted to check for gestational diabetes (GD) and it is done between week 24 and week 28 of pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend doing a one-hour blood glucose challenge test to screen for gestational diabetes (GD) in low-risk pregnant women between the fifth and sixth month of pregnancy (24 & 28 weeks).
Early detection of gestational diabetes during pregnancy is pertinent as it helps you get the needed treatment on time to prevent complications during pregnancy and delivery, it also helps in the prevention of high blood pressure and preeclampsia, as well as for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gestational diabetes affects up to ten percent of pregnancies. Eating healthy foods, particularly foods rich in fibre and low in fat and calories can help prevent and control gestational diabetes. Gestational Diabetes usually do not show any symptom, because its symptoms are similar to that of a pregnancy – such as fatigue, frequent urination, excessive thirst, and snoring.
When you go for a glucose test and the result comes out with an indication that it is high, this means there is an elevated level of glucose in your blood, which could be indicate that your body is not producing enough insulin to process the extra or excess glucose in the body system. You’ll then proceed to doing a glucose tolerance test (GTT).
To conduct this test, you will be required to fast overnight for eight hours, that is you’ll neither eat nor drink anything eight hours before the test. Then, your blood sample will be taken. You’ll then be asked to take a liquid containing 75 grams of glucose to drink; subsequent blood samples will also be drawn after you take the glucose drink.
There are two types of glucose screening test namely; the one-step test and the two-step test.
Here are 5 tested tips for preparing for a glucose test during pregnancy;
Eat Normally as You Used to When Going for the Two-step Test
If you are going for the two-step glucose screening test, also referred to as the one-hour glucose test, then you can eat normally both the night before and the day of the test.
Avoid Eating Anything 8 to 14 hours Before the One-Step Test
If you are going for the one-step test, then do not eat or drink anything 8 to 14 hours before you go for the test.
Inform Your Doctor if You are Ill or Taking any Medication Before Going for the Test
Before the glucose screening test is carried out, ensure you inform your doctor if you are ill and presently taking any medication, as these are factors that can affect the result of the test.
You’ll be Required to Fast Overnight for the Glucose Tolerance Test if the Result Comes out High
When the glucose test result is out and it comes out high, you will be required to fast overnight and then when the test is done, you will be given a higher dose of glucose to drink.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Before and after the test, it is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Particularly, ensure your diet is replete with whole grains, lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and tofu; low fat, fruits and vegetables. Also, reduce your intake of foods that contain high sugar.
For the glucose tolerance test, the following are carried out;
- The doctor measures your blood fasting sugar;
- If there is an elevated level of glucose in your blood, you will be required to drink an 8-ounce glass of glucose solution;
- Your sugar level is measured once every hour for the next three (3) hours.
Visit your doctor to book an appointment for your glucose screening test.