What you need to know about gestational diabetes and the glucose test

During the early stages of pregnancy, a visit with your doctor will likely
include a conversation about

gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes occurs when a person without diabetes develops high
blood sugar levels because their body is unable to make enough insulin
during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes generally does not cause many
symptoms, but the condition can have

negative impacts on both the parent and child.

Gestational diabetes increases the parent’s risk of depression,
pre-eclampsia, and the need to have a C-section. The baby of a parent with
the condition is at risk for low blood sugar, jaundice, and having an
abnormally high body weight after birth. They also have a higher risk of
developing type 2 diabetes and being overweight later in life.

Screening for gestational diabetes is usually recommended during the second
trimester of pregnancy for those at normal risk and is performed by getting
a blood test. Whether you’re currently pregnant or supporting someone who
is expecting, here’s what you should know about the condition and the
glucose test.

Who’s at risk for gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes affects

up to 10 percent

of pregnant people. There are several risk factors,
including being overweight (either before or during pregnancy), a family
history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and being over 25 years of age
while pregnant. If you’ve had gestational diabetes in an earlier pregnancy,

risk may be 30 to 70 percent higher

during subsequent pregnancies.

If you already have diabetes, you should take extra care to control your
blood sugar, particularly early on before you even know you’re pregnant.

What is the glucose test like?

Almost all pregnant people complete a

glucose challenge test

to determine if they have gestational diabetes around weeks 24-28. This
test, also called the “one hour glucose test,” measures how the body
processes sugar. You drink a sugary solution, and one hour later, have
blood drawn to evaluate your blood sugar levels. You cannot eat during the
test, but you can take small sips of water if you need it. You’ll receive
your results later.

Should I worry if I fail my glucose test?

If your blood sugar is too high following the glucose challenge test, it
does not necessarily mean you have gestational diabetes. Instead,

you’ll be asked to return for a glucose tolerance test, more commonly known as the “three hour glucose test.” When you arrive at the office, you will have
your fasting blood sugar tested, consume another more highly concentrated
sugar solution, and then have your blood tested once per hour for three

If two or more of the four blood draws show high sugar levels, you will be
diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This condition can be managed, and
goes away following pregnancy — although it may put you at higher risk of
other types of diabetes later in life.

Your doctor will

help you change your diet and exercise plan

in response to diabetes, and if your blood sugar remains elevated, they may
prescribe medicine to help you keep it under control. Some pregnant people
with gestational diabetes will have to monitor their sugar levels daily
with an at-home blood test. Additional ultrasounds may also be needed to
monitor the baby more closely for the remainder of the pregnancy.

The glucose tests can be stressful for many pregnant people as the one-hour
test is pretty easy to fail. If you do, stay positive, stick with your diet
and exercise regimen, and

prepare for the three-hour test.

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By Betty C. Giordano

Welcome to my site. My name is Betty C. Giordano and I am a blogger of everything related to mobile, news, events and reality in general. I hope you enjoy reading my content.

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