Don’t feel odd or get panic if your doctor has asked you to undergo a glucose test during your pregnancy. All you need do is to know about it in detail. To this end, we have provided the essential information you need to know about this.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. Even when a woman is pregnant, her body should be able to keep her blood sugar levels in the normal range. If it doesn’t do so, there may be gestational diabetes. The aim of the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) is to diagnose this condition.
Why you may need a glucose tolerance test
All pregnant women don’t need this testing. If a doctor suggests that for you, there is likely an underlying concern. This may be on account of;
- A high body mass index (BMI). BMI measures weight against height. In an ideal scenario, it should be below 25. So, if you are pregnant, and the BMI is above 30, it shows a need for this testing.
- If you have a previous baby born with an actual birth weight above 4.5 kg. (That translates to 9lbs 14oz).
- In the case of a previous pregnancy with gestational diabetes confirmed.
- Your family’s origin: You are at high risk if you are from the Middle East or South Asia. Others are black Africans and black people from the Caribbean.
- In case you happen to have a brother, sister, mother or father who suffers from diabetes.
Therefore, these above situations necessitate a glucose test during pregnancy.
Does it come with risks or complications?
When you undergo the GTT, there is really no risk. Thus you can have peace of mind that it won’t cause any adverse issues for you or the baby.
However, if one doesn’t go for it, there may be problems. Because neglecting the test may mean living with undiagnosed gestational diabetes. This may cause major issues down the line.
How to prepare for GTT
Often, when the doctor asks for glucose tolerance testing, they will offer advice. That is how to prepare for it. They may also give some leaflets, with pertinent information.
There are very simple diet guidelines to follow one day before the actual test. On that day, one can continue with their normal diet during the daytime. No need to stop sugar intake until 10 pm. After 10 pm one should not take anything other than simple water, not even mints or chewing gum. One should refrain from heartburn medication too.
Sometimes, the person who is to undergo testing forgets and ends up eating in the morning. In this scenario, one should get in touch with the antenatal clinic to reschedule the testing. This is because eating in the morning before the test affects the results.
This is the key thing to know with regard to preparation for the pregnancy sugar test.
What happens in the actual test?
The entire testing process is very simple and straightforward. This hardly takes 90 minutes or so.
Upon reporting for the testing, the very first thing is getting a blood sample. The nurse draws it through injection from the vein of the arm. This is a fasting blood sugar sample. (By the time of obtaining it, one has not eaten anything since 10 pm the previous night).
The next is to have a drink with glucose in it. The nurse over there offers it. There is a waiting phase of two hours after consuming the special glucose drink. There is a requirement to stay within the same facility. That is because significant walking during this period has the potential to affect results. So this needs to be more or less restful waiting.
In the next phase, the nurse collects a second blood sample and sends it for further procedure. The medics in the lab analyze both samples. And send reports of glucose tolerance test pregnancy to your doctor.
What to do after the testing
Once the medics collect the second blood sample, you can go back to a normal routine diet. Therefore you should carry a snack you can eat after the entire process. As you could be a bit hungry: having not eaten since 10 pm the previous night. Thus having a bite can help, and then you may leave the facility at this point.
Regarding the results
Usually, GTT results are available within a week. The antenatal clinic you are attending gets a copy of them. These would go into your medical records, for filing.
There are two possible outcomes following this sort of testing. The results may be normal. Or they may turn out to be abnormal.
In case of normal GTT results
Here, the medical personnel may not have the need to contact you. However, if you are keen on knowing the results, you can get in touch with a midwife. They can make you aware of the results as they have access to the soft copy of the results. It is within your rights to know the results and its possible effects.
In case of abnormal GTT results
Here, the medical personnel contact you to schedule an appointment with a midwife who specialized in diabetes. Generally, the estimated time of an appointment can be within 14 days of the test. Here, you can discuss the results in detail. Following this, there may be a further appointment with a specialist in gestational diabetes. You can share all your queries in this meeting. The specialist will advise you on all necessary aspects and certain precautionary actions.
As we see, a glucose tolerance test isn’t hard to undergo. However, its results can be very crucial and consequential. You can get in touch with Private Blood Tests London for fast and accurate results at reasonable rates.