Tuesday I was faced with the lovely task of chugging a bottle of orange-flavored sugar water {50 grams of dextrose aka sugar!} for the mandatory pregnancy glucose screening test.
I had visions of nausea and light-headedness and general feelings of crappiness, but in reality, it wasn’t so bad.
However, if I don’t pass…I’m not so sure I can handle the double strength version of the test. Around 26-28 weeks, every pregnant woman has to go through the not so pleasant task of downing a super sugary artificially flavored drink and then sitting around waiting for an hour to have blood drawn. Most of the time you don’t get any hint that you have gestational diabetes- most women do not experience any symptoms, other some experience increased thirst or urination, fatigue, blurred vision, or frequent infections. Gestational diabetes puts you at risk for possible birth complications, the most apparent being macrosomia- a fancy term for a big baby. They made me sit in a closet (where they weigh you) and drink it while the CNA stared me down. Anyway, my doctor said I would go to the lab, drink the stuff, come up for my appointment, and then go back to the lab for the blood work to be drawn.
I had my appointment in between- I think it was mostly luck that the midwife was ready then though!


I think super sugary flat orange soda is the perfect description- and it being cold would be so much better! I was dreading it- I do not like super sugary things, and I do not like drinking things fast. If you fail, you’re subjected to an even more wonderful three hour version of the test, where you drink a double strength or double volume drink and then have your blood taken each hour for 3 hours. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy, regardless of whether or not you had diabetes before hand.
Some people can keep it under control through diet and exercise, just like type 2 diabetes.
It’s not uncommon for additional blood tests to be run with the same blood draw from your glucose test, specifically iron. I had to have the ultrasound first though so the sugar didn’t make the baby go crazy.
Everybody is tested because it doesn’t really matter what your risk factors are- you can still get it. A baby born to a mother with gestational diabetes also faces the risk of hypoglycemia- low blood sugar- right after birth, because the baby immediately loses the large supply of glucose from the  mother.  While gestational diabetes goes away after giving birth, having gestational diabetes also means you’re at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes down the road, so consider it a flashing warning sign.


Pregnancy literally robs your body of iron- and it’s super important to keep those levels up. The worst part was having that much liquid in my stomach (for normal people it’s no big deal- maybe 8 or 10 oz?).
Either way, you’ll probably be monitoring your blood sugar with finger pricks to keep an eye on things.
I was really, really not looking forward to it because I hate sweet things too- the idea of a regular soda makes me gag. While being obese and unhealthy certainly increase your chances, it’s not unheard of for a perfectly fit and healthy woman to become diabetic during pregnancy. Luckily the doctors office called me the next day and told me my levels were completely normal… NO three hour test for me!
The hormones produced by the placenta cause insulin resistance, meaning it can’t work as well.



Hemoglobin levels for diabetes
Diabetes glucose control zinc


Comments

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