Glucose Test Breakdown

Glucose Test Breakdown

Glucose Test Breakdown

Glucose Test Breakdown

There are many tests that your healthcare provider might prescribe during your pregnancy. A common test that is performed in the second trimester is the glucose tolerance test or a blood glucose test. 

Here is what it means.

What is the glucose test?

A glucose test is done during the pregnancy to rule out gestational diabetes. It measures your body’s response to glucose. A normal person’s body is supposed to bring the sugar level down to a certain level after some time, but if you have glucose intolerance you will have abnormally high glucose even after an extended period of time.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe a random/fasting blood glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test depending on what is required. 

Why is it performed?

A glucose test is done to rule out any glucose intolerance problems you might have. It could be either diabetes or another metabolic problem. It usually identifies how your body responds to glucose. Glucose intolerance could lead to other problems such as polyhydramnios or premature birth. So it’s better to diagnose and treat it ahead of time to avoid those problems in the longer run.

What does it mean if you pass/don’t pass?

Passing the glucose test means you have a normal response to glucose. If you don’t pass the test, it means your body has some kind of altered response to glucose in the blood. 

The first step of the test usually consists of drinking a smaller dose of the liquid that contains glucose, and then you will have a blood draw after waiting for 1-hour to check the levels. If your levels were elevated after this test, your healthcare provider might give you an additional test to confirm the results.

This second step consists of drinking a larger amount of the liquid containing glucose, and then you will have a blood draw four different times. The first is your fasting draw (before you drink the liquid,) the second is after a 1-hour period, the third is after a 2-hour period, and the fourth is after a 3-hour period.  

If your levels are elevated for two of the four draws you will likely be diagnosed with Gestational diabetes

How does this affect my care?

Glucose intolerance needs to be treated to keep your blood sugar levels under certain limits since having a high blood glucose level can affect your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Depending on how high your blood glucose levels are, you might be given anti-diabetic medication or even a limited dose of insulin. 

You might also be recommended some kind of diet restrictions to help control your sugar levels that way. The rest of your care is probably going to be the same, except you might need additional supplements in some cases. For any other questions, check with your healthcare provider to see what are the best steps for you!

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