Passing the glucose tolerance test during pregnancy is not a walk in the park. If your test results come negative the first time you take the test, this indicates that your blood glucose level is low, which puts you at an increased risk for gestational diabetes. The good thing is that it’s one of the simplest issues during pregnancy to handle.
The tricky thing is that 25 percent of women initially fail this test and are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This condition is temporary and is nothing serious. But you can stop that from happening by not eating and drinking at least twelve hours before the test. But there’s more, do you want to pass that test really badly? Here is how you do it!
Do’s and Don’ts Before Pregnancy Glucose Test
The standard test to diagnose gestational diabetes is called glucose screening test (GD). This test looks for greater than normal levels of glucose (also known as blood sugar) in the blood, which could indicate that you suffer from high blood sugar levels and are in danger of developing GD.
Testing is advised for all expectant mothers since gestational diabetes can be dangerous if untreated. Not just gestational diabetes but impaired glucose tolerance can also lead to serious health issues. There are certain do’s and don’ts one should follow for each test, whether one-hour or three-hour ones so that the results can be as accurate as possible.
Do’s of the Gestational Diabetes Test
Have a Proper Breakfast
You have to fast overnight before going to get yourself tested. But breakfast is crucial to keep your energy levels optimum. Otherwise, you won’t feel well during the test, and that can negatively affect your results.
Take a Walk
Put your legs to work. Taking a walk is not only good before you take the glucose screening test, but also, generally, it is great if you are undergoing gestational diabetes.
You Need to Calm Down!
If you don’t relax, you are definitely going to make yourself sick. For your baby’s sake and health, you need to relax. It is nothing more than a blood test. Even if the results are not encouraging, you need to remain positive to overcome the issue.
Dont’s of Gestational Diabetes Test
If you live a sedentary life that does not have any physical activity whatsoever, this will actually put you at a high risk of developing gestational diabetes. Remember to include a little exercise in your everyday life to manage blood sugar levels.
A healthy diet can do wonders for your glucose test. If you have an unhealthy diet, your blood sugar levels are going to be all over the place. It is very important to leave any unhealthy diet habits to keep your glucose levels in a normal range.
What to Eat Before the Glucose Test
Your doctor will perform a glucose screening, often during the early hours of the day, at weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy (and maybe earlier if you have an increased risk of gestational diabetes). You will be given a glucose drink resembling flat soda for this screening, also known as the one-hour or two-step glucose test, and then have blood drawn an hour later to measure your sugar levels.
You need to eat a healthy breakfast before the test in order to pass it. Healthy does not mean your regular breakfast. You should be very careful with what you put inside your mouth, as it can impact the test and your baby’s health. Here are a few breakfast options you can try:
You can have low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese, anything you feel like eating. It will not only be energetic but also doesn’t escalate blood sugar. Having plain Greek yogurt for breakfast is a great idea. You can eat it with berries but not in excess, as they are sweet.
Oatmeal is your best option. For better taste, you can always add berries but in minimal amounts. Remember to use low-fat milk for any healthy oatmeal recipe.
Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread in any form is healthy to consume. You can couple it with mashed avocado, tomatoes, or beans in little amounts so as not to overstuff yourself. You can also make a burrito with these ingredients.
Peanut butter is a safe choice for your toast. But remember, you must always use whole wheat bread.
Avocado has excellent health benefits and is a great filler for people looking to avoid carbs. The taste is also bearable, and when coupled with the right ingredients, you can make a great breakfast with avocado.
Eggs are protein-rich and better than carb options for breakfast. You can also add spinach, broccoli, or cheese just to add flavor and make the recipe healthier. You can also use tofu if you don’t feel safe around eggs.
How to Pass the Glucose Screening?
You need to maintain a very healthy lifestyle from the very outset of your pregnancy. It is not definite that you will still be able to pass the test but nevertheless, a healthy routine till 24 weeks of pregnancy can increase your chances of passing.
A few things you can inculcate in your routine are:
Have a balanced breakfast the morning of your consultation with a healthy amount of complex carbohydrates and protein. Remember that you must fast for almost least eight hours prior to the three-hour glucose tolerance test, but this is not necessary for the one-hour test. Ask your doctor which tests you will be taking to make sure.
Avoid processed carbs and sugars
Avoid eating simple carbs, such as refined grains, or high-sugar items on the day of your glucose test. These foods are quickly broken down by the body, which causes a surge in blood sugar levels. That entails avoiding popular breakfast items like:
- Any fruit beverages, such as orange juice.
- Sweet granola.
- Refined grains.
- Toppings with added sugar, such as jam or syrup.
- French toast, croissants, and pancakes.
- Sliced bread.
Numerous more breakfast items, such as banana bread, rolls, muffins, and pastries are produced with processed white flour too, so they also need to be avoided.
Take a stroll
Following breakfast and prior to the screening, if you can, attempt to fit in a 10- to 15-minute walk to help control your blood sugar levels.
The oral glucose tolerance test assesses the body’s capacity to utilize glucose, a form of sugar. The body uses glucose as its primary source of energy. The diagnosis of prediabetes and diabetes can be made with an OGTT. The most frequent use of an OGTT is to assess for gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Two types of glucose screening tests are taken for this assessment: a one-hour glucose test and a three-hour glucose test. Both will have their own preparatory steps.
How to Prepare 1-Hour Test
- Have a low-carb meal before this test. Breakfast food examples include eggs, cheese, bacon, and/or sausage. Avoid fruit drinks, slices of bread, and cereals. Salad or lettuce with any type of meat would be an example of a lunchtime meal. Broccoli, green beans, as well as leafy vegetables, are also good options. Steer clear of fried foods, bread, sugary soft drinks, and sweet tea. The main causes of glucose surges are muffins, citrus fruits, breakfast cereal, and other sweet, refined carbs since they quickly enter your system and can cause additional sugar to be eliminated through urine.
- After eating, consume the entire 59-gram bottle of glucose drink within 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Arrive at the office thirty minutes after completing the cola to make sure you have sufficient time for the blood testing, which will be taken an hour after you drink the cola.
- Make sure to inform the front desk staff member when you check in of the time you had the cola.
How to Prepare 3-Hour Test
Depending on your findings from the 1-hour test and what your doctor thinks, you might be requested to take a 3-hour OGTT. Because it can have an impact on the test’s outcomes, it is crucial to carefully follow all of the directions.
A sample or basic glucose test will be performed when you come to the office and use to compare other glucose readings. You will be instructed to quickly drink a sweet liquid with a specific level of glucose. After drinking the glucose, blood will be collected at intervals of 1, 2, and 3 hours.
The ideal technique of preparation is as follows:
- Eat a healthy diet for three days prior to the test that includes at least 150 grams of carbohydrates per day. Good sources of carbs include fruits, slices of bread, porridge, rice, biscuits, and starchy vegetables, including potatoes, beans, and corn.
- Before your initial blood sample is collected, wait at least eight hours before eating, drinking, smoking, or engaging in vigorous exercise.
- Inform your doctor about all medications you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter. Before the test, you might be told to cease using a particular medication.
- Up to 4 hours may pass during the OGTT. You will be advised to remain seated for the entire exam because moving around can affect the results. During the exam, avoid eating.
In Case You Get a Positive Result
It’s possible to receive a positive test result on your glucose screening or routine urine check that your doctor deems to be “medically unimportant,” – meaning it has no bearing on your developing baby. However, it serves as a helpful reminder to consult your doctor for advice on healthy nutrition.
If your test comes out to be positive and you are ultimately told you have gestational diabetes, keep in mind that the disease is typically manageable (often requiring simply dietary changes) and goes away shortly after giving birth. Your doctor or midwife will want you to keep track of everything you consume while also monitoring your sugar levels a few times per day. You’ll also be given advice on how to reduce your intake of sugary processed foods, eat more meals high in complex carbs and protein, and include lots of pregnancy-friendly meals.
After delivery, gestational diabetes typically disappears. After birth, healthy eating and exercise are still crucial for your health. Additionally, your baby’s lifestyle needs to be healthy. For the two of you, choose foods that have high fiber and low fat.
Additionally, try to stay away from simple carbs and sugary foods. Making fitness and movement a regular part of your family’s routine is a wonderful approach to encouraging one another to lead healthy lives. You are more likely to eventually acquire type 2 diabetes if you have gestational diabetes. Six to twelve weeks after giving birth, your doctor will request that you undergo another glucose tolerance test to ensure that you are no longer diabetic.
Prevent Gestational Diabetes
- With certain lifestyle changes, you can easily have a healthy pregnancy and can avoid pregnancy complications that come with diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes mellitus:
- Aim for a healthy weight gain during pregnancy
- Losing weight before pregnancy
- Eating foods rich in fiber
- Avoiding high-fat food
- Daily exercise
Preventing gestational diabetes is not always possible, but you can always give it a try to pass the glucose challenge test. Even if you are unable to pass the one-hour or the three-hour test, there are ways to have healthy diabetes care.
Just know that the glucose tolerance test is very important, not to pass but to know the health status of you and your baby and avoid any risk factors that can cause harm. All pregnant women are advised to take glucose tests and make sure that their blood glucose levels are within a healthy range because both high blood sugar, as well as low blood sugar, are very harmful to the developing baby and your own health. Some professionals even advise pregnant women to do a routine test to ensure that their blood sugars are within a normal range.