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Glucose Tolerance Test
A pregnant woman can suffer from several health problems but these problems generally go away post pregnancy. Diabetes is a common problem during pregnancy. This form of diabetes during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is one of the most common health problems linked to pregnancy. It has been observed by the experts that about 2 to 5 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes.
Since diabetes is common during pregnancy, health care providers usually recommend pregnant women to have a glucose screening test. And if you test positive you will be advised to undergo Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). The glucose tolerance test is a laboratory technique to test how your body metabolizes i.e. breaks down sugar. It is normally carried out during the 24th to the 28th week of pregnancy.
The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test i.e. OGTT is the most common glucose tolerance test. It is used to measure your body’s capacity to utilize glucose, a kind of sugar, which is your body’s chief source of energy. Prediabetes as well as diabetes can be diagnosed by an OGTT. It is most commonly used to check for gestational diabetes.
If you have to undergo the GTT, you will be asked to eat normally for 3 days before carrying out the test. And 8 to 10 hours before the test, you will not have to eat or drink anything. You must inform your doctor if you are on medication such as beta-blockers, corticosteroids, oral contraceptives, certain psychiatric drugs, thiazide diuretics, etc. These drugs may lead to glucose intolerance; hence your doctor must be informed.
GTT can be carried out fasting or non-fasting. In this test, blood is drawn from finger sticks or from the veins. Most probably, you will be given Glucola, a special sugar enhanced drink, or to eat a candy bar, or jelly beans. Then your blood will be tested for the glucose level. You may feel sweaty or nauseated after consuming the glucose for the test. Time taken in carrying out the GTT is about 3 hours. Blood is drawn every 30 to 60 minutes after you consume the glucose solution.
For a 50 gram OGTT, if the result is equal to or less than 140 mg/dL, then it is not considered gestational diabetes. But if your result for GTT is above this value then you may be asked to go for further testing.