Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis

Gestational diabetes (also known as glucose intolerance of pregnancy) is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before, but have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. There are several methods to diagnoses whether you have gestational diabetes or not.

Screening glucose challenge test:
Gestational diabetes is detected through a glucose tolerance test/ glucose challenge test, taken from week 24 through week 28 of pregnancy. If the woman is at a high risk of developing gestational diabetes, the physician may test the woman as early as 13 weeks into the pregnancy.

The glucose (blood sugar) tolerance test involves drinking a glucose (sugar) solution. After one hour, blood is taken from a vein in the arm and the glucose level is checked. A woman with a glucose level of less than 140 mg/dl is presumed not to have gestational diabetes and no further testing is done. If the woman, however has a blood sugar level higher than 140 mg/dl, she may have gestational diabetes, and might require a follow up test called a 3-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

Oral glucose tolerance test:
Your health care provider will give you special instructions to follow before having this test. You should eat normally for at least 3 days before the test. Then you are required to not eat anything for at least 8 hours before the test. The health care provider will check your blood glucose level before the test. Then you are made to drink a sugary beverage. Your blood glucose levels will be checked 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours later. If your levels are above normal at least twice during the test, you have gestational diabetes.

Fasting blood glucose or random blood glucose test
Another method for testing your blood glucose level is by using a test called a fasting blood glucose test. Before this test, you will be asked to fast, which means having nothing to eat or drink except water for at least 8 hours. The physician may check your blood glucose at any time during the day. This is called a random blood glucose test.

All these tests will let you know whether you have gestational diabetes or not. Regular exercise helps your body to use glucose without extra insulin. This assists in combating insulin resistance. However, you should consult your physician before taking any exercise regimen.