Glucose screening test for pregnancy- what it is, how to prepare
Diabetes occurs due to the deficiency of insulin in a body. Gestational diabetes is becoming very common these days. The gestation period is the period that starts from the date of conception till the date of delivery. If any female gets diabetes during this gestation period, then it is called gestational diabetes. A woman gets to know about it during the early stages of pregnancy. High sugar levels are harmful. Nearly 10 to 12 % of females can have gestational diabetes. So, it is necessary to diagnose it at an early stage.
Glucose screening test
This test is performed at regular intervals. It ensures the safety of both the mother and baby. Between the 24th week to 28th week, this test is undertaken. But if the doctor notices any disorder in the pregnancy, then it can be recommended earlier also.
Glucose screening test is the easiest method to check gestational diabetes. Once it is tested, it becomes easy to control gestational diabetes with the help of a simple diet and meal plan. One needs to bring some changes to ones lifestyle to ensure a smooth pregnancy. If the pregnancy is smooth, then one can expect the delivery of a healthy baby.
To avoid any complication in any pregnancy a doctor normally recommends a glucose screening test so that there is no risk to the mother and the baby. If the glucose levels are not maintained it might become difficult to ensure a smooth delivery.
This test is most urgent in the following cases:
- If a female is older; like if the female is of 35 years or more
- If there is a diabetic history
- It the weight of an earlier baby which the female has delivered is more than the required weight
- If the female had gestational diabetes during earlier pregnancy also.
- PCOD problem– If any female had a problem of polycystic syndrome then the chances of getting gestational diabetes might also increase.
So, it is better to take the test. This test is safe and has no side effects.
How one can prepare oneself for a glucose screening test
This test is of utmost importance during pregnancy. At the time of the second delivery, doctors never take the risk and always recommend the glucose screening test. This test brings a clear picture of the sugar levels in the body of the pregnant woman.
Process of fasting-First of all most important thing for the glucose screening test is fasting. The patient needs to fast for more than 8 hours before going in for this test. Fasting can give more accurate results. Tests can also be done without fasting but, in that case, the results may vary. The levels of the sugar, in that case, may give fluctuations. So, it is always advisable to keep fast for more than 8 hours to get the proper result. There is no need for fasting for a two-step test. One needs to ask the doctor regarding the type of the test that is needed.
Simple lifestyle– There is no need to change total lifestyle. One can keep ones lifestyle the same as earlier. The only thing which a person needs to keep in mind is to avoid smoking and having caffeine immediately before going for this test as it might not give the correct results.
Give information to the doctors– We must inform the doctor regarding the medicines a patient is already taking.
Method of conducting the test
This test is performed in two steps-
In the first step, the patient has to drink a liquid that contains both water and glucose. The blood sample is taken once after that. This step is repeated after an hour.
The patient has to come back for a glucose tolerance test if the sugar levels are high. For this test, one needs to fast for more than 8 hours. Again the patient is given a liquid that has glucose in it.
Blood is taken before giving this drink. After the drink, the blood is taken out three more times at the interval of 60 minutes, and sugar levels are checked each time. Instead, of two steps this test is possible in just one step as well.
If the level of diabetes is above 200mg/dl. Then the patient is diabetic otherwise, if the levels are below 140 then the person is not diabetic. But in case if the range varies between 140 and 200 then it means that the patient is pre-diabetic.
Pre-diabetic patients are also a matter of concern. It means that a patient is not diabetic but the patient has chances of getting diabetes.
This test consists of simple steps. Just a blood sample is drawn and tested in the lab. So, one can say that this test has no side effects on the health of pregnant females. The glucose drink is only a sweet drink that does not affect the body. In some rare cases, the vomit sensation might arise but, it has a low percentage. So, there is no need to panic before going for this test and need not worry about side effects.
Some females might face problems at the time when blood is drawn. There are chances of more bleeding and sometimes it might cause infections also. But they are not very serious.
Sometimes the results of the glucose screening test may vary. There can be various reasons behind it.
- Unstable health conditions at the time of taking the test- If the patient is unstable at the time of undertaking the test then, It might give one misleading reports. So, it is better to keep ones health stable before going for this test.
- Taking medicines for other health issues– if the patient is taking medicines on regular basis for some health-related problem, then those medicines can increase the blood sugar levels. One must not take that medicine immediately before going for a glucose screening test otherwise the results will vary. So, it is better to avoid it at least for one day. After the test is complete one can continue with the medicine
This test can be repeated also in case of any kind of doubt. The repeated test might give one accurate results.