GD Question

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tink9702's picture
Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977
GD Question

Hi All,

Haven't posted much lately here, but have been lurking!

Anyway - the subject of Gestational Diabetes came up and I'm wondering if anyone has declined the testing, reasons, research behind doing so etc. Also wondering if the awful drink test is the only way you might be able to detect GD unless you were having unusual fatigue or more of the obvious symptoms of GD.

ftmom's picture
Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

My sister declined it, because she has had 3 before with no problems and is in really good shape, so no more risk factors than last time. However, due to the fact that I have had it 3 times, our cousin has had it 3 times and our Dad and his brother are both pre-diabetic, I would not have made the same choice as her Smile But if diabetes didnt run in our family, and I was in her place, I might have declined it too.

Other ways you can tell you have it, is just to check your blood if you have access to a tester. You can easily find 'norms' for numbers on the internet, so you just eat a very sugary, or high carb, meal and then test your own blood an hour later. If you have no problems then your numbers should be down into the normal range by then. With my second I never had to have the test, I just started checking my own blood and saw my numbers where climbing. In fact, the diabetes education lady at the hospital told us that this is a more accurate read than the test, and that I should do this 6 months after baby is born to make sure everything has gone back to normal, as opposed to taking another test at that time.

I have also read studies where they have given women gummy bears instead of that orange drink, and it is supposed to give a more accurate response, but I dont know if anywhere actually does it that way IRL.

Hope that helps Smile

Marite13's picture
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
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Posts: 3368

Audra, has good links and info on this. Hopefully she'll come post.

I declined it this time, but my HB midwife was never worried about it at all.

My SIL had a HB in Colorado, and her MW gave her a tester to take home for a couple days, taught her how to use it, etc... and so she essentially tested herself to make sure she was good.

kridda_88's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

I declined mine as well. I have had 2 pregnancies with out it, I am smaller, and no family history. My midwife gave me the option of just testing my sugar levels for 3 days just like a diabetic would. That is a lot more accurate then taking the drink because with the drink you sugar shock your body and the stupid thing can actually end up causing the diabetes.

Spacers's picture
Last seen: 9 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

"kridda_88" wrote:

That is a lot more accurate then taking the drink because with the drink you sugar shock your body and the stupid thing can actually end up causing the diabetes.

I'm going to respectfully disagree with both of these statements. GD isn't a problem with one's blood sugar levels themselves, as regular diabetes is; it is the body's reaction to excess sugar, which mimics what happens in later pregnancy when the increased blood flow puts additional strain on the body's metabolism. That's precisely why the glucose challenge is the best test for it -- you need the sugar shock to see if your body produces the correct response or not. And there is absolutely no way this test can cause GD, no way, no how, that's simply not how the human body works. I'd be interested to see what kind of source you might be able to cite for this.

I did take the glucose challenge test both times, and I took it twice during my pregnancy with Tiven, because I'm prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar which is not caused by treatment of Type 1 diabetes) which indicates that my body may have trouble regulating its production of insulin. It was important to make sure that my body was producing the proper insulin response to a sugar shock, not too little (which would be a diagnosis of GD) but also not too much as might be the case for me personally. I've also taken it a couple of times when not pregnant.

There are other flavors of the drink available; I liked the cola flavor because it seemed a bit more carbonated than the orange and I never tried the lime but I've heard it's just like drinking straight margarita mix. My midwife does the glucose challenge with Brach's jelly beans during a routine prenatal; you eat a certain number of them and then she checks your blood sugar after an hour. Labs like the drink because they know that it's 50 grams of glucose in a form that can be consumed within five minutes, but I know moms who have taken jelly beans (in the package so the lab can document the amount of glucose) to the lab.

cactuswren's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
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Posts: 4658

Honestly my only real problem with it was that the drink was packed with a bunch of extra garbage like Red #40...I get the point of the test, and controlling the glucose for accurate results, but I would really like the option to not drink a bunch of additives and chemicals I'd never normally touch, much less while pregnant, in the name of health! I find that really irritating.

My only options were orange and red, and seeing as I loathe orange flavor, I took red flavor. It was predictably ridiculously sweet but drinkable.

tink9702's picture
Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

Thanks Stacy - that makes a lot more sense on why they do the test that way, it's just easier and more standard. It also makes sense with what you are saying that you are supposed to shock your system.

I think my issue with it is actually how it just is so sicky sweet. My MW practice has the lime flavor (which is clear so no dyes I don't think) but it's just gross! It doesn't help that since I'm overweight I am asked to do the testing twice each pregnancy. *sigh* more reason to stick to my diet I guess! Wink

boilermaker's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

I've declined the test with my last three pregnancies. For many reasons-- the biggest is that the test isn't very accurate. You can't reproduce the same results multiple times on the same woman. It is somewhat arbitrary. Second, screening for GD has not improved outcomes. So the evidence to continue routine screening for GD is pretty scarce IMO-- but it IS standard practice.

Mostly, I think all women should be following essentially a GD diet when pregnant anyways (and probably when not pregnant.) We should all be counseled on exercising though out pregnancy and on eating protein and complex carbs and good fruits and veggies. Instead, I feel like OB's never mention the nutrition part to women who "pass" the GD test, when it is really really relevant to EVERY pregnant mom and EVERY baby.

I opt to screen my urine, and to finger pokes throughout my pregnancy. I get that sugar levels can affect the health of a fetus and newborn-- but I just don't think that the GD test is the "answer".

Ina May has some great articles on the GD test and goes into depth about in the Thinking Woman's Guide. Good reading IMO, even if you opt to take the GD test.