What do you mean by oral glucose tolerance test in pregnancy

(May 27, 2010)

Glucose Tolerance Test

Glucose is a type of monosaccharide sugar which is found in the blood stream and is an important source of physiological energy. Glucose is transferred from the bloodstream into the body’s cells through the hormone called as insulin. The oral glucose tolerance test determines how well the insulin hormone performs this metabolic function.

A woman undergoing Glucose Tolerance Test is supposed to starve for ten to sixteen hours; this means nothing should be consumed except water. Smoking and consuming caffeine before the tests is not suggested. Patients are asked to refrain from these, since they are capable of affecting the results.

The oral glucose test is conducted for testing gestational diabetes which pregnant women are prone to. This test involves a pregnant woman to consume glucola which is a beverage that contains around 50g of glucose.  After around sixty minutes of drinking this solution a blood sample is taken from the vein. The blood test helps processing how much glucose solution was metabolized by the body.

After the patient drinks the beverage, the sugar levels rise rapidly, but metabolic processes affect the rising of the sugar and cause the sugar levels to subside. In a person suffering from diabetes the sugar levels die down or reduce to a very slow rate. Some people might get nauseous after drinking the sugary beverage.

The oral glucose tolerance test or the OGTT tests are helpful to diagnose pre-diabetes and diabetes. If the blood glucose level is more than 135mg/dl, you may be required to undergo another diabetes screening test. The second test might be a little strenuous since you are required to get your blood glucose level tested four times during a three hour period.

Gestational diabetes is generally diagnosed between 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. This is the time when insulin resistance begins. If a women has been suffering from gestational diabetes before then the health care provider might suggest performing the test before the 13th week of pregnancy.

If a woman is diagnosed with the gestational diabetes then she will have an elevated blood sugar levels. This will make the baby gain too much weight and may cause innumerable health problems to the mother. Gestational diabetes can be treated effectively with a change in lifestyle however a woman will be required to take regular dosages of insulin.

Getting a positive result for gestational diabetes might scare you off, but do remember that your heath care provider will do everything possible to protect the unborn child.

Submitted by P T on May 27, 2010 at 12:56

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