Glucose Challenge During Pregnancy
| February 24, 2010
Glucose challenge is referred to as the elevated levels of glucose in the blood that is beyond the normal levels. Glucose is a type of sugar that is present in most food products. Carbohydrates present in the food are split into glucose and fructose and absorbed into the body during the metabolism process. The pancreas in our body produces a hormone known as insulin to maintain the glucose level in our blood. When there is any abnormality in the functioning of the pancreas, the insulin secretion is reduced and results in an increased glucose level.
During pregnancy, many women tend to develop temporary diabetes known as gestational diabetes. However, the pancreas is not directly responsible for this type of diabetes. Rather, the problem lies with the placenta. The placenta gives the required nourishment to the baby. It secretes several other hormones that may sometimes interfere with the normal response to insulin. In that case, the pancreas has to produce additional insulin in order to maintain the normal glucose levels. If the pancreas is unable to produce the adequate, extra insulin required, your blood sugar may increase to an abnormally high level. In this case you may suffer from gestational diabetes. The risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy might be due to any of the following reasons:
- If you are overweight
- If you have a family history of gestational diabetes
- If you had given birth to an overweight baby previously
Normally, glucose challenge tests are performed during the sixth and seventh month of a pregnancy.
During the screening for gestational diabetes, if you are diagnosed with abnormally high glucose levels in your blood stream, you may have to undergo a few more tests so as to arrive at a more precise conclusion and confirmation of the diabetes. These tests include oral glucose tests in which you are given a solution containing a fixed measure quantity of glucose.
Since abnormal high levels of glucose can lead to various heart diseases, glucose challenge tests are helpful in predicting future heart diseases. The heart disease may occur after several months or a few years after the delivery. You are, therefore, advised to consult your healthcare provider to go for glucose challenge tests during pregnancy.
Prevention of Glucose Challenge During Pregnancy
- Do light exercises regularly.
- Consume food that contains less carbohydrates and fats and higher contents of fiber.
Follow the instructions of your doctor regarding diet control and exercises
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