What Are The Blood Sugar Levels For The OGTT?

What Are The Blood Sugar Levels For The OGTT?

How Does The Doctor Diagnose Gestational Diabetes?

OGTTMonitoring one’s blood sugar levels in gestational diabetes (GDM) is essential. To be able to diagnose gestational diabetes in a pregnant woman, it is not enough to only rely on the physical manifestations, such as blurring of vision, increased thirst, increased appetite, and increased urination. The woman also has to undergo glucose screening tests in order to prove that she is really suffering from gestational diabetes. One of the tests that are being done on women to finalize their diagnosis of gestational diabetes is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

What is OGTT?

OGTT determines the amount of sugar or glucose present in the blood at a given time. In this test, the woman has to fast for at least eight hours before the test. A blood sample will be taken to measure the woman’s normal fasting blood glucose level. Afterwards, she will be asked to drink a liquid with around 75 grams of glucose in it. 30 minutes after finishing the solution, her blood sample will be taken once again. Three more blood extractions will be done every hour for the succeeding three hours, hence the test will last for approximately 3 hours. The values derived from the OGTT will determine whether a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes or not.

Normal and abnormal values

As a general rule, the normal value of the fasting blood sugar should be between 60-100 mg/dl. Anything higher than that is a candidate for gestational diabetes. The 1-hour sample should yield less than 180 mg/dl in order to be considered normal. As for the 2-hour sample, abnormal values are 155 mg/dl and above. For the sample for the third hour, 140 mg/dl and higher are already considered diabetic.

If only one of the readings is abnormal, this does not automatically mean that the woman is already diabetic. Another OGTT might be needed later on in the pregnancy. The doctor might also advise her to make some modifications in her diet and physical activities.

However, if two or more readings are interpreted as abnormal, they are already conclusive enough to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Factors affecting OGTT

There are several things that might yield false results in the OGTT. Some of these are:

  • Medications, such as phenytoin, and corticosteroids. You should consult your doctor first before having an OGTT while taking the aforementioned drugs.
  • Acute stress
  • Heavy exercise

What should I do if I am diagnosed with GDM?

The important thing in GDM is to control the blood sugar level and keep it within the normal limits so as to prevent any complications from arising. This can be achieved through proper diet and exercise. Diet should include moderate fats and proteins, complex carbohydrates, and less sugar. Exercise is also important to use up excess glucose during pregnancy. It is also essential to visit the health care provider to monitor not only the condition of the mother, but also of the baby.

Take a moment and check out my book on gestational diabetes, and if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes you can get more great information and meal plans for your condition.

To learn more about gestational diabetes, you can sign up for our mailing list and keep yourself updated with all the information you need in managing the condition.  Enter your name and email in the box below and we will send you 3 dinner meals and an ebook about how gestational diabetes can be managed.

 

 

What Is An OGTT or a 3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test?

What Is An OGTT or a 3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test?

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test Is the Gold Standard

OGTT is an oral glucose tolerance test.  For most women, around week 24-28, they do a 1 hour glucose test in the doctor’s office.  Now, if you had gestational diabetes with an earlier pregnancy or your risk factors are high, you might get tested earlier in your pregnancy, and your doctor might go straight to the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.

The doctor is doing a quick check to see if you need to take the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  So, if you fail the 1 hour test, they send you for an OGTT.  OGTT is the standard to measure and diagnose you with gestational diabetes.  This test also tells your doctor how “bad” your gestational diabetes is.  So, he/she will know if you are going way high or just a little over.  That information may or may not affect their decision about medication and diet.

So, you arrive at the lab for your 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  You will sit in the lab waiting area for a little over 3 hours so bring something to read or write to keep you busy.  It’s a lonely place and the only thing on the TV’s is the news or Jerry Springer.  Not much fun.  Trust me, you will need something in addition to the 3 year old magazines they have in the lobby.

You come in fasting, not having eaten anything after midnight the night before.  You may or may not be able to drink water.  If you can, drink water so that your blood is easier to draw.  The last thing you want is to be dehydrated and not be able to get blood or take forever.  They take your blood sugar level first as a fasting level for the baseline of the 3 hour glucose tolerance test, then you drink a “glucola” which is a concentrated sugary drink.  (I would say it tastes like coke, but it doesn’t.) It’s pretty sugary, and there may or may not be flavor options.  Then in 1 hour increments they take a sample of your blood to measure.  Otherwise, you sit in the waiting area between blood draws for the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.

Then What Happens?

Once it’s over, you leave and your doctor gets the results fairly quickly.  Then you find out if your body has done a good job of removing the sugar from your blood stream or not.  Some women view it initially as a judgement and feel that they have done something wrong.  You should know that it’s just the hormones and your body is not handling the amount of hormones well, but that does not make you a good or a bad person.

Either way, you will be fine and so will your baby.  Gestational diabetes is very treatable with diet, exercise and sometimes medication.  Read about gestational diabetes meal planning in my recently published book on amazon, and find out how to plan your day to make your pregnancy healthier and happier.

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Pregnancy Induced Diabetes: Your Questions Answered

We’ve gathered some of the most common questions asked about pregnancy induced diabetes, and brought them together to provide you with some answers.

Gestational diabetes is defined as diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy and was not present prior to pregnancy.  Sometimes people call it pregnancy induced diabetes.  Because you have the condition only while you’re pregnant.  And once you deliver the baby and the placenta, typically you can return to normal eating pattern.  Today I’m going to review some questions and provide answers for the most commonly asked items related to pregnancy induced diabetes.

How Common Is Pregnancy Induced Diabetes?

Nationally, between 1 to 2 women in 10, develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy.  The guidelines are somewhat stricter for the development of the disease because of the fact that you’re pregnant and they want to take extra caution caring for your baby.  Even though it is fairly common, it’s not clear what women can do to prevent developing pregnancy induced diabetes.

What Are the Causes of Gestational Diabetes?

As you may be aware of, when you’re pregnant your hormones in your body do all kinds of things to your emotions, physical body amongst other things.  Hormones are the root cause of development of pregnancy induced diabetes as well.  As your pregnancy progresses, insulin sensitivity decreases.  Women who are overweight when they get pregnant may already have pre-diabetes and their body can’t manage the changes in insulin sensitivity.  Insulin resistance is also increased because of placental hormones.  Some of these hormones are cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone.  As the baby develops your placenta gets larger and also secretes more hormones.  This further causes insulin sensitivity to decrease.  So as your pregnancy progresses, if your body can’t make enough insulin to adjust to the amount that your body needs, you develop gestational diabetes.  This is also why they tend to test for gestational diabetes during the 24th through 28th week, because by that point it will have developed enough to show in a blood test.

How Does My Doctor Screen and Diagnose Pregnancy Induced Diabetes?

Your obstetrician initially determines your risk level for developing pregnancy induced diabetes and that helps them to determine when to test you.  If the determination is made to give you the initial test, for screening women are typically given 50 g of sugar.  This is called an oral glucose challenge because you drink a sugary sweet liquid.  Blood is drawn at 1 hour, and tested.  Typically, your physician will consider you for further testing if your 1 hour glucose challenge lab result is over 130 mg/dL.  If you fail the one hour glucose challenge test, your doctor will require you to do a 3 hour oral glucose tolerance test [OGTT].  In this testing, women are given 100 g of glucose and their blood is taken every hour for 3 hours.  Your doctor will determine the thresholds and how to diagnose.  Even if your blood sugar seems just a little bit elevated you should consider following a gestational diabetes diet plan to keep from having a larger baby or gaining too much weight.

Even if you have pregnancy induced diabetes, it’s important to realize that it’s easily managed using a meal pattern, exercise, and sometimes medication.  Most women view it as something that they have to tolerate for the duration of the pregnancy knowing that after the placenta is delivered, the condition typically goes away.  Click here now to learn more about our gestational diabetes meal plan and get an e-book that tells you even more about diabetes during pregnancy and how you can manage it.