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.


A Step Forward For Women’s Health – Affordable Care Act Changes Coming Today

I am excited today about the changes that the affordable care act (also known as “Obamacare”) brought into light today. Women everywhere should be happy about the positive things that this means, regardless of how you feel about the law overall.  I am glad to see that gestational diabetes screening and supplies will be included.

Think about it for a minute, and get past the idea about the birth control issue if you oppose contraception, and realize that many women who have gestational diabetes do not have the funds to cover the necessary items needed to manage their blood sugars.  We are talking about the care and treatment of an unborn child.  We are talking about the future of both that mom and child.  This is part of the reason why I provide the meal plans that I do at such a wonderful price – I feel people need the information and if I can provide it using my expertise, I am making the world a better place.

Why not give it away?  I give away a lot of information and I put a lot of work into it, so it’s a reasonable cost of $19.99.

But that is not what we are here to talk about.  I want to shout it to the roof tops that women will get much better care for gestational diabetes and hopefully have healthier pregnancies and babies.  They will get tested and have the ability to get the tools they need to manage their blood sugars!  Yeah!  Best part is no co-pay, and I know that $20 savings makes a difference.  You can buy healthier foods and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables!

Women get gestational diabetes screening at 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes. Women who have gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future and the children of women with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of being overweight and insulin-resistant during childhood.  So just knowing that you have it will help you have a healthier pregnancy.

And after the birth of your child, you can get free breastfeeding resources and education.  I breastfed my children, and it was the best thing for them – as they were both preemies related to my gestational diabetes turning into pre-eclampsia.  But it was hard, and no women in my family ever breastfed before so I didn’t have a lot of help.  I am glad the resources will be more easily accessible.

Now, while it is required to go into effect today, August 1st, you should realize that it only takes effect when your policy renews.  So, if you are like me, these will go into effect in January.  But it’s not too much longer.

So, hurray for women today!  Now, whether you agree or not, it is an important step to allow women to have access to the services they need to have a healthy baby – it’s not just the mom’s life we are talking about.