Glucose Screening Results & What I Learned About Gestational Diabetes

So. I’m going to start by saying I got the results from my 1-hr glucose screening today……

I failed.

By like a lot. Not enough to automatically have GD, but freaking close enough.

I don’t know why I feel like an enormous amount of guilt after hearing my number. My doctor’s cut off was 130, I got a 181. I mean, that’s terrible. It’s like getting a failing score. During my last pregnancy, the cut off was 135 and I got a 143. I easily passed the 3 hr test. The medical assistant tried to make me feel better about the results that anything over 200 would be an automatic GD diagnosis but shoot, it’s a little close for comfort.

At my appointment last Friday, I was completely confident. My doctor was not at all concerned that I would have a problem passing the screening. I’ve been way more active during this pregnancy. I confess, I haven’t been walking at night lately but it’s because it’s so crazy hot outside that even at night, it’s unbearable. My weight gain has been slow and not too much. I’ve only gained like 10 lbs or so and I’m just barely at my pre-pregnancy weight. I’ve been better about drinking water.

I also thought that if I stuck to a relatively low-carb diet the week before the test, it might help my numbers. Clearly it didn’t. Idk… maybe trying to be all low carb wasn’t great because then the drink was more of a shock to my system. I know when you do the 3 hr, you have to eat a super carb/sugar heavy diet for 3 days before. I keep running through everything in my mind thinking maybe if I did something different, I could have changed the outcome but it’s too late now.

So yeah, I’m having myself a little pity party this morning and trying to google the crap out of gestational diabetes to see what I could potentially be getting into and this is what I gathered…

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition in which your body produces too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. According to the March for Dimes website, when you eat, your body breaks down sugar and starches from food into glucose. In turn, your body uses the glucose for energy. Your pancreas makes insulin, which helps to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood. If you have diabetes, or GD, your body isn’t producing enough insulin or it’s using it well enough so you end up with too much sugar in your blood. It’s not relatively uncommon as it occurs in 7% of pregnancies. I think the most important thing to understand is that it can happen to anyone. Skinny people, active people, overweight people… anyone. It’s just something

What can make you more at risk for developing GD?

There are a variety of factors that can give you a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes like being overweight or gaining a lot of weight through the pregnancy; over the age of 35; family history; having a previous child that was 9+ lbs at birth; ethnicity (African-American, Native American, Asian, Hispanic or Pacific Islander statically have higher chance of developing GD).

I have gone through all the lists of risks and nothing really applies to me besides family history. I’ve gained relatively little weight, I’m not particularly overweight to begin with, my first child was fairly petite and I did not have GD the last time.But… like I mentioned before, it can seriously happen to anyone.

About 40–60% of women with gestational diabetes have no demonstrable risk factors. There’s definitely a stigma associated with the word “diabetes” that immediately makes you think the person that has it is living an unhealthy lifestyle in some way but it’s not true, especially during pregnancy.

So you failed the screening, what’s next?

Well join the club. It’s relatively common to fail the initial screening and pass the glucose tolerance test with flying colors. Every OB office is different. In my case, I have to follow a specific carb/sugar heavy diet for three days before you take the glucose tolerance test. The night before the blood test, I am not allowed to eat or drink anything (not even water) between midnight and the screening time, which in my case in 8am. Thankfully they do their tests in the morning so you don’t have to fast all day. Then you will get several blood draws throughout a 3 hour time period. They do one fasting (before you drink the glucose drink), then they will do a blood draw at 1 hr after you finish the drink, 2 hrs after and 3 hrs after. Then you’re done and you get to wait for your results.

In my case, I start the diet tomorrow and my blood draw is Friday morning. I’ll most likely have to wait through the weekend and get my results back on Monday. Yay… another weekend of stressing.

What if your glucose tolerance test comes back positive?

I haven’t discussed this step with my OB yet as she doesn’t like to panic patients until something is really official. She probably realizes google does that enough so the less you know, the more sane the pregnant lady.

From what I’ve heard from other people, you’ll most likely start with a trip to the nutritionist to discuss diet plans and such. There are a lot of other ways doctors track your blood sugar throughout your pregnancy. Sometimes they’ll have you check your blood sugar on your own with a finger prick test a couple times a day. Sometimes you’ll have to take insulin shots. You may have increased appointments with your doctor for the remainder of the pregnancy to make sure you and baby are healthy. Each OB is different so their way they handle each case certainly varies.

I can guarantee that whatever happens, it doesn’t involve indulging in a sleeve of Sm’oreos or unlimited pasta bowls and breadsticks at Olive Garden. Those sound like they are off limits. I foresee a lot more meat and veggies in my diet either way.

What could gestational diabetes mean for you and your baby?

For many women, gestational diabetes is completely temporary and goes away after the baby is born. Many women who develop GD have a higher chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes later on in life.

When untreated, it can cause a terrible amount of problems later in pregnancy and post-birth like:

  • preeclamsia
  • premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or stillbirth
  • having a large baby during birth (more than 9 lbs); higher likelihood of c-section. Larger babies are also more likely to be obese or have diabetes later in life.
  • Baby could be born with breathing problems, low blood sugar and/or jaundice

So basically, that’s what I learned today. It’s a lot to take in and I seriously hope I don’t have to deal with all the management stuff associated with it. I just have to focus on getting through this test and getting my results a week from today. All the research was somewhat reassuring as I’m not alone and shouldn’t feel guilty (maybe a little guilty about that churro I had for lunch) about everything I’ve done up to this point. So until next week, I’m going to and not beat myself up about it too much.


3 thoughts on “Glucose Screening Results & What I Learned About Gestational Diabetes

  1. sparklemehappy says:

    I’m sorry sweetheart. Relax, your princess is fine and happy. Take care of yourself. Not all of the symptoms of gb will happen later in your baby’s life. Look at Jacob, he doesn’t have any of the gb symptoms and your Auntie Dawn lived through it just fine. ❀️ One day, one week at a time. Please don’t Google much, listen to your doctor. No family babies to date have ever had gd issues. I love you dearly, please don’t worry too much.

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