The Significance of the Glucose Tolerance Test

Doctor taking blood sample. Diabetes test.

While certainly not the worst type of medical test that you may have to take, many women dread the glucose tolerance test. This test, typically administered between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy, is a way for your physician to detect gestational diabetes before it produces severe consequences in your own body and to your growing baby. The glucose test serves a significant role in your pregnancy because it measures how your body is processing sugar.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a medical condition in pregnancy in which the body has difficulty processing glucose (sugar). This condition typically appears in the third trimester, but it can start in the second trimester. Women who have experienced gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy are exponentially more likely to develop this condition in subsequent pregnancies. It simply means that the extra demands of carrying a baby and supplying the growing baby with nutrients have put a strain on your body. Gestational diabetes occurs when the pancreas has trouble producing the necessary insulin levels to regulate your blood sugar levels. The glucose tolerance test is critical since not all women experience noticeable signs of gestational diabetes.

Reducing Your Risk

Not all women can control the onset of gestational diabetes. There is simply no way of knowing how a woman’s body will respond to pregnancy until she becomes pregnant. However, if you are planning to get pregnant and want to lower your risk for gestational diabetes, it is essential to establish a healthy lifestyle now. A diet low in sugar and processed foods is key. Also, drinking plenty of water, getting moderate exercise at least five times a week, and getting proper amounts of sleep will go a long way in helping your body prepare for the demands of pregnancy. Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and prediabetes are all major risk factors of gestational diabetes.

At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A., we offer compassionate and complete care during your pregnancy. Contact us today to schedule your next prenatal appointment.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Carlos Alarcon, Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.