The glucose test is required of every pregnant woman to take under standard prenatal care. The test is given around week 26-28 of pregnancy. The glucose test is given to determine if a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes.
2-5% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. It is important to prevent gestational diabetes as it can lead to complications in the mother and baby. A woman with gestational diabetes is more likely to have a larger than normal baby and the baby has an increased risk of developing hypoglycemia after birth. If a woman develops gestational diabetes, she is more likely to get type 2 diabetes after her pregnancy. This happened with someone close to me.
What is the test?
The initial test, or the Glucose Challenge Screening, consists of a pregnant woman drinking 100 grams of glucose within 5 minutes, fasting for one hour and getting her blood drawn at the end of the hour. The test determines how your body processes sugar. If the test is positive, the woman will need to take Glucose Tolerance Test. With the secondary test, you will have to fast prior to the test, drink a larger volume of liquid and get your blood drawn before and after drinking the glucose drink multiple times.
I am going to outline my strategies for passing the initial Glucose Challenge Screening. This is what has worked for me and I hope it will help you too!
Eat a High Fat Diet
Eating a high fat diet on a regular basis will help you to balance your blood sugar and crave less carbohydrates. I have eaten a high fat diet for many years now (especially saturated fat), which has helped me to overcome many health problems. Read about my story here.
Stay Away from Sweets!
It is okay to eat dessert or sweets on occasion, but don’t make it a habit. It is best to eat balanced meals 3 times a day. If you are craving something sweet, ask yourself if you ate enough fat and protein first. Try to eat something that will satiate you more. You will find that when you eat a higher saturated fat diet, you will crave sweets much less.
Eat a Balanced Diet Throughout Pregnancy
I normally start the day out with a tall glass of grass fed raw milk with 2-3 eggs cooked in lots of grass fed butter. Lunch and dinner can vary for me, but I typically eat some sort of grass fed meat or wild caught fish cooked in fat with vegetables and a starch both cooked in fat. Try some of my higher fat meals and snacks like heart tacos, paleo shrimp bisque, beef pad thai, zucchini chips and paleo chocolate avocado pudding.
Eat a Balanced Meal Before the Test
I did my best to eat a balanced dinner the night before my test. Although I struggled a little since I was traveling from the west coast back to the east coast the night before. In the middle of my flight is when I would have normally eaten dinner and they were only serving unhealthy sandwiches. I brought on snacks to eat on the plane and ate a filling lunch before.
On the day of the test, I ate a balanced breakfast. I had my normal glass of raw milk and cooked 2 eggs in butter. I also took a tablespoon of cod liver oil and 1/2 tsp of butter oil. My blood sugar felt pretty balanced after doing this.
Drink Whole Raw Milk, Yogurt or Kefir up until the Test
I drank grass fed whole raw milk in my thermos up until I had to drink the glucose drink. After that, you cannot eat or drink anything else. However, my blood sugar felt great at that point. I find that raw milk balances my blood sugar well and leaves me craving nothing most times. If you can’t tolerate dairy, try to eat something high in fat and protein up until you have to take the test like soaked nuts.
Alternatives to Glucose Drink:
The best alternative that I know of to the glucose test is pricking your finger to test your blood sugar. This is a more accurate way of measuring your blood sugar levels. It measures your blood sugar many times over a period of time. The glucose test only measures your blood sugar one time one hour after drinking a sugary drink. Talk to you doctor about this to see if it is an option for you.
I have also heard of midwives allowing their patients to eat organic jelly beans or other more natural sugary options in place of the glucose drink. This was not an option at my doctor’s practice. However, this runs into a similar problem as drinking the glucose drink. You are eating something very high in glucose all at once and therefore it has the potential to spike your blood sugar high just like the drink. If at all possible, try pricking your finger as an alternative. It is a much superior way of testing your blood sugar.
I opted not to prick my finger because my doctor said I would have to prick my finger four times a day for 2 weeks straight! I wasn’t sure if I was up to this and I wasn’t sure if I would have to check my bag on the plane to bring a glucose testing meter with me. I know, I’m making excuses, but I had confidence that I would be able to pass the glucola test with my strategies. I also didn’t think the drink was going to be harmful to me since I was only drinking it one time and it wasn’t that different than me drinking one conventional soda.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. What did you do in your pregnancies? What would you do if you had to take this test?