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Blood glucose screening and blood glucose testing in pregnant women

Blood glucose screening and blood glucose testing in pregnant women

Most specialists recommend screening for blood glucose levels throughout pregnancy and especially during the last trimester. Also, a glucose tolerance test (blood glucose level) can be carried out, between weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy, in order to be able to exclude the onset of gestational diabetes, a condition quite common in pregnant women.

Gestational diabetes is a metabolic disease in which high blood sugar (high blood sugar) levels can be revealed in a previously healthy pregnancy. The condition is reversible with the birth, the mother being able to restore the proper metabolic balance and thus a normal glucose level.

Like any test used for screening, fasting blood glucose (in the morning on unmanaged) cannot establish a diagnosis of certainty, further testing is required to confirm it.

Only one-third of pregnant women with modified tests actually have gestational diabetes. In order to confirm the diagnosis of gestational diabetes, it is necessary to perform a glucose tolerance test (blood glucose).

Between 2% and 5% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes at one time, so the disease is one of the most common health problems in pregnancy. Due to the fact that gestational diabetes is most often asymptomatic, screening remains the only useful option in its detection.

Glycemia screening is usually performed between 24-28 pregnancy shifts, but if the doctor considers pregnant as part of a risk category or the routine urine summary shows glucose (the presence of sugar in the urine), glucose tolerance test ( Glycemia caused) can be performed before the gestational age of 24 weeks.

Women diagnosed with diabetes before pregnancy should also be closely monitored throughout the pregnancy because the disease can be compensated after the 24th week of pregnancy.

A monthly diabetes consultation is required, as the specialist doctor can thus accurately determine the evolution of the disease and the appropriate treatment to avoid serious complications of the disease.

How is the glucose tolerance test performed?

Glycemia or glucose tolerance test is recommended for all pregnant women at high risk of developing gestational diabetes.

The pregnant woman should swallow in the morning on an empty stomach, a glucose solution (75 g glucose powder dissolved in a cup of water). After one hour, a blood sample will be collected (one test tube is sufficient), which will be analyzed to evaluate the amount of glucose in it. Two hours after glucose ingestion, a third blood collection is performed.

The blood glucose test has abnormal values ​​in over 15-23% of the pregnant women who do the test, but not all of them have gestational diabetes. For this reason, additional tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Side effects

A small portion of pregnant women who undergo a glucose tolerance test may develop some mild symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, pregnant women who shed immediately after swallowing the glucose solution must repeat the test the other day, the current test becoming irrelevant.

It is recommended that pregnant women with first trimester pregnancy (nausea, vomiting), eat a little before the test a few hours, so as to reduce the risk of vomiting when ingested glucose.

Pregnant women who carry out a glucose tolerance test of more than 3 hours (the one that confirms gestational diabetes) can also develop nausea and vomiting due to the high concentration of ingested glucose.

Results of glucose tolerance test

Normal blood sugar levels are between 70 and 120 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg / dL). Some specialists accept higher values ​​of up to 130-140 mg / dL, a value at which glucose tolerance test is recommended for confirmation or rejection of diabetes.

A blood glucose value of between 140-200 mg / dL, after glucose ingestion (induced glucose), is defined as an alteration of glucose tolerance and requires additional testing (3 hour induced glucose) to confirm the diagnosis. A value greater than 200mg / dL of glucose after the glucose tolerance test confirms the diagnosis of gestational diabetes, and no further investigation is necessary for this purpose.

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