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Check Yourself (For Gestational Diabetes) Before You Wreck Yourself

By Monica Bielanko |

We’ve all slugged the lemon lime or orange flavored glucose, right? You know the drink. The one the doctor’s assistant hands you a month in advance?

“Drink this one hour before your next appointment.” She tells you. “Can I pee after drinking this one?” I asked, mixing up the no peeing before the ultrasound with the no eating before drinking the glucose rule.

I don’t know about you, but anytime anyone tells me I can’t pee, I immediately have to pee buckets.

So the glucose drink crouched in my refrigerator door for a month, giving me the stink eye, reminding me that I had to slug it down before going to my next doctor’s appointment. It really isn’t that gross, unless you’re still battling morning sickness and then it may be the worst thing you drink all day.

But for Godsakes, it’ll be fine! If this is your first rodeo, don’t fret. It ain’t no thing. Most health care practitioners routinely recommend a glucose screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes.

When you get to the doctor’s office someone will draw your blood to check your blood sugar level to see how well your body is processing sugar. If the result is too high you’ll have to go back to the doctor to see if you have gestational diabetes.

Sounds scary but it’s not! Really. If you do have gestational diabetes you can work with your doctor to come up with a plan to manage your condition. It should only last as long as your pregnancy although a small number of women have it for a couple weeks after delivery.

Between 2 and 5 percent of expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes, making it one of the most common health problems during pregnancy. And because the condition rarely causes any symptoms, testing is the only way to find out if you have it. But a new study finds one in three women aren’t even screened for gestational diabetes.

The study, reported in this week’s Obstetrics & Gynecology, shows that recent research indicates a baby is at higher risk for health problems — premature birth and birth defects, among other issues — if its mother has diabetes during the prenatal period. Gestational diabetes also increases the chances a mother-to-be will have pre-eclampsia, a blood pressure condition that can be life-threatening to both mother and child, says study author Jon Nakamoto, medical director for Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute.

Researchers also found that 19% of women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes were not screened for diabetes in the six months after giving birth. This is concerning because, as Nakamoto says, as many as half of women with gestational diabetes will go on to develop diabetes long-term.

All this fancy science talky-talk is my way of saying check yourself before you wreck yourself. Or something like that. Just DRINK YOUR GLUCOSE, ladies, is what I’m saying. It just tastes like flat Sprite and then get your blood checked. You can possibly save yourself and your baby a lot of trouble if you get diagnosed and deal with the condition properly.

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About Monica Bielanko


Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “Check Yourself (For Gestational Diabetes) Before You Wreck Yourself

  1. Christine says:

    I’d like to add that the last time I was getting whatever umpteenth round of blood drawn, the phlebotomist warned me that not all doctors tell you to do a complete 12 hour fast before the glucose test, but that she has seen it make a huge difference in the results. I’d rather get it over with in one appointment!

  2. Nakia says:

    I wanted to take it, but my needle phobia made it impossible. It took several tries in two visits to get my initial blood work done. There’s no way I could have made it through several blood draws in a single day.

  3. MaryLynn says:

    The Diabetes drug makers take in 10 billion$$$$ every year with no cure!!

    Food Chemicals are the cause of the diabetes and obesity crisis

    The FDA, ADA and Drug makers know this and are laughing to the Billionaire$$$ bank!

    The food chemicals break the gut(insulin) and this is the cause of the diabetes and obesity crisis

    A filmmaker has been reversing diabetes and Obesity in now 10 countries and the drug makers do not promote the story

    just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

  4. Jessica says:

    There is a lot of legitimate debate surrounding GD, how prevalent it actually is, and what the health implications are. If the greatest risk of GD is macrosomia (itself not necessarily indicative of anything wrong with mother or baby, as many babies are born above 4000 grams and are perfectly healthy), and 80% of “large babies” are born to women who screen negative for GD, what is all this managed care for, exactly? Being “positive” for GD increases your chances of being prematurely induced (which has much riskier health implications) or ending up with a C-section. I advise all pregnant women to understand the methodology behind a GD diagnosis before electing to be screened.

  5. danniezhuo says:

    I am very interested in the way you said, I will try to make their own, what you said to me a lot. Have time to look at my store, thank you!

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