Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Surviving the Glucose Test {Dear Best Friend...}



"Dear Best Friend..." is a series of posts addressed to my friend who is expecting.

What I am about to tell you is something I wish someone told me when I was pregnant with my first baby! Your midwife will be talking with you about the glucose test soon, she may have mentioned it already. What I didn't know when pregnant with Baby E is that it entails drinking a toxic sugary drink that tastes like concentrated flat orange soda. Can you say "GAG!"?

Thankfully with Baby T, the second time around, I was 100% sure I didn't want to drink that thing and I would find an alternative. So I asked my midwife (you have to ask, otherwise they will not mention it) if I can avoid the test altogether or if there is another way. "Sure", she said, "here's a list of foods you can bring from home and eat at the test instead of gulping down the glucose." 

Really? Are you kidding me? Is it this easy? Why don't they tell this to all moms? Why do they make you drink this: 

GLUTOLE ingredients: Glucose syrup, maltodextrin, purified water, acidity control compound E330, preservative E211, cola aroma, foodstuff colour E150, and carbonic acid.

How can they be giving this to pregnant women? It's a toxic cocktail!

Aside from that, I thought about how odd it would be for my 5'2", under 100 lbs self to have gestational diabetes. Near impossible. The only way an underweight pregnant woman would have it is if she ate complete junk. Okay, off my soapbox and I may be wrong - just for the record. It would be a little  discriminating if the screening was recommended only to women who are overweight, right? 

So spare yourself the horror of drinking this chemical concoction and instead ask your midwife for the list. It will have several foods listed with the amount of glucose, in grams, that each one contains. You just add up a combination of what works best for you. Perhaps the only downside is that it takes a little more time to eat the foods you bring than to gulp down the toxic drink! 

Moms, what did you take for the glucose test? Anyone else try the alternative? Did your OB ever tell you there was another option?





26 comments:

  1. I delivered my older 2 with an ob and had to drink that terrible stuff. I delivered my third say home with a midwife, and she never used the glucose drink. In fact, I didn't even have to bring the to her, I just ate it at home before I came in. So thankful for her! Wish I'd been a little more knowledgeable when I had my older 2...

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    1. That's great! I wish it was more widespread among OBs and not just midwives to offer these choices :)

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  2. Pregnant with our first and I did my fair share of research on all the 'normal' testing they give you. This was one I strongly disagreed with. How can drinking some toxic, corn syrup filled substance be healthy for me or my child? I don't know about you but I don't drink pure sugar on a daily basis.
    My alternative was to go in an hour after I had eaten a normal lunch and get my blood drawn. The next time I had an appointment I made sure it was in the morning, I went in without eating all night and they compared the two results. It makes SO much more sense to be tested on something you are actually ingesting everyday, rather than a sugar-laden coma inducing beverage. Plus, from what I've read the glucose drink produces a lot of false positives in people.

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    1. I've read about false positives too. You're right, it does make so much more sense to be eating regular food - not something you've never had that's full of sugar.

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    2. Whether your overweight, thin or just healthy, while I agree this is an important test to take, I disagree strongly that drinking this is the right way to take the test.
      Taking this blood test while eating foods your body is used to just makes more sense, rather than drinking pure sugar.

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  3. Everyone talks about how gross the glucose dink is but I didn't think it was anything horrible. Not something I enjoyed but not disgusting either. At the hospital they had other flavors too. I had a lime one with my second pregnancy.

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    1. To each their own I guess. :) I don't even drink any soda ever because it tastes gross to me, so I guess it may depend on what your used to in your daily diet. I have a strong aversion to anything artificially flavored or sweetened.

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  4. I would like to point out that not only overweight women get gestational diabetes. Myself and 2 of my friends all had it. None of us are overweight and we all eat very healthy (thriving on salads, green smoothies, fresh cut veggies). Just because you have GD doesn't mean you eat only junk and are overweight.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Jenny! I did say "I may be wrong". :) You're mentioning green smoothies and I remembered an article I read recently that you might find interesting, something to look into: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-green-smoothies-can-devastate-your-health/

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  5. Also, I think the test is important for ALL women (no matter how you do it). The test can prevent harm to your baby and can be an indicator that something else is wrong in your body. For example, many underweight women who have GD have pancreas insufficiency that they may have been unaware of.

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    1. I agree, that's why I didn't refuse it, even though I could legally. I think many, many women get a false positive though, especially those that don't have most of the risk factors for GD. I'll quote this study "A false-positive rate of 57%": http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12798525

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  6. I was "allowed" to eat a certain number of jellybeans (different numbers depending on the brand, and I had 3 brands to choose from). In the practice I went to, the midwives were not allowed by the hospital to attend your delivery if you refused the glucose screening, so I agreed. But if I had to dump that much sugar in my system, I'd rather eat a couple handfuls of jellybeans than gag down that nasty syrup. I'd have much preferred real food, but the hospital I went to did not allow that as an option (why? you ask. Good question.), and my midwife had to fight for me to get the jellybeans ok'd.

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    1. Well, at least you got that. The jellybeans were on my list too, but thankfully there was also bread and banana - which is what I picked. At least jellybeans are not so gag inducing! :)

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  7. Not sure I agree that only overweight women would get GD. We eat super healthy, work out, and I weighed 100 before getting pregnant. They technically said I have GD with this pregnancy and the "lifestyle changes" the midwife suggested are things I already do/don't do and have been living this healthy lifestyle for over 4 years now.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Kassie. Like I said in the article "I may be wrong". But I have read a lot about false positives with this test too.

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  8. Gestational diabetes is the endocrine system's response to pregnancy. Overweight women have a higher risk for GD, but thin women are not risk free. Complications to both the mother and baby are extremely bad. Your comment that it is "near impossible" for you to be diagnosed because you are thin and healthy is incorrect and irresponsible. I know that you are not advocating skipping the screening, but your facts about who can get GD are just wrong.

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    1. I'm sorry, I never mentioned anything about thin women being risk free, I said "near impossible" not "completely impossible". I never mention the word 'facts' in the article, it's obviously an opinion and personal (not medical) advice piece. (FYI: my disclaimer always has been and always will be at the bottom of my blog, scroll down)

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  9. Where did you get your medical degree? My obstetrician's list of risk factors includes many, MANY factors other than one's weight. Pregnancy makes our bodies behave in ways it normally doesn't. That includes the function of the pancreas.

    Please check your facts before you attempt to dispense medical advice.

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    1. You have obviously missed my disclaimer at the bottom of my blog. Read it. I think it is common sense that there isn't just one deciding factor for gestational diabetes, obviously. I don't see why anyone would think otherwise and I never said that in my post. It's funny that most of the posts from people who like to think they are the smartest are always conveniently anonymous lol :)

      I said "Okay, off my soapbox and I may be wrong - just for the record." How is that 'dispensing medical advice'? Again, read my disclaimer - I never claim ANYWHERE that I am a doctor and I never ask anyone to take my advice in place of a health professional, FYI.

      Thanks for your anonymous comment!

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  10. Oh, if only it was just about how much you weigh. In reality it's about genetics. Some people are just more genetically prone to developing gestational diabetes.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Laurie! You're right, genetics does also play a huge role, thanks for mentioning :)

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  11. Would have loved to know this! I sadly had to go through the drink with both my children, even having a midwife the second time instead of an OB. It was lemon lime flavored but still not fun when already dealing with pregnancy nausea!

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    1. Yep, with my first it wasn't fun and I thought it was 'mandatory', didn't question it. But at least now I have the experience and I know what women go through. I always mention the alternatives to pregnant women when the subject arises.

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  12. With my first two kids i never questioned a lot of things, yes i had to drink it and it was disgusting. With my third baby i did all the research and midwife did give me options, i chose the one where i didn't have to eat in the morning, and i was in and out when they took my blood, that's the way it should be.

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    1. I don't understand why they don't just do this with all women? Weird, huh? Glad you didn't have to go through with that the third time around! :)

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  13. I'm about to tell my midwife that I do not want to take the toxic cocktail...I have a feeling they will drop me as a patient so I am researching other options...they look slim. Hope I am so luck as to finding someone I am comfortable with!

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