Gestational diabetes is one of the most common pregnancy-related complications among pregnant women worldwide. When a woman without diabetes, develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, the condition is known as Gestational Diabetes. Pre-existing undiagnosed diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is known as type 2 DM or diabetes in pregnancy. Usually, gestational diabetes resolves when the antenatal period comes to an end. If it persists beyond the postpartum 6 weeks, it becomes type 2 DM.
Eating Habits Prior To Gestational Diabetes Test
During The Antenatal Period
During the antenatal period, the pregnant woman in screened for diabetes at different periods of gestation. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), is a diagnostic test for gestational diabetes. This is performed at the POA of 28 weeks in a previously healthy pregnant woman. If she has a past history of gestational diabetes during one of her previous pregnancies, she is tested with OGTT at the booking visit. It is valuable for a pregnant woman to know what to eat before a gestational diabetes test.
The woman is expected to keep fasting for 10 hours before the test. She must not consume any solid, semisolid food or liquids other than sips of water during this period. Three blood samples are drawn from the woman. The first sample is to measure the fasting blood sugar level of the woman. Then the woman is offered a glass containing 75 g of glucose dissolved in 8 ounces of water to drink within 5-10 minutes. Then the second sample of blood is drawn at 1 hour after the glucose drink. The last or the 3rd sample is taken at 2 hours after the glucose drink. These two samples will test the blood glucose levels of 1 and 2 hours after a glucose-rich meal. If the values are above the standard value, she will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
What To Eat Before A Gestational Diabetes Test
What to eat before a gestational diabetes test is a commonly raised question by pregnant women because most of the clinicians explain about the above-mentioned procedure only. As every pregnant woman’s ultimate wish is to have a healthy baby, they are always worried about good food habits before a gestational diabetes test. It has been researched and found out that the diet 3 days prior to the test day can directly affect the test results and will reduce the number of false positive tests.
- The woman is advised to have three healthy meals from three days before the test appointment. It is said that the test results will be more reliable if the woman consumes a reasonable amount of carbohydrates on these three days, at least 10 serves (150 grams) of carbohydrates per day. Because the OGTT also known as a 3-hour glucose test checks the ability of the body to deal with carbohydrates. It should be equally distributed throughout the day, and most women are found to be consuming carbohydrates more than this amount on their normal diet days.
- Bread, brown rice, white rice, potatoes, corn, peas, etc. are foods that are rich in carbohydrates.
- Among vegetables, sweet potatoes, beetroot, and carrots are preferred as they contain relatively high amounts of carbohydrates. And at the same time, it is important to have the usual amounts of milk, meat, fish, eggs, cheese, butter, etc. in their diet.
- Foods like whole grain wheat flour, buckwheat, barley, and oats also contain high carbohydrate levels. Plant-based proteins like legumes, beans, chickpeas are preferred among carbohydrate-rich food by some women. Kidney beans, lentils, quinoa are some other foods with high carbohydrate levels. It is advised not to skip any meals on these three days.
Some women find it difficult to consume this type of food throughout the day. In those cases, they can consume extra fruit juice or biscuits in between these meals as snacks. Banana, blueberries, oranges, pineapple, peaches, and apples are some of the fruits rich in carbohydrates. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts are also recommended carbohydrate-rich types of nuts which are suitable for consumption on these 3 days prior to the test.
It has been found out that there is no harm in consuming chia seeds, pumpkin seeds. Biscuits, cakes, ice creams, artificial fruit juices, and chocolates also contain very high amounts of calories, and they should be added to the daily carbohydrate intake with caution. Because excess intake can result in raising the blood sugar levels drastically. Eating dairy products like milk, yogurt is also recommended which is to be included in this 150 grams of carbohydrate per day.
Can Sugar Be Eaten Before the Glucose test?
Eating sugar day before the 3-hour glucose test is considered alright if it is before the 10 hours of fasting. When the fasting period starts no food should be consumed. To have a normal result in OGTT and pass the test, the woman needs to maintain her diet as a balanced one, not exceeding the carbohydrate level more than 150 grams throughout her antenatal period. When the woman has a clear idea about what to eat before a gestational diabetes test and follows the above-mentioned instructions, the reliability of the test can be maintained at a higher level. This remains valuable in carrying out a comprehensive antenatal care programme all over the world.
Dr. Chauturi is an experienced writer specializing in English language and Medical Sciences, and degree holder in Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at University of Sri Jayewardenepura currently awaiting her internship.