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March 23, 2007

Gestational Diabetes

Question from Calhoun, Georgia, USA:

My OB/GYN is sending me for a second blood sugar test that requires fasting after midnight the night before the test. I have checked my glucose levels daily and always get readings between 90 mg/dl [5.0 mmol/L] and 113 mg/dl [6.3 mmol/L]. The week of the first test was as following: Tuesday 3 a.m. to 3 p.m., I had stomach virus symptoms for over 12 hours (vomiting and diarrhea). I started drinking Pedialyte Tuesday evening and was able to hold it down, but the diarrhea continued. On Wednesday, I become very dehydrated and was even disoriented from time to time. On Thursday morning, I was able to keep my already scheduled doctor's visit for the blood sugar test. I explained to the nurses and doctor my current situation, but no one expressed any concerns with it affecting the outcome of the test. I am currently 28 weeks pregnant and am concerned that maybe the test was indeed affected by my recent sickness. Is this possible and was it wise to complete the test so recently after such a draining sickness? My second test is scheduled this week, which will be a week after the stomach virus. Will I be good to go ahead with the screening?

Answer:

The initial glucose test is a screening examination. You can take it whether you are fasting or not. Your illness was essentially a prolonged fast although it may have been better to take the test when you were feeling better. The fact that you are taking the three-hour test suggests that the first test results showed an elevated blood glucose. The three-hour test is a diagnostic one. If you are back to eating normally, then this second test should give an accurate reading.

OWJ