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September 20, 2003

Gestational Diabetes

Question from Fort Worth, Texas, USA:

I am 28 years old, I have a history of PCOS, and I am currently 28 weeks into my pregnancy. Yesterday I took a one-hour glucose test and the nurse called to tell me that my level was were a bit high. She told me that a cutoff for blood sugar is 140 mg/dl [7.8 mmol/L], and mine was 146 mg/dl [8.1 mmol/L]. I am going next week for a three-hour glucose tolerance test. What are these numbers about? Is there a good chance I could have gestational diabetes? What should my blood sugar be after I eat? My husband has diabetes and a monitor that I can use. Is there a good chance I could have gestational diabetes?

Answer:

With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, it is very likely that you have some degree of insulin resistance. Pregnancy also causes insulin resistance and can result in hyperglycemia (gestational diabetes).

The value on your one hour glucose screen was elevated, but is not diagnostic of gestational diabetes. To confirm or rule out gestational diabetes, you must take the three hour glucose tolerance test and start the test after you have fasted overnight. After a typical meal your blood sugar value should be less than 130 mg/dl [7.2 mmol/L] at one hour or less than 120 mg/dl [6.7 mmol/L] two hours after eating.

OWJ