Well, a bit bummed to…

Well, a bit bummed to find that my glucose levels tested high, so I do have to go in for the more serious test. I think I'll do it tomorrow -- it involves waking up early, not eating anything, going in and drinking a super-sugary drink, and then having them draw blood from me intermittently for about three hours. At the end of which, I'm allowed to eat again. I expect to have a cranky, hungry, dizzy Saturday morning. Grumble.

On the plus side, only 15% of those who take this test do end up diagnosed with gestational diabetes. So fingers crossed, although Kev says he suspects I have it, just based on how quickly I crash with tiredness sometimes, and how desperately I need food on occasion. And I have three risk factors: older than 30, family history of diabetes, and overweight. It wouldn't surprise me if I have it. According to the Mayo Clinic book, about 3-5% of pregnant women in the US develop g.d., so it's not so unlikely.

Why is g.d bad? "The major risk for babies of women with gestational diabetes is excessive weight at birth (macrosomia)....These large babies are at greater risk of birth injury than are others. Other problems that may develop as a result of gestational diabetes include low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in the baby shortly after birth, jaundice, and respiratory distress syndrome.....If g.d. goes undetected, the baby has an increased risk of stillbirth or death as a newborn. But when the problem is properly diagnosed and managed, your baby is at no greater risk than is a baby whose mother doesn't have gestational diabetes." (Mayo Clinic Guide)

So, okay, clearly worth doing the test and finding out, even though the test is a pain and the disease itself causes me no symptoms at all. If diagnosed with g.d., then carefully monitored diet, regular exercise, and pricking my finger a lot (first thing in the morning, and after every meal) will be my lot in life for the next three months. If that doesn't work well enough to control my glucose levels, insulin shots. A nuisance, and you can expect to hear me whining if it happens, but really, not such a big deal as pregnancy complications go. They do tend to want to have the baby born a bit earlier, to reduce the risk of those birth injury complications, so C-sections become more common in these cases.

More of an issue is that about half the women with g.d. eventually develop regular diabetes. Sigh. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that tomorrow's test comes back negative.

4 thoughts on “Well, a bit bummed to…”

  1. Good luck with the test, Mary Anne. The odds really are in your favor and depending on what you ate before the first test it could have elevated your glucose levels just enough to be a concern. I’m sorry you have to go through the longer test, though. Not fun on a Saturday morning.


    P.S. I have heard that if you get a choice of flavors that the orange is the least offensive.

  2. The test itself is not really that bad. And, gd is quite prevalent among Asians so doctors are pretty used to handling gd patients during pregnancy. My Chinese friend (who is all of 100 pounds) just had a baby and had gd….she said the monitoring and insulin and all that is easily manageable — it was reassuring to see her be so calm and relaxed about it. Good luck anyway!

  3. My sister-in-law had gd, twice. Her first baby was born a month early at 10 lbs, but very healthy and strong. Quite a kid. (She was very, very overweight to begin with, though, so that’s probably not going to happen with you.) Her second child also came early, but had a more normal 5.5 lb birth weight ( a little light).

    Hopefully you won’t have to go through it, but the doctors are very good are working with it.


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