Healthcare: What are the Alternatives for Glucose Test During Pregnancy

A glucola test or the glucose tolerance test in pregnancy also called the oral glucose challenge test is a prenatal test give to women around 24 to 28 weeks pregnant. This test is provided as a preliminary screening to know if a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes. Women who have resulted in positive to this challenge will be asked to take the oral glucose test. 

However, some women ask if there is an alternative to the 3-hour glucose test. Well, yes. There are alternatives to glucose tests during pregnancy. The traditional pregnancy glucose test uses the syrupy orange or grape drink but there are side effects of the pregnancy glucose test and there are also calories in the glucose drink which is quite bad for pregnant women. 

Why do we do a test for gestational diabetes?

It is important for pregnant women to know if they have or they do not have blood sugar issues or gestational diabetes and amniotic fluid because they can increase the rate of birth complications. Gestational diabetes is a type of glucose intolerance when you are pregnant which can resolve itself after childbirth. However, pregnant women should always watch for their glucose tolerance and have a good gestational diabetes diet.

Oral glucose challenge test 

The test involves drinking the glucola drink with 50 grams of glucose and then blood is drawn one hour later.  

Alternatives to glucose test during pregnancy

Some doctors say that there are no alternatives to the glucose test during pregnancy or there are no alternatives to the 3-hour glucose test. OBs and midwives also say that these alternatives should not be an alternative because the values of the test are found on the glucola drink. On the other hand, these alternatives show same results among studies. Many pregnant women may have hesitations but if you don’t want to take the standardized glucose test for your body, you may look up to these alternatives and talk to your doctor. Here are some alternatives to the glucola drink. 

Jelly beans

How many jelly beans for glucose test? Well, 28 pieces of jelly beans have the same amount of glucose as the glucola drink. Based on a study from the year 1999, there were no differences found between the jelly beans and glucola drink and pregnant women showed fewer side effects when they took jelly beans which proved the effectiveness of jelly beans as an alternative. There are organic jelly beans and jelly beans with natural coloring which you can use as an alternative. 

50 grams of sugar from other drinks/foods

Some doctors will let you consume a meal that they approved as one of the alternatives to the glucose test during pregnancy. It can be juice, pancakes with maple syrup or a soda. This varies based on what the doctors approved. 

Two-week food diary and blood sugar test

One of the rising alternatives to glucose test during pregnancy is that patients keep a food diary for two weeks then their blood sugar is tested using diabetes test strips when they woke up two hours after each meal. There are pregnant women who actually enjoy this alternative test because they find it interesting to look at the result themselves while some still find this alternative a nuisance for they need to watch it themselves.

Clearglucola drink

There are pregnant women who have said that their doctors push them back regarding the alternatives to the glucose test during pregnancy and they prefer to screen for gestational diabetes using the glucola drink. Well, what pregnant women don’t know is that there is a clear glucola drink that does not have food dye and coloring included. This is more preferred by women and it makes them more comfortable to take the drink. 

So, gestational diabetes can be a stressful and unwelcomed diagnosis among pregnant women. Thus, it is important to learn about this and educate yourself with the risk factors and tests for gestational diabetes. You also need to dig deep on the alternatives and discuss any questions as well as concerns to your doctor to make the best decision for you and your baby so you will not regret it on the latter. 

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