Glucose Challenge Test

1 What is a Glucose Challenge Test?

A test that measures your body’s response to glucose or sugar that is done during pregnancy is called glucose challenge test.

This test is done for the screening of gestational diabetes which is diabetes that develops during pregnancy and this is done in two steps.

Your doctor will ask you to drink a sugary solution first then an hour later he will measure your blood sugar level.

You will need to have further testing to determine the diagnosis if the results are above normal.

2 Reasons for Procedure

The main reason for glucose challenge test is to detect gestational diabetes between 24th to 28th weeks of pregnancy.

If you are at high risk for gestational diabetes due to obesity, a family history of diabetes, personal history o gestational diabetes or other factors you can do this test as early as your first prenatal visit.

Rather than gestational diabetes, you may have pre-existing type 2 diabetes that was not previously recognized if you have abnormal results early in pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes can lead to various pregnancy complications such as excess fetal growth or preeclampsia that can increase the risk of C-section delivery or birth injuries if there is no careful management, but in most cases women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies.

3 Potential Risks

Most women don’t have side effects or complications after glucose challenge test.

But there are few potential risks, some may feel, sweaty, nausea, light-headed after this test.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

In preparing for your glucose challenge test, you can normally drink and eat.

5 What to Expect

Here you can find out what to expect from your glucose challenge test.

This test is done in two steps. Your doctor will ask you to drink about 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of a syrupy glucose solution that contains 1.8 ounces or 50 grams of sugar.

You will then wait to be tested and then after an hour your doctor or a nurse will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, this will be used to measure your blood sugar level.

You can return to your normal activities after the glucose challenge test.

6 Procedure Results

The results of a glucose challenge test are given in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L).

A blood sugar level of 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) or higher may indicate gestational diabetes.

A blood sugar level below 140 mg/dL ( 7.8 mmol/L) is considered normal. Some laboratory or clinics use a lower threshold of 130 mg/dL (7.2 mmol/L) when screening for gestational diabetes.

Your doctor will do another test such as glucose tolerance test if the result indicates the possibility of gestational diabetes.