How to Pass Your Three-hour Glucose Test
Monday, December 31st, 2012
So, you “failed” your one-hour glucose test and now you have to do the dreaded three-hour test? Yeah, me too. I have had to do the three-hour test with two of my pregnancies and it stinks!
How to pass the test-
Oh man, I have asked myself this so many times but the truth is… there is no way to really make it so that you “pass,” unless you really don’t have gestational diabetes. Sure, you will find tips around the internet about what you could do that might help, but in all honesty trying to do something to get a false “passing” reading on this test is dangerous to your health and the health of your little baby too! It is important for the test results to be accurate, so that if there really is a medical issue your doctor will know and can treat you properly and watch for the safety of both of you.
What you should do-
Do exactly what your doctor tells you to do before this test; some of them want you to load up on carbs for a few days before the test, others want you to avoid sugar, almost all of them will want you to be fasting from midnight until the time of the test in order to make sure that your body is clear of everything.
What to expect-
At the very least you should expect to get to your doctor’s office with your tummy growling, only to be given another bottle of that yummy glucose syrup (seriously, it’s sugar… can’t they make it taste better?) which you will drink right after you have your first blood draw. You guzzle down the bottle of glucose and wait a whole hour without any food or drink, get another blood draw and repeat that same process for 3 full hours. Some offices have a room for you to go into and sit, it is important that you not overexert yourself between blood draws because it can change the way that your body processes the glucose. If your doctor wants you to sit, just sit.
Bring something to do because 3-hours is a really long time when you are starving and nauseated. Some doctors will offer some place for you to lie down while the time passes, you can always ask if that is an option, a nap is always nice. If you aren’t sure if they will offer you a room to lie down, you should bring some magazines, your computer, cards to play solitaire… anything that will occupy your time.
Another little bit of advice would be for you to have something to eat waiting for you in your car because the second that you are done you are going to want to eat. I took a bagel and left it on the front seat so that I could chow down as soon as I sat down to go home. Some crackers, cheese sticks, piece of fruit, anything that will give you some strength to get home. If you tend to get sick very easily or if sick feelings follow you through the day, you may want to ask your partner or a friend to go with you so that they can drive you home in case you are feeling too sick.
Odds of passing-
The truth about this test is that the 1-hour test is pretty easy to “fail” and many people do! They make the threshold low enough so that they catch anyone who could be having an issue, just in case. The levels on the 3-hour test are much more reasonable and easier to meet. Your odds of actually having gestational diabetes is very small, between 2 and 10%, so try to relax and just eat normally for the few days before your test (unless your doctor tells you otherwise) and think positively.
Good luck, and remember that taking the test honestly is the best policy. If you truly have gestational diabetes it will be ok and you will be glad that your doctor is there to make sure that you stay healthy for the next couple of months.