How to Pass Your Three-Hour Glucose Test

glucose test
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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 what to do 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, and 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 three 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.

Planning ahead.

Bring something to do because three 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, a 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 one-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 three-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.

What do you think?

How to Pass Your Three-Hour Glucose Test

Sarah Vickers is a happily married, stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of 2 young boys. She is also a gestational surrogate to 4-year-old twin girls and is currently pregnant with a traditional surrogate baby girl who is due to arrive sometime in March of 2013. Sarah is addicted to all things pregnancy-related. She has spent the last several years studying pregnancy,birth, Invitro-fertilization and is also a certified Doula. Sarah also runs a personal blog called Moose and Tater- her sons' nickn ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Mallorie Mallorie says:

    I wasn’t even given the option for the 3 hour. My 1hr was 189 so they made me GD nutrition classes and take my glucose. I wish they would have given me the three hour.

  2. Profile photo of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    I did not go through this test. Only HBA1c test. Results were normal and were both fine.

  3. I asked if I could drink water and was told no. I was also told I could not leave the waiting area thus I wasn’t able to go for a walk or get fresh air. I was able to go pee though. So I did have to sit idly but that’s normally what I do as I have a desk job. I failed the test and have to test my blood sugar 4xs a day.

  4. Profile photo of Sarah Sarah says:

    That is exactly what this article is about… not cheating the test.

    Excerpt from above-
    "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."

  5. Profile photo of ERG ERG says:

    This article is ridiculous – especially given the title.
    You certainly do not want to "cheat" and want to deal with having gestational diabetes correctly if you have it – but here is some advice I would give:
    do what you normally do after eating. if you normally go for a walk – go for a walk. if you normally drink lots of water and go pee lots – go do that. if you normally sit still in a lab waiting room for three hours – then do that. they need a REALISTIC idea of how much sugar is staying in your blood after you have a bunch of glucose ingested.
    I normally drink a bunch of water through out the day, and I also getup from my desk to go to other people’s desks – on different floors, and also since i’m drinking so much – I go pee too. So the first time I took these tests (first kid), I sat on my butt for 3 hours and did nothing, and had borderline high results, and had to start pricking my finger after every meal. Now with kid #2, when I took the test after drinking water, walking up on average 3 flights of stairs in one hour, and going pee once an hour – my results were well below the warning limits.
    If you really have gestational diabetes – by all means you need to address it – but if you are borderline – which are probably most of the people reading this article – you should do what you normally would do in a 3 hours period after eating so that you don’t get skewed results showing.

    I asked if I could drink water – and yes you can drink water. i asked if I could go pee – and yes you can go pee. they even told me that i could go outside and get fresh air – which I did since that syrup they make you drink is so sweet it can make you a bit queasy. but to title an article "How to Pass Your Three-hour Glucose Test" and then not even inform people that you should drink water, and move around a bit and go pee – you gotta wonder… When I was living with gestational diabetes, the first thing I was told to do was ALWAYS go for a walk after eating – because that DOES help get the sugar out of your blood stream. some nice little tid-bits like this are just nice to know if someone is going to take the time to read this article. not just sit completely still and maybe take a nap if you can!?! (well unless that is what you normally do after eating)

    • Profile photo of Emily Emily says:

      If someone knows they have GD and go for a walk after every meal to help control their diabetes, then that’s great. If they think they don’t have it, and they decide to be lazy and not walk, your advice could hurt them and their baby. You knew what would lower your blood sugar if you had it, so you cheated to pass. You put you and your baby at risk. And you probably had sleepless nights when you wondered if it wouldn’t have been better to be testing your blood sugar so you could KNOW. And no, not every office will let you drink water, or go outside, most will say you can pee and that’s it. My first time, they required I don’t move. My second time, they let me drink but minimal movement. My third time, drinking, but minimal movement. So saying someone should be able to run up and down stairs is stupid, they’re not going to let you do that unless you’re a cheater.


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