In order to diagnose you with gestational diabetes, your doctor will order a test from the lab. There are two levels of the test that can be taken – the one hour glucose tolerance test and the three hour glucose tolerance test.
The one hour test involves taking a blood sample after you have fasted and then drinking a beverage high in glucose and testing your blood again one hour later. With the three hour version, you proceed the same except the drink has a higher concentration of sugar and your blood is tested each hour for three hours instead of one. The purpose of these tests is to see how your body reacts to and process the large amount of sugar in the drinks.
The American Diabetes Association lists the following blood glucose levels that would indicate gestational diabetes is present:
- Fasting 95 mg/dl or higher * One hour 180 mg/dl or higher * Two hours 155 mg/dl or higher * Three hours 140 mg/dl or higher If any two of the above readings come back in the ranges indicated you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Once you have been diagnosed, you doctor will provide you with the blood glucose guidelines that should be maintained for the optimal health of you and your baby. They are:
- First thing in the morning – below 95 mg/dl * One hour after a meal – below 140 mg/dl * Two hours after a meal – below 120 mg/dl There will be occasions when your blood sugar reading is higher than the recommended range. In that case, adjust your next meal. If you had planned on having a meal that was higher in carbohydrates it should be changed so that there is more protein. Protein helps to lower your blood sugar and carbohydrates convert to sugar raising your glucose levels.