Preparing for the 3 Hour Glucose Test During Pregnancy...

Updated on September 13, 2013
A.C. asks from Wichita, KS
16 answers

Hello, Moms! I am expecting baby number 3 in November and recently found out that I did not pass my 1 hour glucose test. My test results show 156, and I believe the cut off was around 132 (and no, I really don't have much of a clue as to what that all means other than the fact that I am over).

I did not have this problem with my first 2 children. I passed the 1 hour test with no problem on each of them.

Just some background on me, I do LOVE sugar and sugary foods. I always have. I do try to eat them in moderation, but my diet mostly consists of items that can be really high in carbs (pastas, breads, fruits, etc.). I don't eat a lot of veggies or meats. I eat tons of dairy (cheese is good for a low carb diet, but milk is not so good for a low carb diet!). I do take my vitamins on a regular basis to help fill any gaps.

So, back to the 1 hour test. I had that test a couple of weeks ago, first thing in the morning. Fasting was not required, but I chose to go in and do the 1 hour test prior to eating breakfast, because I thought it would be more accurate, and I didn't want to end up with a false positive. I DID have a few bites of ice cream the night before, when our family got Dairy Queen as a special treat, but surely a few bites the night before wouldn't have given a false positive, right? I have read that sometimes blood sugar can be all out of whack first thing in the morning. Could that have contributed to my results?

As I say these things, I do realize that I COULD have gestational diabetes this time around. I don't mean to assume that I don't, I'm just surprised since it wasn't a problem with my first two kiddos. This baby is a normal size, and I have actually gained less pregnancy weight with this baby than I did with either of my other two pregnancies at this stage. I am in good health and have an appropriate BMI for my height. So, as of right now, I'm not worried about a big baby (which is I know is a biggie for some situations of gestational diabetes). Also, just to clarify, I do realize that gestational diabetes is not just about a big's about the way my body is processing the sugar. I understand the health risks, and I take that seriously.

On to my question...I am scheduled to go in for my 3 hour glucose test on Saturday. I am supposed to fast for at least 8 hours prior to the test, and my sleep time can be a part of that. So, my plan is to go in first thing in the morning. What I am wondering is if there is something that I should or should not be doing in these last couple of days prior to the 3 hour test. I have been watching my carbs very closely for the past week (sort of in preparation for if this ends up being a true gestational diabetes diagnosis). I believe that if I truly have gestational diabetes, then it will show up (in other words, I'm not trying to trick it into a false negative), but I also want to make sure that I don't do something to end up with a false positive.

Do you have any suggestions for me or things that I should keep in mind?

Thanks so much!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the support! I will continue to watch my carbs but not make any drastic changes until I know the "true" results.

I just heard from my doctor's office that my thyroid medicine needs to be upped based on my most recent blood work. I have had hypothyroidism for 4 years. I find this very interesting, because in the past when my thyroid was out of whack I would tend to reach for high sugar items to give me a quick boost of energy (imagine what you would do if you felt sluggish in the middle of the day). I have never intentionally done this, but I can recall thinking after the fact that it explained the increase in cravings for sugary stuff. While I know that there is not a direct link between glucose and thyroid, I do wonder if this has contributed to some of the cravings I have had over the past month. I didn't think about my thyroid medicine needing adjusted, because a lot of people have cravings during pregnancy. So, my medicine is now adjusted, although my glucose screening is still set for Saturday, so I won't know if that adjustment will lessen some of those cravings. It's okay, though, because I've been putting in some extra motivation to watch the carbs this past week. We'll see how the glucose test goes....

Thanks again for the support!

Featured Answers



answers from Colorado Springs on

Just follow the rules. I didn't cut anything out for the 3 hr (I had to take the 3 hr with my 3rd child too) I also had a bowl of ice cream the night before the first test! I passed the 3hr and I have a feeling you will too.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

As long as you follow the rules (fast for 8 hours before), then you won't cause a false positive on the test. There is really nothing you can do in this regard.

My tip for you is to take a lunch - with some protein - with you to eat immediately after the test. The sugar will upset your stomach, and you'll need something protein based right away or you'll feel ill for a while. I think I took a chicken salad sandwich and a bottled water, or something like that, and stayed right there in the waiting room to eat it immediately after the test was over.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I don't think the DQ had a thing to do with your results the following morning. Refined sugars/high glycemic index foods go into your bloodstream quickly. That is sort of what makes them high GI foods. In a normal person, that DQ was long gone from your blood before morning.

With the 3 hour test you are fasting a minimum of 8 hours beforehand, so I don't think you can mess it up. That is the point of it, really.

Regardless of what the results are, if your diet consists of mostly carbs (pastas, breads, and fruits you say)... then you need to be careful. A diet of just carbs, regardless of your weight, will eventually lead to insulin resistance. Which is precursor to diabetes. Not everyone who is insulin resistant or who has diabetes is overweight.
Following a diet of simple refined sugars and starches (white bread, white pasta, white rice, juice, etc) eventually will affect the insulin receptors.

Good luck on the test, though. That is a pretty yucky one, if I remember correctly. I had it with my first (but was fine) and not with my second pregnancy.

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answers from Hartford on

They should be giving you an information packet and if not, then you need to request one and follow their directions to the letter. For one of my pregnancies I had to do it twice. I had to do the three hour for all of my pregnancies and came out "normal" every single time.

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answers from Washington DC on

Eat how you normally eat before the fast and test. After the test is the time to count your carb intake.

Stress raises blood sugar, so try and relax between readings.

Do not exercise (long walk, etc) in between readings because that lowers blood sugar and you don't want a false reading.

Good luck and know that GD is temporary, and if you do have it, you will gain priceless knowledge of how to eat for life.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

You truly want to know. So eat normally.

IF IF IF IF your diet is the reason this is happening then it will show. IF IF IF It's being pregnant and the only way to make it go away is to be "un-pregnant" then you'll have to follow a strict diet and medication routine until the happy blessed

I think if it's a serious problem you'll want to make sure you do eat high carb foods in moderation. I would not drop them completely. WHY? you ask? Because as soon as we say no to something it becomes the holy grail. We just want it and want it and want it. We dream about it, we fantasize about it, we can't stop thinking about it.

Whole vitamin D milk has less carbs than lower fat milk too. Check the label, I think that's what I remember.

I am a milk and dairy person too. I'm not too partial to bread or lots of pasta. I can totally enjoy some good pasta though but it's not something I go out of my way to eat.

As for manipulating your test. Here's what "I" did when I was going to be going for allergy testing.

I went to my mom's for 3 days and 2 nights prior to getting the testing done on Monday. She smokes, her house was dusty, it needed to be vacuumed, and so forth. I didn't take a tiny bit of Benadryl all weekend. I exposed myself to my worst allergens.

When I had the test done I wanted to make sure I didn't have any meds in my body and I didn't want to not react to stuff that I normally did.

The doc drew a grid on my back with 80 or so squares. They painted the allergen onto my skin, 1 in each square. My reaction to tobacco was so dramatic they almost stopped the test and shot me up with an epi pen.

He did continue though. I reacted to a vast majority of the allergens.

When they were done they drew a grid on each upper arm with 40 squares on each one. They injected the few allergens that I did not react to from just being on my skin.

I reacted to each of the 16-18 spots they put under my skin. Over all I reacted to 74 or 76 of the allergens they tested me for.

I found out some specific information by having this test done. I know that I need to carry liquid children's Benadryl with me at all times so that if I start having an allergic reaction to something I can take a sip of it and probably stop it from advancing. I know that I absolutely need to stay away from some situations completely. Like going into a room where there are smokers and it's closed up too much. I know that I could instantly have issues. I know that I could have these issues for a much longer time, residual issues.

So, if you find out the worst results possible by not stopping what you're doing on a normal day you will find out the worst you are doing to your body. You won't be fudging and not acknowledging there might be a real issue. You won't be getting away with stuff.

IF the few bites of ice cream you had the night before caused this drastic results then you need to know this because this tells you what you are doing to your infant. If it was just one of those things then it might come out normal even if you eat normally the night before.

I do truly believe that what you ate the last 24 hours will influence that test. I've had them done frequently over the years, more than 1-2 times per year. My doc was just convinced I was diabetic but each and every time the blood work came back I always had low blood sugar. Which is a bad sign in itself. My mom and a few other family members all have low blood sugar and low cholesterol. Didn't change with age either.

If you have issues with blood sugar do not use artificial sweeteners. NONE are good for you. You can cut your carb usage in half by doing a few simple things. Google low carb recipes, try the low carb pasta in a couple of tasty dishes. The flavors might cover up any difference in pasta flavor or texture.

You can choose to eat a food with more nutrition that an empty calorie food. IF IF IF you do have gestational diabetes just watch what choices you make. Don't go overboard. Don't cut out all the foods you love at one. Limit quantity.

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answers from Milwaukee on

I only had diabetes with my first pregnancy and I would say my diet was alot like yours. I had to do two things with the diabetes take my blood sugar and alter my diet. My blood sugar was not so high that I had to take any medication, I was fine with just altering my diet. The number one thing I did was cut way back on carbs. I had to sit down with the specialist and go over the things I could and couldn't eat and how much of the items I could eat. Luckily, I found ice cream I was able to eat because that is the one thing I love! Also, one of the big things was instead of eating 3 big meals I ate several smaller meals. My first child was healthy and a normal weight. For my second pregnancy, I did nto have diabetes. I think the big reason was because I altered my diet as soon as I found out. Hope that helps.

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answers from Kansas City on

Just wanted to say I had to take the 3 hour twice (of three pregnancies) and passed each time. Best advice from me is bring plenty to occupy you and don't stress. Good luck!

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answers from Dover on

You don't just want to "pass" the test but rather get a true reading. I suggest you just start being more aware of what you are eating (and maybe cut back on the carbs and increase protein and veggie intake). That said, just be sure you have at least 8 hours of fasting prior to going in (I believe you can have water but not too much).

I tested high with my 1 hr w/ my son and so low with the 3 hr they didn't understand why the first test was out of wack. With my daughter (15 years later) I was borderline with the 1 hr and the 3 hr confirmed GD.

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answers from Norfolk on

Guess you'll have to see how your test goes.
It might be a good idea to check out what you would be eating if you fail (and even if you don't fail).

The sugary foods that you love might be a big part of the problem.
They are really just empty calories and do nothing for you (or your baby) in the way of nutrition.
I wouldn't say you can NEVER have a cookie, but once per week is much better than once per day.
As for pasta and breads - go for high fiber and whole wheat.
You'll still have to eat carbs but you want them to be complex carbs.
Instead of oatmeal, do steel cut oatmeal (watch what and how much you add to it to sweeten it).
Some might recommend eating sugar free items but the artificial sweeteners aren't good for you (I can't imagine they are any good for the baby either), they mess with your metabolism and are horrible for your kidneys - you're already peeing for 2 so don't stress them out anymore than you already are.
Water is best for you to drink but if you get bored with it you can do some herbal teas (chamomile, minty teas, etc) hot or cold (I never sweeten my tea and usually only put a few drops of lemon juice in it).
You've only got a few more months to go but retraining your pallet away from sweets might be a good habit to keep.

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answers from New York on

Eat the way you normally do.

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answers from Chicago on

Just ask your OB for instructions. That way you'll get the most accurate results. If you really have GD, you'll want to know so you can be monitored for it. It's serious and there are risks to the baby involved. The risks are lessened if you are properly monitored and treated for it.

I developed GD with only my third. I went on a diabetic diet and checked my blood sugar 4x a day. I took an oral insulin pill, but never had to do the shots. I had more frequent visits to the OB after the diagnosis. I was going once a week up until the final month when I started going twice a week. I also had to have an ultrasound and a non stress test at every visit.

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answers from Portland on

There isn't anything you need to do, but be prepared to throw up if you are prone to that. I remember it was all I could do to hold it down. Good luck and remember, it could have been a fluke too. They happen. But, good for you for being so dedicated to your child.

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answers from New York on

I also failed my first test with my second child. I was careless though and I forget what I ate beforehand but it had some sugar. I agree with people that you should eat normally bc an 8 hour fast should clear anything diet related up and if it doesn't, you're likely really really loading on the sugar. And obviously that's not good. My main reason for answering though is I also used to eat a lot of pasta, carbs, cheese etc. I don't gain weight easily at all - typically am too skinny - so why not? I love that stuff. Pizza all the time. But then I developed an intolerance to wheat and dairy. Ugh! Now I can't have it at all!! The doctor said I ate so much my body developed this intolerance. So diabetes isn't the only potential bad reaction you can have. I'd be careful bc you don't want to end up like me. I'm still skinny but honestly would prefer to have a weight issue so I could manage it more via exercise and occassional treats of pizza. Now it's like there's nothing I can do but not eat any of it.

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answers from New York on

Lots of good responses here, especially about NOT changing anything because if you have GD you most certainly want to know.

I had the 3-hour test for at least one of my pregnancies and just wanted to give the advice for you to keep an eye open on the way over for the nearest McDonalds because you will be crazy-pregnant-woman hungry by the end and will want to stop the first place possible for some breakfast!

And I know McD's is gross, but I love their breakfasts!!

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answers from Austin on

I had to do the 3 hour test twice with my 4th child....... just follow the instructions (fasting for 8 hours before the test), and go in first thing in the morning for the test.

Mine came out just fine in the end... but trying to hold down that sugary drink can be tough!

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