Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. --John Milton

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pregnancy Choices: Glucose Tolerance Test

Thankfully, I didn't take any glucose tests. If you did though, I want to hear about it. Was it helpful, not helpful?

Here's what I've found:

#1. The test is risky.
Hmm. Let's tell a pregnant woman to skip a meal and then drink a lot of sugar.

#2. The test result can be harmful.
Testing positive for gestational diabetes is more likely to bring risky interventions plus anxiety and less likely to encourage the nutritious diet that could actually make a difference.

Here's a quote from The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care:
"Ironically, this dangerous test is mostly reserved for pregnant women. For the rest of the population, the main test used is the 'casual plasma glucose test,' in which a sample of blood is drawn without regard to the time of the last meal or the content of that meal. You are not required to abstain from eating prior to the test nor take a highly sweetened drink - the very worst thing a diabetic can do, especially a pregnant diabetic." (69)
Aviva Roma MD thoughtfully explores this in "Glucose Testing in Pregnancy: Should it Be Routine?"
"Aside from problems with food colorings and other potentially unhealthy ingredients in the glucola, which are actually small compared to the risks of untreated GDM, we need to consider the mental and emotional impact of a pregnant woman thinking of herself as having a 'disease' rather than just emphasizing the importance of a healthy diet and appropriate follow-up, perhaps with the exception of women whose blood sugar cannot be controlled with diet alone and who require medications."
So are the risks worth the benefits? In what instances?


  1. Interesting! This is a topic of great interest to me (because we are trying for another baby and I want my pregnancy/birth to be a natural one), and yet doesn't seem to be a widely-accepted thing to question. :/ Thanks for the link. :)

  2. Yes. I suggest that when mamas have questions, ask ... whether it seems welcome or not. And if a practitioner is not respectful of my questions, perhaps there is someone else who is? Thanks for sharing, Valerie.