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The Dreaded Glucose Test

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Why is it so dreaded? This test really should not be looked at as your enemy, this is an important screening tool for you and baby. Gestational diabetes can be dangerous for both of you and it is typically for reasons out of your control.

glucocrush glucose test gestational diabetes

I do think this needs some reframing… I “failed” my 1 hour test. Why do we use that terminology? Why did I get a phone call telling me I “failed” but didn’t tell me the value of my lab until I asked (134). They didn’t call and tell me I “failed” my iron test, or I “passed” my Vitamin D assessment.

When I got the phone call of my “failure” I had a lot of thoughts, that probably many people do when they hear those words. “I’m failing my baby." “My body hates being pregnant.” “Here comes PCOS to haunt me with insulin resistance.” “I have eaten too many cheese curds and chocolate custards from Freddy’s” “I shouldn’t have had my glucose screening the day after Halloween.” “I’m not doing enough to protect this little being before he’s even out of my body!”

The truth is, getting an increased value on your glucose screening doesn’t mean you “failed” anything. You didn’t fail yourself or your baby. This is a result of physiologic and hormonal changes during pregnancy. Of course with a diagnosis of gestational diabetes, you can be more mindful of your diet choices to help control the temporary insulin changes in your body, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you were being reckless or unhealthy before! People of all different weights, diets and backgrounds get this diagnosis, it doesn’t discriminate.

My last thought on the glucose test is my real complaint….. WHY DOES IT NEED SO MUCH FOOD COLORING?! Does it need to stain my teeth to be called fruit punch? Pro tip: I definitely recommend orange if you have a flavor choice (which I didn’t this time).

There are alternatives!

Don't feel like you're doomed to the Glucocrush. You have a say in every part of your medical care. If you're apprehensive because you have sensitivities to food coloring or very sweet beverages, talk with your provider! Most will routinely schedule this screening, so it's up to you to discuss alternatives if you're uncomfortable.

Some typical alternatives:

  • Some providers have a preferred candy, soda or juice to drink or eat within a short period before the blood rest

  • At-home blood sugar monitoring. This is done by testing and keeping a log of your own blood sugar through the day for a period of a week or 2.

  • The Fresh Test is an awesome healthier

Here is a great link explaining what gestational diabetes is, risk factors, things that can go wrong, how exactly the glucose screening and 3-hour test work and possible alternatives!

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