A couple of weeks ago, I posted on my Facebook page that I recently declined the recommended glucose screening test during pregnancy. This test is typically done around the 27th week of pregnancy and checks the woman’s blood glucose (sugar) level. The test consists of the woman drinking a glucose solution and then having her blood drawn one hour afterwards. If the blood glucose level is above 140 mg/dL at that time, then an oral glucose tolerance test will be ordered to further check for gestational diabetes.
Glucola is usually the sweet drink used for this test. It contains 50 to 100 grams of sugar and according to Food Babe, has ingredients like corn, “natural flavorings,” modified food starch, brominated soybean oil, FD & C yellow #6, sodium hexametaphosphate, BHA and sodium benzoate. If I saw these ingredients listed on any food label at the grocery store, it would cause me to put the food back on the shelf. If I wouldn’t ingest these ingredients any other time, then why would I for a test, especially if there was an alternative?
Even though I don’t like the ingredients mentioned above, the main reason I declined this test is because I did not want to ingest 50 to 100 grams of sugar in one sitting. I don’t even ingest this amount in an entire day. I have been hypoglycemic for several years now and try to eat 25 grams or less of sugar (natural, not table sugar) per day to help keep me balanced. Sugar affects me in several negative ways, like bloating, gas, watery eyes, and water retention. If I would have consumed that much sugar at once, then I would have been thrown off for the rest of the day and likely taken several days to recover. I already monitor my blood sugar regularly and know my blood sugar levels are not high, therefore, I am not concerned about gestational diabetes. Also, I already eat in a way to control blood sugar, which is one treatment option for gestational diabetes.
What I chose to do instead was to have a hemoglobin A1C blood test and use my glucose monitor to check my blood sugar multiple times per day. I kept a log for two weeks of my blood sugar level before and after each meal. This allows the doctor to see how I was reacting to food and how stable my blood sugar levels were throughout the day. My numbers averaged from 70-81, which is on the lower end of the scale and no concern for gestational diabetes.
Again, this was what I chose to do for my baby and me, but it is not what may be the right choice for everyone. What I choose to do is likely very different than most, but that is okay because I believe it is what is best for my baby and me. I write this post because I believe it is important to know we have choices when it comes to our healthcare. Just because a doctor recommends a test or a medication does not mean it is the right choice for us. I encourage you all to do your own research so you are able to ask questions and determine what the right care is for you. You know your body and medical history better than any doctor or nurse. Be your own health advocate.
~Eat well, be well