Pregnancy and Birth

What to expect at your GTT – Testing for Gestational Diabetes

May 6, 2017

I started writing this back last month when I was sat waiting around in the hospital but then got called in for my appointment and never got to finish it… until now.

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April 11th
An hour ago I had some bloods taken and was given 2 cups of a weird orangey glucose drink. I’m here for my GTT or my Glucose Tolerance Test.

I was told it would be a long wait so I’ve brought along my laptop so that I could get some work done at the same time.

I’ve been fasting since 9pm last night. Seriously… Who’s idea was it to starve a pregnant woman? I’m hungry and thirsty. I’m not allowed to eat or drink now until after the test. Urgh!

Anyway, the point of the test is to see how your body handles the glucose found in the food you eat and is used to diagnose gestational diabetes in women thought most likely to develop it.

The most common reasons you might develop Gestational Diabetes are

    • If your BMI is over 30
    • If you have previously given birth to a baby weighing over 10lbs
    • You have a parent or sibling with Diabetes
    • You’ve had Gestational Diabetes in a previous pregnancy
    • If your family originates from somewhere Diabetes has a higher rate such as South Asian, Middle Eastern or African-Caribbean

I don’t fall in to any of those categories however I was tested anyway and actually, I think a lot more, if not all women should be tested for it.

I’m not a huge fan of stripes but when I’m pregnant, that’s mostly what I wear. Mainly because that’s what’s available and cheap. These stripes are the only ones I feel really good in. I feel half human, at least, in this dress. If you swipe across you’ll see the size of the bump with no support or clothing and see it’s true size. It’s biggg and I keep hurting myself! I’m now at 28 weeks. I’m in the 3rd trimester which means I’m in the final stretch. It also means in the morning I’m having a GTT test and am not allowed to eat until afterwards. From this point on, I will be having fortnightly blood pressure tests with my midwife and scans and consultant visits every 3 or 4 weeks. Depending on results of any of these and based on previous experience, I’m expecting at least 1 hospital stay before baby actually arrives so will be always ready with a spare toothbrush and a pair of clean knickers. Pregnancy can be so glamorous 🙄but it’s worth it.

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The GTT

You will be asked to fast from the night before. The timings will vary from hospitals and clinics etc but most people I’ve spoken to say they were advised not to eat after 9-10pm. You will be allowed water overnight and up to a few hours before your appointment.

Once you arrive, you will be taken through to have some initial bloods taken which they will use to test your blood sugar levels after fasting.
You will then given a drink of a strange orangey glucose liquid. If you’re lucky, your hospital might use actual Lucozade but a lot of people report that its like a warm, not very nice tasting, weak sort of squash. Mine was the latter. This contains the glucose that they will use to test how your body is processing it.

Insulin is normally used in your body to maintain your blood sugar levels however sometimes, hormones in pregnancy mean the insulin can’t work as it should and your levels may become too high or too low. This can cause some problems with your baby, your pregnancy, birth and increases the likelihood of either you or your baby developing diabetes further down the line

Once you’ve had your glucose drink, you will then be asked to sit in the waiting room for a couple of hours. This is also a resting test so it is unlikely you will be able to wander around much. This is where I would recommend bringing some sort of entertainment – A book, magazine, etc. You will get bored.

You will be called back in after 2 hours for them to take a second lot of bloods. These will be sent off and your blood sugar levels tested. You should hear back in 3-5 working days.

If your results are negative, thats great, carry on as normal. They may want to check you again later on though.

If not, you should here from a diabetic team who will advise you on the next step from there depending on the levels found.

My levels were high…. So I’m now on daily monitoring with finger pricks and a little gadget that reads my results.. but more on that in another post.

Have you got a GTT coming up soon? I hope this helps in some way. Or do you have any experience of of Gestational Diabetes? I’d love to hear how you got on with yours. Maybe your comment will be one that helps somebody else going through the same thing.

 

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply Jules Pondering Parenthood May 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    I’ve never had a GTT but it doesn’t sound too traumatic – just terribly boring having to wait around! I hope you’ve been able to manage your gestational diabetes okay, and look forward to reading all about it x

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby May 6, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      I was dreading it to be honest. Everything I’d heard made it sound like the worst thing in the world. It’s made out that you will be cranky and tired and hangry but if you think about it, you’re only really skipping breakfast and you can eat as soon at the second bloods are taken.
      The drink isn’t that bad either… if you knock it back quick enough.

  • Reply Mrs H May 6, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    This is a really helpful post for anyone who is about to have a GTT. It is always helpful to be told what to expect from someone who has been through it. But I agree, starving a pregnant woman seems like a stupid thing to do. Sending love and hugs Lucy xxxx

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby May 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Hahaha, overhearing some of the conversations that were going on, there were quite a few very hungry, very pregnant women that weren’t happy with that part either.
      I definitley suggest taking food/snacks and a drink for afterwards if you can.

  • Reply Sharon powell May 6, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    This is really useful for anyone that has no experience of it. I’ve had to have one with every one of my pregnancies because I have diabetes in the family. I had no idea that some women don’t have it x

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby May 14, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      I’m not quite sure why they tested me to be honest, because I didn’t fall in to any of their standard ‘at risk’ categories but I’m glad they did in a way.

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