When I went for my 1-hour glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes at 24 weeks, I was quite surprised when the doctor’s office called back and said that my 1-hour fasting level was elevated at 172. The normal range was under 140.
I previously tested negative for diabetes while being checked for thyroid issues related to infertility, and because I have no history of diabetes in my family; I attributed the elevation to a delicious buttercream icing cupcake I had eaten the day before.
The nurse told me I would have to come back for the 3-hour glucose test within the week. “I got this, I thought, I will just limit sweets and eat more fiber and protein before the next test.”
After drinking the sugary orange drink, they did a blood draw, then I waited, then I had to do another blood draw every hour for the next 3 hours.
The doctor called back, “Tamara, we’re going to have to get you to come in for a diabetes consultation, the results came back that you have gestational diabetes. Some of your levels came back elevated.”
The doctor said my fasting level came back good at 78 (< 90 normal). The 1-hour was also good at 163 (< 180 normal). Where I got into trouble was my 2-hr, which was 210 (< 155), and my 3-hr was 167 (< 140).
After I got over my initial shock and disappointment, I was determined I could control it with diet. Again, I thought, “I got this, I’ll just limit sweets and carbohydrates.” What I didn’t realize was that some of my favorite food groups that I considered “healthy” were loaded with carbs and sugar. For example, 2% milk has high carbs and fruits are loaded with sugar. Even wheat bread has about 15 grams per slice. With gestational diabetes you are only allowed about 30-45 grams of carbs per meal.
Ironically, where my numbers have been consistently elevated are my fasting times, not post-meal times. There is only so much I can do about my fasting levels. For example, if I eat dinner at 7pm and don’t eat breakfast until 7am, that is 12 hours without food. The doctor put me on a tablet of glyburide before bedtime, and a spoonful of peanut butter. The peanut butter is to add protein so my blood sugar doesn’t drop during the night.
One of the risk to gestational diabetes is larger birth weights. The doctor told me if I had elevated fasting times for more than two days in a row, in a seven day period to call. My levels were 91 yesterday and 98 today, anything above 90 is considered elevated.
I called the doctor and they increased my dose to a tablet and a half. Maybe this will do the trick. I will keep you posted, but for now, it is bedtime, and I am about to go take my higher dose and eat a spoonful of peanut butter.
Sure wish I could down it with a glass of milk. Mmm, on second thought, I better not.