Wednesday, April 13, 2011 | By: Wa@Wawek@Siti ;)

Glucose Challenge Test


I failed it.

In short, GCT is a test to screen for diabetes in pregnancy called Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). Here in Oz, they conduct 2 tests. First test would be GCT where you’ll have to drink a 50g glucose drink (I'm pretty sure it was a bottle of 350mL lemonade. Huhuhu...), wait for an hour and get the blood tested for glucose. And if you failed it i.e. your glucose level is higher than 7.9 mmol/L after taking the glucose drink, you’ll have to take the second test; GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test) whereby you'll need to fast i.e. no food except water from 10 o’clock the night before, get blood taken as you come to pathology at 8 the next morning, drink a more concentrated glucose drink, wait for an hour, get blood drawn, wait another hour and draw blood again, which I failed as well. My glucose level was 9.2 mmol/L after 2 hours. I was depressed. Why me??!!! Well, probably not too depressed but I was bit sad and felt really bad like I’m not taking good care of myself and especially my lil un. I was briefed by the Doctor on how GDM occurs in 5% of pregnancy and most of them will only have to change their diet and not have to take any insulin injection. After meeting with the antenatal clinic Doctor yesterday morning, I will only have to watch what and how much I eat especially my carbs and have light exercise sessions if needed. Alhamdulillah. I was hoping that would be the case for me as it is one thing to poke myself 4 times a day to check my glucose level, couldn’t really imagine how I would have to have insulin injections as well. Yes, I have new toys to play with now. It’s an Optium Xceed Diabetes Monitoring System. It’s basically a machine to check the glucose level in my blood. I’ll just call it a glucose checker. Heh...

I poke myself with that thingy on the far left, put me blood on the blue strip, and after 5 seconds, the glucose level will pop up on the screen; Like the photo below.
I need to make sure my glucose level is below 5.5 when I wake up every morning and every 2 hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner, it must be lower than 7.0.

After informing me of the glucose test results, the antenatal clinic arranged a bunch of appointments for me i.e. appointment with a lactation consultant, the antenatal clinic Doctor and a dietician which I went to yesterday. And there was also the Gestational diabetes education class which I went to last week, Thursday with Mr. Hubby at the Diabetes Centre near Nambour General Hospital (NGH). There were 6 pregnant ladies and almost everyone brought a support person. The 2-hour-class was very informative and helpful. We had the diabetes educator explaining everything from what happens in the body i.e. insulin producing process to what husbands can do to support the pregnant wife whilst dealing with gestational diabetes (like not eat a bag of chips in the middle of the night or snaking on chocolates all the time? Huhu..). She even explained to us on how to use the glucose checker which is given to us for free, forever. Woohoo! For the next hour, a dietician then came to talk to us on what we should and should not be eating and their portion sizes, servings of each food group, etc. I should have 2-3 portions of carbs for main meals and 1-2 portions of carbs for snacks, avoid high GI foods and all that nutrition stuff. I can though have unlimited green vegies. The dietician even brought food containers and wrappers and showed us how to read the labels to assist us in making better decisions of what to buy and eat. But mostly, it’s basically what we already know; a balanced diet. And I think it is a diet for anyone who wants to lose weight (when they are overweight and meet up with a dietician) and/or maintain a healthy eating habit. After the class, I kinda realized having gestational diabetes is probably not my fault. My body just can’t produce enough insulin to breakdown all the carbs I consumed especially if I’m eating more than I should. Now, not eating more carbs than I should is totally my responsibility. If I’m not hungry, I shouldn’t be eating and munching all the time. It sucks! Huhuhu... Don’t they know Easter’s coming?! All the bunnies and egg chocs will go to waste!!! Hahaha!

Hhmmm... Yesterday after meeting with the lactation consultant, Doctor and dietician, I still do feel blerghhh about me being a diabetic but I guess it’s probably for the best. Having to watch what I eat and test my glucose level everyday will soon just be a simple routine to me but thinking of how the baby will have to be poked at its feet to check its glucose level soon after birth and a few times after till about up to 12 hours to check its glucose level just makes me feel a bit sad. Hopefully the lil un will be healthy. InsyaAllah. The lactation consultant taught me how to express colostrum as I will need to do it starting at 34 weeks and keep them till birth. If the baby’s glucose level is lower than the cut off point, the colostrum will be given. Low glucose level in newborns could cause complications for the baby thus the preventive measure. So yes, have to make a note saying “Remember the colostrums in the freezer!” to put in the baby/hospital bag.

The dietician commended me on being able to keep my glucose level below the recommended number and assured me that with just keeping my balanced diet as I’ve done for the last few days, I should be fine and won’t be needing insulin. The Doctor agreed. Yeay! Alhamdulillah. My blood pressure is normal, the baby’s moving a lot and its heartbeat is normal, so everything is okay. Oh yeah, I’m still in awe on how the Doctor was able to know where the baby’s head and everything else are just by gently pressing all around my tummy! She’s wonderful by the way. At the end of the appointment, the Doctor scheduled me for an ultrasound scan in 2 weeks and will be having another appointment early May. I will be 34 weeks then. Hopefully, all will be fine. InsyaAllah.

My pregnancy health records...
 Finally, I’ve come to terms that I have gestational diabetes. I was probably being in denial as I was putting off a blog entry on it. Huhuhu! Anyways, hope everyone learned something useful from the summarized version of my experiences this past 3-4 weeks. I know I have, a lot!

Have a nice day, peeps!


PS: Here's a blog of a lady being diagnosed as a gestational diabetic, if you're interested. She's pretty mad. Huhuhu...