Who Should Be Screened For Gestational Diabetes, And How Is It Done?

Question: Who should be screened for gestational diabetes, and how is it done?

Answer: In general, all pregnant women are screened for diabetes in the U.S. Some practices will eliminate the lowest risk women -- young women with no family history of diabetes who are thin when they become pregnant -- but, for the most part, almost every woman gets screened for gestational diabetes, and it's not a very tough thing to do.

You drink a bottle of sweet tasting soda, and then you get your blood checked an hour later. If that test is positive, you'll have a second test to confirm the diagnosis. If you do end up having gestational diabetes, usually you'll end up going to a class, learning about different dietary changes you can make, and you'll begin to monitor your blood sugar, typically when you wake up and one or two hours after you eat.

As long as your blood sugars stay under good control on a diet, your pregnancy proceeds normally. If your blood sugars can't be controlled on a diabetic diet, then you'll need some kind of medicine, typically insulin -- in some centers, you might get pills -- and your pregnancy will be monitored more closely.

Next: What Is The Difference Between A Finger Stick Blood Glucose Test And A Plasma Glucose Test?

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