When my midwife called and said, "You actually failed the glucose test, and not by a little either... You will have to take the three hour test!... it's always the healthy ones who fail!"
This really made me upset for two reasons.
1. I am a super healthy person, or at least I strive to be in almost every way. My pregnancy I took to new levels of healthy! I ate all organic, mostly fruits and vegetables, barely any meat or dairy and no gluten... everyday. I rarely ate anything processed and no more than a couple bites of a sweet per day! Getting a fail was like a punch in the gut. The test was basically mocking me... saying... "haha you tried so hard but it didn't matter!"
2. This is a mandatory test in most doctors offices and failure means taking a longer test (3 hours) and drinking more too! It actually meant I would have to take a day off work too because the test was only given weekdays, in a lab, in the morning, and I would have to sit there the whole 3 hours! There is another option to get a blood glucose monitor and test your blood sugar after meals every day for two weeks. There is a third option to do 'the jellybean test' which involves eating a specific packet of jelly beans. I would have loved this option if they were organic without artificial colors and flavors, but since it wasn't, it was out as an option.
3. "It's the healthy ones that fail" tells me something is wrong with this system! Why would I fail if I am healthy? Why would you expect me to? Is it possible that my body isn't used to processing sugar like in that drink? Maybe my failure is a sign that I am very healthy ?
So this lead me to do some research on this so called 'test' because I wasn't buying that I had Diabetes. If you understand the disorder of Diabetes, you would know that it would be nearly impossible given my diet to have this. Now, gestational diabetes also has hormones that affect how you process sugar, it's not just the diet apparently. This website explained what GD is by an MD.
.....................When I researched, I was shocked at what I found!!!!
As it turns out.. 1 in 3 women to 1 in 5 women would be over-diagnosed (meaning they don't have it, but the test falsely told them they had it) if a three hour test was not performed. The link the this research study by Temming et. al (2016) can be found here. So if 1/3 of people fail, this one hour test is in no way reliable!
This made me feel a little bit better because at least I wasn't crazy.
The downside: it made me mad. Why wasn't I told that it might be unreliable? Why are doctor's giving it and making pregnant women drink this unhealthy drink!? For more details on the horrible things they put in there please read this fantastic article by Food Babe! She breaks down what's in it and why it's bad! So I had of course read this and didn't want the stupid drink in the first place! Now I would have to drink more?!
The upside:The test isn't reliable. That made more sense than me having diabetes to be honest.
So now I was left with the choice between taking the three hour test, doing home glucose monitoring, or doing nothing at all. I will tell you that I debated this for days, consulted many people, and researched consequences of each action. The general consensus was that I should just take the three hour test because I would very likely pass. Thanks to America and our shitty maternity leave policies, I needed all my sick days for the end of pregnancy and post-partum. Sorry! Not taking off for this!
I decided to do glucose monitoring at home. I could avoid the lab, the day off, the blood draws, and the gross drink. So I ordered a glucose monitor and I determined thanks to the internet what was a good reading. Of course, I got no guidance whatsoever from my midwife or the doctors in the practice. I might have been the first person to decline the test, who knows! Surprise surprise, all numbers were fine! Now, was it more work and finger pricks, yes! So most people will just do the 3 hour test, and that is fine! As long as you know your options!
Had I failed and did have gestational diabetes, what was the treatment? My midwife said she would have sent me for nutritional counseling to determine a diet. So that means that even if hormones were affecting my sugar levels... no matter what the cure was change your diet?
SO! What is the diet a gestational diabetic should be eating!? It turns out... it's the diet i've been on all along!
So the bottom line is... do your research and choose to do what is best for you! Just know that in the end, it comes down to diet anyway. If you eat healthy, as outlined above, you shouldn't get GD.
I learned some interesting things along the way that might help you in your quest for knowledge!
Tell me about your experiences in the comments below!