Host and actress Jolina Magdangal recently shared in a video her experience in undergoing two essential prenatal tests, the congenital anomaly scan and the glucose tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes (read more about it here). She dreaded the needles of the glucose test, but she was eager to go through it for her baby's health.
The glucose screening test is done between the 24th and 28th week of gestation. It checks for a pregnant woman's likelihood of developing gestational diabetes mellitus, more commonly known as gestational diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy. If a preggo is at high risk for diabetes, the doctor may order the test to be done earlier in the pregnancy.
Part of Jolina's glucose test involved an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), which involves a syrupy glucose solution that is essentially 50 grams of sugar.
Early this year, there was a viral post on social media that questioned the safety of drinking that glucose solution. It allegedly contained toxic and harmful substances, specifically artificial flavoring and dye, high fructose sugar, and brominated vegetable oil, which contains bromine, a chemical that has been linked to thyroid issues. Not surprisingly, it alarmed many pregnant women.
SmartParenting.com.ph asked obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Gergen Marie Lazaro-Dizon of Makati Medical Center to clarify the issue (and calm pregnant women's worries). She stressed the glucose test is not only perfectly safe but essential for expecting women.
Should preggos be afraid of the glucose drink? Dr. Lazaro-Dizon: "Actually no. There are no toxic substances in that solution."
Are there alternative tests pregnant women can take instead of the glucose test? "We have patients who refuse to undergo this test because of the fasting. They get really, you know, dizzy 'pag nag-fast ng eight to ten hours and they vomit.
"Ang goal natin for testing is to be able to screen a lot of women with gestational diabetes. This test is the one that would really catch [pregnant women who have getsational diabetes]. Other tests would only give us an idea kung dati ka ng diabetic or not — not yung tendency. [The other 'alternative' tests] are not as accurate or as sensitive in catching those women with gestational diabetes. So might as well just do the glucose test."
There are factors, such as age, obesity, or family history of diabetes, which help doctors determine if a preggo is more likely to develop gestational diabetes. However, doctors regularly screen all pregnant women for the condition because preggos who don't have a history of diabetes could developit. It's also crucial to do the test to prevent or treat gestational diabetes and other complications that may arise.
The possible preggy complications include a C-section, preeclampsia and pre-term delivery. The baby can also be exposed to health risks such as jaundice, respiratory distress syndrome, hypoglycemia (low sugar blood levels), as well as developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, and glucose tolerance later in life.
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These risks associated with gestational diabetes should be enough for moms just to follow your doctor's orders. If you have any concern about the glucose drink or the test, don't hesitate to discuss it with your ob-gyn.
"Most of [the things you read on the web] are anecdotal, yung kwento lang and you don't base everything on anecdote. If you have concerns, your OB can answer them," Dr. Lazaro-Dizon stressed.
You have to trust that your doctor will not let you do anything that will harm you or your baby.