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Diabetes Screening

By Sandra B Wilson

Gestational diabetes mellitus is actually a disorder characterized by high blood glucose, which is related to insulin resistance. It can be discovered at any point during pregnancy. This is specifically because there are no known causes for this disease, and many women do not exhibit symptoms. Gestational diabetes mellitus is found only in pregnant women. There is a similarity between gestational diabetes mellitus and Type 2 diabetes.

Because not all pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus experience symptoms, diagnosis can be difficult. This is one reason why screening for gestational diabetes when pregnant is so important. There are a number of tests involved with screening GD when pregnant. These may all be performed on the pregnant woman, or simply a few.

Women, with gestational diabetes mellitus, who do experience symptoms can see a variety. One of the symptoms is experiencing increased thirst. This is often accompanied by increased urination. Another symptom of gestational diabetes mellitus is nausea and vomiting. Some women even contract infections. The most common is yeast and bladder infections.

The primary purpose for the screening process is to detect if there is a high level of glucose in the expectant mother's blood. So, samples are drawn in a very specific way. The method, of screening, doctors do to determine if gestational diabetes exists, is very thorough. Some of the testing process is less than fun for the pregnant women. But having the knowledge of her own condition is completely worthwhile.

The screen process is not only important to define the status of the mother, but how it may affect her unborn child. There are three non-challenge blood glucose tests in the screening. Each has its own individual importance and reading. Testing this way allows doctors to see the difference between a blood glucose reading at different times in a woman's day. Tests focus on her status when she's eaten, and when the pregnant woman has not eaten.

One of the non-challenge blood glucose tests is the fasting glucose test. This one is as its name implies. It is done on the pregnant woman when she has not eaten any food. Doctors typically give their patients instructions about how this test will be done. They will also instruct them on what hours, to eat and what hours, they should not.

Another test done to determine gestational diabetes is the 2-hour postprandial test. The postprandial test is done after the pregnant woman has eaten a meal. These results are very specific and have an important meaning. Doctors understand what range a woman's glucose should be after a meal. If the numbers are too high, at this specific time, the woman is at risk for this disease.

The random glucose test is another test done in the screen process. Just as the other tests this one is time sensitive as well. Blood is drawn and tested for glucose levels. Again, the blood should be within a certain range to receive a normal rating. If the woman's glucose level is above 126mg after fasting, no further tests are needed. She would be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

You can find helpful information about screening for gestational diabetes when pregnant and everything you need to know about gestational diabetes mellitus at Aha! Baby.