I drink enough water. In that I don’t worry about those ‘drink X amount per day’ challenges that pop up on Facebook from time to time, or those tips about putting fruit or cucumber in tubey bits inside water bottles to make it more palatable. I’m a fiend for the stuff, and can easily drink three litres a day no hassle. So I hate fasting with a passion. Not the food bit, that I can manage, but the withholding water feels like torture.
This week I was scheduled to get a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) to test for Gestational Diabetes. I’m not that sure why to be honest. Well, family history because my mum has been diagnosed with Type 2 since my last pregnancy. She’s borderline, and it’s diet controlled but absolutely nothing has changed with me. Decrepit as I feel, I’m not in the age risk category yet, and I’m not overweight so that’s 2 of the other risk factors gone too. My GP seemed surprised I was being asked to go for it. I will pick my battles though, when it comes to consent in pregnancy (#repealthe8th). This is a reasonably benign test and I do have a very sweet tooth. Now, I should at least make this post helpful right?
So what does it involve?
- Try your hardest not to eat crisps or salty food the night before. It’s not going to help the thirst battle.
- I had to fast, both food and water, from midnight. Hospitals vary though; some require you to abstain from food for 12 hours but you can drink sips of water, so check the fine print if you have a test due.
- Arrive on time if you possibly can – they’ll see you in the order you get there, and a lot of women are scheduled each day. The sooner you start the sooner you can eat. Dublin had a bus strike the day of my test so one poor girl was only starting when I was having my 2nd blood test because traffic was so bad.
- First, they take a blood sample
- Then you’ll be given a measured sugary drink to down in 5 minutes. I was asked to bring Lucozade, but one woman near me hated it, so they made her up a generic glucose drink.
- You’re given the exact time, and you have to come back after one hour and two hours to have more blood samples taken. You must continue to fast during this time. I arrived at 7:55, had my blood taken and drink finished by 8:09, so had my second and third blood tests at 9:09 and 10:09.
- I felt queasy in the first hour, unsurprisingly. It wasn’t so bad as to make me think I might actually be sick, just that much sugar on an empty stomach is a bit bleugh. I sat in a quiet corner of the hospital cafe and did some work.
- In the second hour I felt a good bit better, so by the time I had the last sample taken, I was ready for my tea and toast. In the hospital I’m attending, they give you a voucher. Unfortunately it seemed to coincide with every staff member going on break, and the queue was long so I would advise to bring a snack for yourself – a banana and water kept me going while I waited. Happily, I noted, the default is brown rather than white bread which I was pleased to see in light of how poor the nutritional content of hospital food often is. But I will say this: this is not the best tea and toast you will eat; that accolade is of course taken by the tea and toast that arrive shortly after you give birth. End of.
Further reading on the GTT:
I found this article by AIMS Ireland very helpful in advance of my test.