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Jules asked...

I am 28 weeks pregnant and had my glucose tolerance test last week.

Tags: pregnancy

I am 28 weeks pregnant and had my glucose tolerance test last week (identified at risk as my mother he type 2 diabetes) On Friday, I received a call to advise me my blood test result was 10.2 and that I needed to attend the diabetic clinic for further advice. Keen to make a start on reducing sugar in my diet, I have followed a low GI diet and been carb counting since Saturday. However, I am unsure what numbers I should be aiming for? I've been following the rule of 30-40g carbs per meal and no mor than 15g per snack, aiming for 130g per day or less. However, I have also seen information on the web which suggests a pregnant woman may need more carbs that this in her diet. Any advice would be appreciated prior to my appointment in a week, Many thanks

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The answer

I’m assuming that the level of 10.2mmol/l was your blood glucose level after you had your sugar drink – a glucose tolerance test measures two blood glucose levels, the first one fasting and the second one after you take a standard dose of glucose in a drink. The World Health Organisation defines Gestational diabetes as any blood glucose results above the normal range (slightly confusing, since for people who aren’t pregnant there is a ‘middle ground’ between normal glucose and type 2 diabetes, known as impaired glucose tolerance). The results they use are a plasma glucose level of 7.8mmol/l or more two hours after a standard 75gram glucose drink. Most women with Gestational diabetes find their blood sugar goes back to normal after pregnancy (as long as they had normal blood sugars before they got pregnant) but you are at increased risk of getting diabetes in the future if you’ve had gestational diabetes, and should have regular checks from now on. It’s important to have regular meals during pregnancy if you have gestational diabetes – three meals and a couple of snacks is often advised. Starchy carbohydrates with a low Glycaemic Index (GI) are slowly absorbed from your system, helping to keep your blood glucose stable. Low GI foods include granary, pumpernickel or rye bread (rather than white), new or sweet potatoes (rather than baked or mashed), porridge, pasta and basmati or easy cook rice. You should also be aiming to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg a day, but try not to have more than one portion of fruit at a time and include beans and lentils, too.

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