I am not diabetic. I am 26 weeks pregnant. My doctor has advised me GTT blood test. My doctor says that this blood test is required to exclude gestational diabetes. Is this true? What is gestational diabetes? What is the logic for it? Answer (by Dr. Neelam Dhamija): Glucose tolerance test (GTT) is a blood test. For this test, blood samples are taken after 8 hours of fasting and then, you have to drink 75gms of glucose and blood samples are taken two to three times after taking glucose water, to check the level of glucose in the blood. This is done, to know how your body breaks down and utilize glucose. An abnormal test report means that you are at risk of diabetes. Pregnant women in whom glucose level in the blood is high are said to be suffering from gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes resolves on its own after delivery, this means that after delivery, glucose levels in the blood becomes normal. Women who develope diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in future. During pregnancy various hormones are produced by the placenta which helps in the growth and development of fetus. Some of the hormones, blocks the action of insulin (a hormone which is secreted by the pancreas, and is very essential for the utilization of glucose by the cells of the body).Therefore, her body needs more insulin than her body produces. Therefore the level of glucose in the blood rises (hyperglycemia), this raised glucose levels if not corrected will affect the pregnancy. Effects of high blood glucose levels during pregnancy are: Macrosomia (Baby weight more than 4 kg, irrespective of the gestational age). Breathing difficulties in new born babies. Low apgar score(a simple assessment, done by child specialist, immediately after the delivery, to know if the new born baby needs additional medical treatment for his survival in this new world).
* Dr. Neelam Dhamija Dr. Neelam Dhamija is a qualified Obstetrician and Gynaecologist [M.B.B.S., M.S. (Gynae. & Obst.)] and has about 25 years of experience in the medical profession.