A Healthy Approach to the Glucose Tolerance Test
Written by Jennifer Khosla CHN, December 2021.
Jennifer Khosla is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist & Mind Body Wellness Practitioner in Naples, FL. Jennifer is the founder of Lean and Green Body and author of Revitalize & Renew: 7 days to a healthier you.
Read more of the Lean and Green Body blog here.
We are days away from the 3rd trimester and the 7 month mark (yay!)…but you know what that means…glucose tolerance test time.
Honestly, I was dreading this test even before I got pregnant. The ingredients and chemicals in the glucose drink they provide you are scary! I would never put those ingredients (or 50 grams of sugar) in my body pre-pregnancy…so why should I put them in now that I am pregnant? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Keep in mind that 50 grams of glucose = 12.5 teaspoons of sugar, sounds great right?!?
I am a huge fan of patient advocacy, and so at my 6 month check in I spoke with my Doctor about the Fresh Test glucose mix I found. I had to show pictures and explain that The Fresh Test is FDA registered as an equivalent product for this test. I went in with all my stats, and honestly wasn’t going to leave until she said yes (I’m the best patient haha), but to my surprise she agreed right away! It was much easier than I expected, and I was instantly relieved.
A question that comes up often is “do I have to do the glucose tolerance test”and the answer is no. All testing is up to you, although I would highly recommend working with your Doctor or a qualified medical team when making these decisions. It is your body, your choice. Personally for me my regular glucose level is well under 80 and my A1C is about 4.5, so I am not overly worried about gestational diabetes. That being said, our bodies change so much during pregnancy and even though I monitor my levels every few weeks it was important for me to do this test to be proactive for my baby and ensure he is healthy and safe. I always recommend doing your research and listening to your intuition. Once I found The Fresh Test I felt much more comfortable with the glucose tolerance test, knowing I was not inundating myself and my baby with unnecessary chemicals.
The Fresh Test only has 4 active ingredients, compared to a laundry list in the typical glucose drink. The Fresh Test also has a board of physicians who have overseen and worked on this product to make it as safe as possible for you and your baby. You can learn more about The Fresh Test HERE.
I posted my whole journey with the glucose tolerance test earlier today, and you can check it out in my Instagram stories.
The Fresh Test was very sweet but didn’t actually taste bad, it had a very subtle and mild flavor to it. The toughest part for me was waiting for the blood draw. The 50 grams of glucose gave me a huge spike in my blood sugar, causing me to be jittery and overall just uncomfortable. I’m sure baby boy was feeling it too. Interesting insight - insulin does not cross the placenta but glucose does!
After the test (so one hour after drinking the glucose drink) I felt exhausted, super run down, and ready for a nap. It was my body signaling that the spike in glucose was dropping and I was about to crash.
My biggest tips after the glucose tolerance test are:
- drink your greens - they will help to balance your blood sugar levels
- have a snack ready to go in your car as soon as your blood work is complete
- the snack should include: fiber & protein
- avoid sugar for the rest of the day
Sugar is a drug, and once you give the body some…okay more like 50 grams… your body will continue to crave more and more sugar. So if you had a sugary treat post glucose tolerance test, your blood glucose levels would spike back up, only to drop again a little while later. Sugar is not only a drug in our bodies, it actually creates more acidity in our system - essentially creating a more desirable place for disease and illness to thrive, awesome. That’s why I always recommend a high fiber and high protein snack after the glucose tolerance test. Protein and fiber will help your body eliminate this extra glucose, regulate your blood sugar levels, and curb any sugar cravings you may get.
Here are a few ideas of high protein and high fiber snacks:
Mary’s Crackers and guacamole
Veggies and hummus
Dried Apricots and almonds
Protein shake with chia seeds
Along with a snack I would recommend drinking plenty of water to flush out your system, 100 oz would be my goal. Lastly, if you have time sneak in a quick power nap after you eat to help reset the body!
Take aways… don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself, this is your body and your baby. Have a healthy snack on hand to eat right after your test, so your can begin to balance your blood sugar levels and avoid a sugar hangover.
This post is in no way sponsored by Fresh Test, these are simply my own thoughts and opinions as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Mama-to-be.