Monday, April 16, 2012

Don't drink that orange glucose tolerance drink!


image: http://theherbwoman.com
The "Glucose Tolerance" test is normally given between 24 and 28 weeks for diabetes and similar conditions. It is given earlier for higher risk patients (including me with baby #3 since #2 was so big thanks to my husband's tall genetics -- I passed!).  Sometimes seemingly healthy moms develop gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that seems to appear only while they are pregnant.  It can be controlled with diet and exercise but these moms must be closely controlled by their caregivers to ensure that the baby remains healthy. These women are also at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life so it is good to make some lifestyle and diet changes that carry on well after pregnancy. I consider this test to be very important and informational.


The test is done by giving the mom a drink high in glucose (a type of sugar) then testing her blood one hour later. Normally caregivers give a pre-made orange drink that tastes like flat orange soda. I had this with my first pregnancy and my OB made me drink it at room temperature (apparently it tastes better chilled) then sit in her office and wait for one hour. Here are my two issues with that method and why I did it different for babies #2 and #3:


1) There is no need to sit in the caregiver's office for an hour!
You can very well ask at your prior appointment (your caregiver will give you warning) to consume the beverage on your own an hour before your appointment then arrive at your normal time for your appointment.  Why do you need to sit in their office for an hour unless you really feel like escaping your office or your older kids?  :)


2) That orange drink is filled with JUNK!
You have been doing a great job during your pregnancy to consume healthier foods and avoid chemicals and artificial food colorings that will all go to your baby.  Do not let this orange glucose tolerance drink fall through the cracks of your good health.  Look at what is on the label and check out these alternatives! If your caregiver does not inform you of them, then you can simply tell them at your prior appointment that you will be doing an alternative glucose consumption. They have no right to make you drink that orange syrup. This drink is not something that you want your fetus to be feeding on!


Ingredients
Glucose syrup [probably from GMO corn], maltodextrin, purified water, acidity control compound E330 [sounds yummy!], preservative E211 [why?], cola aroma [who needs this?], foodstuff color E150 [artificial & most likely toxic] , and carbonic acid.


Alternatives (as distributed by my midwifes' practice)
20 oz. of a natural ginger ale
14 oz. of orange juice not from concentrate
10 oz. of cranberry juice
10 oz. of grape juice



12 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post! I'm getting close to gtt time and have no desire to consume that chemical concoction, E211?? E330?? Foodstuff color E150??? The alternatives you mentioned sound MUCH more ideal and I'll drink one of those instead. :)

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    1. This is great to hear! Good luck on your test!

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  2. I asked about alternatives to the drink and the only alternative they gave was having preparandial blood work done, eating a meal and then postparandial blood work...
    kinda frustrating...i asked about grape juice, but apparently they had never done that.

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    1. Are you with an OB or a midwife? Many OBs have never used alternatives because they were trained to just give the glucose drink. Midwives tend to be more informed from their training process. This might be a good chance for you to teach something to your caregiver. Good luck.

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  3. Or you could just have some jelly beans :-)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10561636

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    1. I love it! Yes I would rather have jelly beans! My favorite are the ones at Trader Joe's. I would have asked for the test at every appointment. That is a great article and it is exciting that it is from NIH. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I refused the drink they tried to give me. It had double the ingredients of this list including brominated soybean oil. This is the same flame retardant stuff they are trying to get banned from soft drinks. I mean seriously?

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    1. All of the drinks are not from the same manufacturer.

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  5. Thank you for this post! They gave me the drink at my last appointment and asked me to drink it one hour before I came in. I asked if I absolutely had to as I don't normally eat pure sugar, GMOs, or artificial coloring. My midwife insisted that since I am doing an out-of-hospital birth it is very necessary. I am thinking of calling them and asking them about these alternatives but part of me worries they will say no and then I will have to drink the glucola anyway. What if I just substituted the juice and didn't tell them? Is the protocol different if you drink something else an hour before?

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    1. Hi Ashley, your midwife feels that the glucose tolerance test is important and it is. It does not hurt to ask her if you can drink the same amount of glucose in one of these alternative beverages. The test is done exactly the same. My midwives never gave me the option until I asked about it. Sadly most caregivers don't have the time with every patient to educate and go through the options. Good luck and keep us posted!

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  6. I wish I had known this before my test. I told them I wasn't comfortable taking the orange junk after working so hard to have a healthy pregnancy. Next time I will insist on an alternative.

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  7. Uhhhhhh... I just did mine today, and had the 2 exact same thoughts!! I should have looked into the ingredients prior and not procrastinated!

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