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Pregnancy, Gestational Diabetes, and the Dreaded Glucose Tolerance Test

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  • Pregnancy, Gestational Diabetes, and the Dreaded Glucose Tolerance Test

    Hello Everyone,

    I'm new the the forum but not at all new to MDA, the paleosphere, eating/living Primal, etc. Over the past week I made a dedicated attempt to eat paleo/primal (including some dairy like cheese on my salads) for thirty days as an n=1 trial and was feeling great up until I had to take a glucose tolerance test (GTT). I'm 32 weeks pregnant and was overdue for the test, and my midwife insisted on it, so I took it. My past GTTs, both one and three hour, were awful experiences and always resulted in the same thing: no GDM, in fact my insulin response at the three-hour mark was so strong my sugar level went down to 32, and only stabilized again after I ate my way through a few bagels, eggs, ham slices, and chocolate milk...well, that was four years ago, and I'm much smarter about eating.

    My issue is, after seven days of my 30-day trial, I was feeling fantastic. I wrote about it days 1-5 on my blog, and planned another update for days 6-10, but I was completely and totally derailed at day 7 by the GTT.

    When I decided to even further remove added sugars,* grain foods, and most dairy from the diet, I was doing so as an experiment so see how I would feel, especially during these last few weeks (I'm down to 7 weeks, 5 days...) of pregnancy. I was feeling great and my energy improved even further. My moods were good too. I slept well. Even the small period of one week was indicating a shift in a very positive direction. That is, until yesterday. (*When I say "added sugars" I mean refined sugars, honey, maple syrup, etc., not the sugars present in fruits and vegetables. Some sweeteners might be added back in moderation once my trial is over.)

    After the test, I was shaky and irritable after the test. My kids were hungry too, so we went to a little roadside place that sells burgers and dogs. And ice cream. I had a hamburger with french fries. The kids had hot dogs, and ice cream came as part of their meal. Guess who ended up eating what they didn't finish? I didn't think I ate that much food, but I felt like I could barely move after lunch. I almost passed out when we got home from fatigue and that full-belly feeling, the kind you get after Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn't even eat dinner or fit a glass of water in my belly. I sipped a pint glass of water with lemon to try to soothe my stomach. And I was very irritable and moody. I sat on the couch and cried because my youngest one had some diaper rash and I'd forgotten to put cream on her, and felt like a total failure as a mom. I had no energy to pick up the trail of toys and shoes left in the wake of my hyperactive kids. Could all of this really have been the result of ingesting 50g. of pure glucose on an empty stomach, and then giving in to the resulting sugar crash by eating the first thing in sight?

    I think yes. What say you, MDA readers? I would especially like to hear from any experts in the medical field who know the biochemistry more intimately than I, a lay reader with an interest in science, do.

    My fleshed-out blog post about the GTT is here: In Love's Kitchen: Derailed by the GTT


  • #2
    A lot of women feel terrible after doing the 3hr GTT.
    I know when I did mine... I felt totally fine during it, but after it was over and on the way home, I got very dizzy and felt totally off for the rest of the day and most of the next.
    The whole fasting thing and then having to drink that sugary crap on an empty stomach just does not agree with some women.
    DD born August 2012
    TTC #2
    SW: 1/20/14- 212.4
    CW: 2/21/14- 202.6 (9.8 loss)
    Goal: Short term, get below 200 and get pregnant. Long term, get to 120-130
    Mini goal, get in to a size 12.

    My boring uneventful journal for your viewing pleasure


    • #3
      I was lucky, I suppose.
      I had a midwife that did the GTT with regular juice, so I had to get 100% grape juice and drink it on my own an hour before our appointment.
      I found after the test that I was craving more grape juice, so I drank the rest of it (whatever amount was needed for the test was less than the container I bought), and that was that, done...

      other than craving milk chocolate (after I'd so carefully honed my tastebuds to enjoy 91% dark) and sour gummy worms, I pretty much didn't crave sweets during that pregnancy.