Pregnancy Diabetes Screening

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Dr. Alison MacInnes, MD, FRCPC, Local Family Physician discusses pregnancy diabetes screening.

Dr. Alison MacInnes, MD, FRCPC, Local Family Physician discusses pregnancy diabetes screening.

Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Alison MacInnes, MD, FRCPC
Video Title: Pregnancy Diabetes Screening
Duration: 2 minutes, 13 seconds

Diabetes screening is a test that's offered to all pregnant women between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

And what the test does is it picks up women who have developed diabetes during their pregnancy. What it involves is a woman goes to the lab, at that time durig her pregnancy, she's given a very sugary drink, it's a 50 gram load of glucose, and it comes in the form of like an orange soda pop.

Most women don't mind taking it at all. They drink the drink, then they have to sit in the lab for an hour. After an hour the blood is tested and it comes back, and it comes back either as a positive or a negative.

A positive test is any glucose greater than 7.7. There are a lot of false positives. This is why this is just a screening test. So what happens after that, is if the test is positive, then she goes on to the confirmation test.

It's called a two-hour glucose tolerance test and that confirms whether in fact they do have gestational diabetes. About two to five percent of women do develop gestational diabetes in pregnancy so it is quite common.

Know it is nothing to be concerned about, it's a good thing we pick it up because it's easy to treat. So what happens is if they've had the confirmation test and they're positive for gestational diabetes, they're often referred to the diabetes clinic at their local hopsital where they're going to deliver.

The clinic has an endocrinologist, which is a specialist in diabetes, has a nurse, has a nutritionist. And most of the time gestational diabetes can be treated with diet and exercise alone. The odd person goes on to need insulin, so really the only health concern with developing gestational diabetes is a condition called macrosomia, or having a very large baby.

So the reason we treat is to prevent macrosomia because this involves injury both to the mother and possibly to the fetus during the delivery. The fetus can also be at risk for developing hypoglycemia after birth.

So it's important we know the mothers who have been treated for diabetes and we check the babies frequently after birth. So any women who is pregnant and is worried about gestational diabetes should speak with their healthcare provider.

Presenter: Dr. Alison MacInnes, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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