Sugar frustrations

My second glucose test was this morning.  This time I had to drink 100 g of glucose.  After fasting for >8 hours. 

So last night I got home from work, showered, ate a low carb dinner and tried not to think about how my body was about to enter starvation mode.  My seitan and daiya dinner would have made Mr. Atkins so proud.  My body really doesn’t like being without whole grains.  I was itching to throw my vegan “cheese-steak” on some whole wheat bread.  In the end I added a bit of quinoa to the mix (because I knew I’d never survive off protein alone).  Before my zero hour arrived I had some dessert (a few spoonfuls of peanut butter) and not long after I went to bed. 

I anticipated heading to the hospital as soon as the lab opened in the morning, which was 6 am.  This meant no food after 10 pm.  But I can barely keep my eyes open past 9 pm on work days, so I really only had between 8:15 and 9 pm to fuel myself up.  [I got home from work at 8, but took the time to shave while in the shower, thereby costing me an extra 5 minutes and delaying dinner ever so slightly]

Kyle was so sweet, offering to accompany me to the hospital and distract me while I waited out the torture.  He even woke up to get ready before I did to avoid eating in front of me.  It was still dark when we left the house at 6:30 am, but my stomach was already wide awake.  So was my baby – kicking and rolling and punching away – begging me for food, no doubt.

I checked into the lab and they took my fasting glucose, after which I got to chug the glucola.  It was even more concentrated than the one I had last week.  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever consumed 100 g of sugar in a single day before, let alone one sitting.  It felt so horrible knowing what I was putting into my body was pure crap and I didn’t even have a choice. 

The first hour was the worst.  Not just the waiting (which was incredibly boring), but the way I felt.  I thought I might puke for the first 30 minutes.  Kyle and I read trashy magazines to pass the time, but I got bored with those.  So then we looked at furniture (still on the hunt for a inexpensive but semi-nice dresser that will double as a changing table).  Blah.  Sitting in the waiting area was so boring.  Should have brought the iPad to watch something.  Finally it was time to get the first hour check. 

The second hour was a breeze.  We walked to the hospital cafeteria because I needed a change in scenery and I did a crossword.  I’m pretty happy when doing crosswords, especially the Daily Bruin ones, so this made the time fly by.  However, I’m also a crossword geek, so I finished it with plenty of time still to spare waste.  Thumb twiddling.  Finally it was time to get the second hour blood test. 

For the last hour we walked to the on-campus store.  We looked at baby clothes from our alma mater and dilly dallied the time away.  On our way back to the lab, Kyle ran into a former professor (I really dislike meeting people for the first time while pregnant…I feel like I need to add a disclaimer to everything from my appearance to my brain function).  In any event, I fiiiiiiinally had my last blood draw taken and bolted.  Kyle was waiting with the car in the turnaround because we were planning on going somewhere for brunch, but I was so wiped out, I just wanted to get home. 

I thought I’d feel starving by the end of it, but my appetite seemed to go away after the second hour or so.  I mostly just felt gross. 

We stopped at WF for groceries and by the time we got home I started feeling pretty bad.  At this point it was 10:45 which meant I’d gone well over 12 hours without food.  Not surprisingly, as I was making breakfast, I got really shaky and weak and faint.  Fortunately, my breakfast didn’t involve much preparation, so I had a nice warm plate of eggs and tempeh bacon pretty quickly thereafter. 

It took my body a while to feel okay again.  My hands were shaking for most of the time I was eating and I had to lie my head on the table in between bites.  I’m sure my body was pissed at me.  It was probably wondering WTF I was doing drinking super syrupy soda for breakfast with nothing else. 

The meal made me feel better though, and by 11 o’clock I was feeling “normal” again (normal is a relative term during pregnancy).  Truthfully, I was so unsatisfied with my carb-less breakfast.  I really wanted bread or potatoes or something, but after chugging pure sugar first thing in the morning, I couldn’t help but feel guilty about the imbalance in my diet.  Such a dilemma.

In the end I had some roasted purple potatoes a while later because I knew ignoring an entire macronutrient wasn’t going to lead me anywhere good.  I’m also 100% certain my body isn’t on board with the paleo/atkins/dukan approach. 


Now I’m (impatiently) waiting for the results.  If I weren’t so afraid of the legal side of medicine I’d log in with my work ID and check the results myself.  It’s a good thing I’m not on campus because then I’d really be tested…


Well, I couldn’t wait any longer.  So I emailed my provider and asked if the results were back.  Good news!  I passed!  So I guess the first glucose test was a fluke and my random dizzy spells and such are just the normal pregnancy symptoms I suspected (and blew off) before. 

10/30/12  1008   (COLLECTION TIME)    10/30/12  1009  (IN LAB TIME)
-  GLUCOSE,3 HOUR                     67 mg/dL                     65-110
10/30/12  0910   (COLLECTION TIME)    10/30/12  0914  (IN LAB TIME)
-  GLUCOSE,2 HOUR                     95 mg/dL                      <140
10/30/12  0810   (COLLECTION TIME)    10/30/12  0817  (IN LAB TIME)
-  GLUCOSE,1 HOUR                     92 mg/dL                      <185
10/30/12  0705   (COLLECTION TIME)    10/30/12  0706  (IN LAB TIME)
-  GLUCOSE,FASTING                    77 mg/dL                     65-100

Clearly my body was ready for food by the last hour!!!

Now that I see how well my body tolerated the 100 g glucose, it seems odd that my first test (after drinking 50 g) was a whopping 147, but who knows. 

I’m just happy to be able to continue my normal diet throughout the remaining months of pregnancy.  I was trying to be open minded about the idea of meeting with a dietician in the event of an abnormal fasting GTT, but it definitely didn’t seem appealing.  Not to sound arrogant, but considering how (healthfully) I eat and (often) I exercise, it didn’t seem like there were many things for me to change, which is why I was worried insulin may be the next step.  But all my concern was for naught.  Typical Elise, overanalyzing everything to the extreme.


Hooray for carbs! 🙂

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Comments (34)

  1. Lori @ Coolgreendays

    Great news Elise – I can feel your relief through the wires =D Can concentrate on fun stuff now.

  2. Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale

    Excellent news, Elise!! I’m so glad for you!
    Also, thank you!! I’m a lab tech and it’s part of my job to administer these horrid drinks to people (I’m sorry!!) — so hearing about the effects so candidly from a patient really helps me to better understand my patients. I’m ever so grateful — you’re helping me do my job better!!
    You’re lucky they allowed you to walk around! We have our patients sit very close to our door as they aren’t allowed to leave in the least. They’re not allowed to nap either — all of that would change their metabolic rate, and therefore their glucose assimilation rate.
    Regardless, congratulations on conquering this hurdle and here’s to a smooth last few months!! 🙂

  3. Jennifer (iffles)

    Hooray! Glad to hear the good news!

  4. Abby

    Thank goodness.
    Now go cover ALL THE CARBS in Sabra and have yourself a great day! 😉

  5. Nikki

    Yay! I’m so glad your results came back good–that glucose drink sounds absolutely horrible…they should really just start making enormous cinnamon rolls and use those for testing instead:-)

  6. Sarah

    Yay! Thank gosh! Bring on the sugar! Kiddddding.

    I used to have to take 8-hour fasting blood tests monthly because I was on a medicine that sometimes did weird things to your lipids panel. I would always try to get to the lab first thing in the morning, or else the line would be almost as long as the fasting requirement. (Okay okay, I exaggerate but when you are hungry, it feels that way!)

  7. Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie

    WOW. Quite the ordeal! I’m so happy for you that things are going to be able to return to normal but what a rough day!

  8. Sarah

    I totally know how you feel — with my first pregnancy, I failed the first test and had to do that second one. I remember laying on the waiting room floor in agony, feeling dizzy and horrible during the 4 hour test. Unfortunately, I failed 2/4 and had to follow essentially a low carb diet. I’m mostly vegan, a yoga teacher, and thin — it was baffling to me and my doctor why that happened. Turns out, I stink at being pregnant — I had morning sickness my whole first pregnancy, and my doctor thinks it messed with my metabolism to the point where I couldn’t handle sugar (funny thing is… I didn’t want sugar AT ALL — just lots of doughy whole wheat bagels with Earth Balance!)
    Now I’m 35 weeks with #2 — they tested me twice this time (16 weeks and 26 weeks), and I passed both times! I’ve still struggled a lot with morning sickness and not gaining a ton of weight, but have been doing lots of gentle yoga and walking, and I think my body’s just maybe more used to what pregnancy does to your body. Either way, my first son came out perfectly (and 6.5 pounds, by no means what you’d think of with gestational diabetes), and this baby looks great so far, too!
    I guess this is all just a long-winded way of saying that it’s totally normal to be concerned about EVERYTHING during pregnancy, and your body literally changes so much that it’s not your fault for readings/what’s “normal” to be different. You are doing exactly what you need to do, and I’m so happy you passed the test! Low-carb diets are awful!! 🙂

  9. clare @ fittingitallin

    That just sounds miserable. I’m so glad you passed! It would definitely be crazy (and depressing) for someone as healthy as you to have those complications.

  10. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    Ah I’m glad to hear that it went alright! I remember when I had to fast for my colonoscopy, I didn’t eat for 36 hours… It was awful! And yay for carbs! Those cinnamon rolls look so good!

  11. Angie

    I went through the same thing and passed the second time. I missed the first one by 5 points. It’s frustrating but at least you’re ok.

  12. Erika

    I’m so happy to hear your results from the second Glucose test. I was surprised too when you said they needed to test you again based on your first test results. And then not surprised at all when they came back completely normal. My sister-in-law is an OB/Gyn and I asked her about this test and whether it seems necessary for a woman such as yourself who is at a healthy weight, eats very well and exercises regularly. I’m currently 22 weeks pregnant and lead a lifestyle much like your’s and I really don’t want to have to put myself through all that crap. My SIL said the results for the first test very often end up being a false positive, forcing women to take the second one just to be sure they are fine, which the majority end up being. She also said this test is entirely voluntary and you don’t actually have to take it, although it’s highly recommended by most doctors.
    My question for you is: Knowing now what you do, would you have taken the test in the first place? It seems so unnecessary and the cause of much anxiety. Just wondering your thoughts on the subject 🙂

  13. Sarah C

    Congrats! I’m really glad for you that it worked out. I (who did have the g-d GD) was really pissed at the dietician visit like you suspected you would have been. I was like, don’t tell me about healthy eating. And now you don’t have to prick your finger for the rest your pregnancy!

    And to the commenter above, gestational diabetes is NOT about whether the momma eats well or is at a healthy weight. It’s just something that happens in some women’s systems and not others. It’s hard to un-link GD from the common beliefs about Type-2 Diabetes, which can be caused by diet and exercise.

  14. Elise (Post author)

    ive thought a lot about that very question actually, because im still annoyed that i had to ingest that crap…and in the end id probably still have done it. and if i get pregnant again, ill probably do it again. as much as it makes me angry that there isnt a healthier alternative (ie something without food dyes), its still good to know whats going on with your body. hormones do funky things to you and since i was having periods where i felt dizzy and faint, it was important to me to make sure it wasnt something bigger.
    ive heard many people with similar stories – first test high & second test fine. but ive also heard from several women who lead healthy active lifestyles similar to mine that had to monitor their sugars for the rest of their pregnancy after having both tests come back high.
    in the end, i guess its better to be safe. everyone wants a healthy baby 🙂
    ps congrats on your pregnancy!!

  15. Elise (Post author)

    i totally agree. hormones are crazy! and i had a hard time trying to convey this to my in-laws (and even some of my coworkers!!!) who thought there must be something wrong with what im doing.
    anyway, im sorry you had to go through that and meet with the RD. i was so scared he/she wasn’t going to know what seitan was, or tell me to use splenda, or something horrible like that.

  16. Elise (Post author)

    i missed the first one by 7 points. 🙂

    same to you angie.

  17. Elise (Post author)

    well once youre pregnant i can pretty much promise you, you will look back on that and laugh. because that amount of time without food is impossible once you add hormones and supplying food for another being into the mix.

  18. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

    Haha I hope I remember this post then so I can come back and tell you you’re right! Might be a while…

  19. Elise (Post author)

    arent hormones the craziest thing!?! its mind blowing how unrecognizable my body is to me. i had no idea that something could mess with your “normal” so much.

    and just like you said, its definitely not my “fault”, but its hard to not take on guilt anyway.

    in any event, im sooooo happy i dont have to follow a low carb diet!!

  20. Elise (Post author)

    i agree! i am so glad i got there early because the wait when i left was 40 minutes. ick!!

  21. Elise (Post author)

    right??? id much rather devour a stack of pancakes with heaps of syrup and fruit on top 🙂

  22. Elise (Post author)

    im glad you enjoyed it chelsie 🙂

    as a health care worker im very sensitive to reacting to the poor people who have to carry out orders that patients dislike. my hospital has such wonderful staff though. the blood draws werent bad at all and i did get a lot of empathy from them (since i was there all morning).

    interestingly, i ran (literally jogged all over the place) several errands during the hour of my first gtt so im now wondering if that could have been the cause of my high level. nobody ever told me not to, they just said be back here in an hour.

    for this second gtt i was nearby the whole time (the places i mentioned that i walked to were less than 100 yards from the lab).

  23. Sarah C

    Yeah, I mostly ignored what the dietician told me and ate what I knew to be a healthy diet – I just had to cut back on simple carbs but otherwise my readings were fine. Just such a pain to have to prick my finger after every meal!

  24. Lou

    Yay! I knew That first test would have been a weird fluke – you’re so onto it with your diet/lifestyle it just didn’t seem right.

    I feel for ya – I wanted to puke the entire day after that evil sugar test, ew shudder.

    I love carbs too. My body can’t survive without them.

  25. Lisa

    Wow, that whole process seems so intense. I really never thought too much about it, but it sounds pretty lousy. I’m glad you are all finished with that though! And that the first round must have been a fluke. Um yah, I’m with you on paleo, my body would kill me if I did that. I definitely know what the low blood sugar thing feels like. I have hypoglycemia (no idea what from) and it really sucks. I work at a restaurant and sometimes have to go 8 hours without food, let me tell you it’s almost impossible to get through and my boss is a real stickler for food at work. Ehh, I guess it’s temporary. Anyways, so glad to hear you passed and got to enjoy those carbs again!:)

  26. Teghan

    Yay!! I just knew given your healthy lifestyle and super healthy diet that it would be fine :). Enjoy these last precious months of your little belly dweller. Before you know it that baby will be out and exploring the world :o)

  27. Elise (Post author)

    so true!!

  28. Elise (Post author)

    what a bummer you cant eat for so long at your job! isnt that illegal?? it seems like it must be.

  29. Elise (Post author)

    i can only imagine!!! the idea of having to do that seems awful!! seriously awful!! ive been tempted to check it at work a few times, just out of curiosity, but then when i actually had to prick myself i couldnt do it. im so lame.

  30. Elise (Post author)

    ha. ok, ill wait…

  31. Lisa

    Oh yes, it’s definitely illegal. The problem with working there is that if you won’t do that, they’ll just fire you because they figure other people will do that without having an issue. It’s pretty awful ha ha.

  32. ethel

    OMG! It’s been so long since I’ve read your blog, NYC held me captive, and I’m so happy that this test went well!! Catch up soon!!!


  33. Elise (Post author)

    yes! need a date asap. this weekend??

    ps if you find unreal candy somewhere let me know. its supposed to be at regular drug stores but i rarely go so i havent gotten to check yet.

  34. ethel

    i could probs do tomorrow after lunch. but tengo una problema. still no car so i’ll have to take the train to culver city. could we meet around that area?

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