How To Survive Your Glucose Tolerance Tests

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how-to-drink-glucola-sugar-solution-for-gestational-diabetes-test-glucose-tolerance-test.png I’m back from the doctor’s office.  And we’re pretty sure I have gestational diabetes.

Here’s what happened when I had elevated results on the gestational diabetes screening, along with some tips for surviving the 3-hour glucose tolerance test.

In other words:  How do you drink that yucky sugar drink and not get sick in the waiting room?


All pregnant women receive screening for gestational diabetes — usually between 24 and 28 weeks.


The test is simple:

  1. Choke down a bottle of sugary solution.
  2. Wait an hour.
  3. Let the nurse draw your blood to test your sugar.

Blood sugar levels above 130-140 are considered elevated.  (Mine was 190, and I had to wait 2 days to get results back from the lab.)

But you still can’t say you have gestational diabetes… yet. 

According to Babycenter, only 1/3 of women who test positive on the screening will also test positive on the next test.


It’s the 3-hour screening that’s hard to swallow.  Here’s what happened at my glucose tolerance test today:

  1. Fast from all food after midnight (i.e., starve).
  2. Drive 30 minutes past every fast food place imaginable.
  3. Let the nurse draw blood for a fasting blood sugar reading.
  4. Chug a bottle of 2x concentrated sugar solution… within 5 minutes.
  5. Sit out in the waiting room for 1 hour and try not to vomit.

(Seriously, the nurses warned me:  if you feel like you’re going to be sick, please come back into the inner office before setting off a chain reaction!)


There are 3 more blood draws to look forward to!  One after the first hour, one after the second hour, and one after the third hour. 

(Don’t worry, at least they alternated arms!)

The sugar solution really doesn’t taste that awful.  It’s drinking it on an empty stomach that feels so bad!  I prefer the orange flavor over the tropical punch.  It tastes like an orange cola that has gone flat.


Some tips my nurses gave me for surviving the morning:

    • Drink the solution chilled, or through a straw.

    • Shake the bottle well so your last sip isn’t twice as sweet.

    • Bring a protein snack to eat immediately after the final blood draw.

    • Buy a racy new bestseller to take your mind off the wait.

We headed straight for lunch when my test concluded at noon.  Although I ate a protein-rich meal, the huge influx of sugar left me tired and woozy the rest of the day.

3-hour Glucose Tolerance Test = NOT FUN, but necessary.

Figuring out how to feel better these last few weeks = absolutely worth it!