I’m a midwife and MD who specializes in the health and wellness of pregnant mommas. While I’m one of the original crunchy mamas, I got the science thing down tight in my medical training at Yale, so I can keep you informed on what’s safe, what’s not, and what are the best alternatives.

This article, in which I take on the toxic ingredients in oral glucose test drinks, is the first in a 3-part series on gestational diabetes. If you’re pregnant, planning to be pregnant, or working with pregnant mommas – this series is for you!

Is Gestational Diabetes Really an Issue?

In the past decade obesity has become rampant in our country. With it the rates of diabetes in the general population, and gestational diabetes (GDM) – which is an excessive increase in glucose intolerance in pregnancy (some increase in glucose intolerance is actually normal and allows more sugar to get to the baby for growth) – have risen dramatically. Current estimates are that 5%-7% of pregnant women in the U.S. develop GDM.

Gestational diabetes increases the risk of a host of serious medical problems for mom and baby. However, at levels even lower than those that would qualify a woman for a GDM diagnosis, chronically elevated blood sugar also puts mom and baby at much higher risk of pregnancy and birth complications.

Elevated blood sugar creates a condition in the body called “oxidative stress” and in pregnancy, which is already a state of somewhat increased oxidative stress, this can lead to high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and preterm birth. Also, babies born to overweight or diabetic moms have a much higher lifetime likelihood of developing chronic health problems associated with obesity and diabetes. Women who develop GDM also have at least a 50% change of becoming diabetic later in life.

So yes, gestational diabetes is a big issue we should be aware of! But does that mean we need universal screening of all pregnant women, and are oral glucose drinks (called “Glucola”) our best – or only – option for testing?

About Glucose Testing for Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a dangerous condition — actually so is high blood sugar even if below the level that qualifies for GDM (discussed in this blog series). Women who are at moderate to high risk do require some form of testing for GDM so they can be followed and treated appropriately if detected.

Current guidelines recommend what is called a “two step approach” for screening for gestational diabetes. (Whether this testing is necessary will be addressed in the next article in the series). The first step is a glucose challenge test. Women are given a “drink” – called “Glucola,” which contains, among other things as you’re about to learn, 50 grams of a sugar polymer. Your blood sugar level is measured 1 hour after drinking the stuff. Women who screen positive go on to the second step, the glucose tolerance test (GTT), with either a 75-gram two-hour test or a 100-gram three-hour test. Again, the glucose drink is given as the vector for the sugar. It comes in concentrations containing 50, 75, and 100 grams of sugar.

The medical community considers this “drink” harmless though it is well recognized that some women just can’t tolerate it due to digestive system side effects including nausea, vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea, as well as other adverse reactions including headache, dizziness, and fatigue.

But really, it might not be that harmless after all!

The Problem With Glucola

In an age of increasing concern about the toxic exposures our babies are getting even before birth, and the impact of these on their short and long term health, including the impact on their DNA (genes), it is important to note that at least one of the glucose test drinks EasyDex, by Aero Med (note that ingredient lists from the test companies are notoriously hard to find online!) contains something called BVO, or brominated vegetable oil. BVO is also found in at least 10% of all soft drinks in the US, and is included to keep the favoring from floating to the top of the beverage.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “safety questions have been hanging over BVO since 1970, when the FDA removed BVO from its ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ list of food ingredients.” At that time, the FDA granted BVO ‘interim status’ as a food additive which allowed its use in soft drinks, but it was and remains banned from European and Japanese soft drinks. BVO is patented in the U.S. and overseas as a flame retardant.

Yet it is in EasyDex, a medical testing “drink” consumed by presumably hundreds of thousands of pregnant woman in the US!!!

Vani Hari (aka The Food Babe), a food activist who is bringing fresh attention to the hazards of the chemical additives in our foods, brought the BVO issue to my attention when we were chatting at a conference. We both agreed that this toxin should not be given to pregnant women! Here is a picture, shared with Vani’s permission, of the ingredients in EasyDex, including BVO.


So What’s Wrong With BVO?

BVO contains bromine, which is known to interfere with thyroid function. Even more frightening, it is found in the brominated flame retardants that are used in upholstered furniture and children’s products, which I wrote about in a previous blog.

Research has found that brominated flame retardants build up in the body and breast milk. BVO leaves residues that accumulate in body fat, the brain, the liver, and other organs. Studies in animals demonstrate that BVO is transferred from mother’s milk to the nursing infant. BVO has been associated with heart lesions, fatty changes in the liver, and impaired growth and behavioral development, and both animal and human studies have linked BVO to neurological problems, fertility problems, changes in thyroid hormones and precocious puberty.

Charles Vorhees, a toxicologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, told Scientific American that “compounds like these that are in widespread use probably should be reexamined periodically with newer technologies to ensure that there aren’t effects that would have been missed by prior methods…I think BVO is the kind of compound that probably warrants some reexamination.”

Well, Charles, I agree and then some!

Ok, if you’ve already given it to your baby, take a deep breath – everything is gonna’ be ok. We all do the best we can with the information we have at the time, and this won’t be the last time you find out you did something you wish you hadn’t with your kid. I’ve had plenty of those “Oh S#!t” moments and my kids survived. Just make sure to avoid more exposures later on in the form of soft drinks and flame retardant PJs.

If you haven’t had it yet – think about saying “NO!” as part of the revolutionary movement to keep toxic chemicals away from our unborn babies.

What About Other Glucose Test Drinks?

Even if the glucose test drink you are offered doesn’t contain something as obviously noxious as BVO, they pretty much all contain artificial flavors and colors, high fructose corn syrup, and the glucose itself is derived from corn – most certainly not GMO-free! Not ingredients I would want to drink during pregnancy (or ever).

What’s a Mom to Do About Glucose Testing? Let’s Start a Revolution! 

As women, many of us were taught to “be nice,” or “be seen and not heard.” As patients, this can translate into accepting tests, procedures, and treatments that we feel we don’t want or need, or that, in this case, might not be safe for us or our babies!

You certainly have the right to read the label on the glucose test drink you are offered before agreeing to the test!

You also have the right not to be screened for GDM, as well as to choose your preferred screening method. In fact, in 2001 ACOG clearly stated that gestational diabetes guidelines should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure. Variations in practice may be warranted based on the needs of the individual patient, resources, and limitations unique to the institution or type of practice.” And further, and more importantly, ACOG clearly states that a pregnant woman’s autonomy is to be respected, and that judicial authority should not be used to implement treatment regimens aimed at protecting the fetus, for such actions violate the pregnant woman’s autonomy.”

As I discuss in the next article in this series, What You Should Know About Gestational Diabetes and Glucose Tolerance Testing in Pregnancy, the GTT test has a wide margin of error – the test misses many women who have GDM, and diagnoses others who don’t have it at all. Thus women who need extra nutritional counseling might not get it at all, and others with normal healthy pregnancies might get unnecessarily put into high-risk categories. And all women end up getting a potentially toxic drink for the sake of a less than reliable test.

If we all say NO to toxic glucose test drink ingredients, we might be able to put enough pressure on manufacturers to change to remove unnecessary and potentially toxic ingredients (including things like ester of wood rosin!). 

It’s really important to know that this is not an emergency decision, and that you do have a choice!

In my next blog I’m going to discuss whether glucose testing is needed in pregnancy. But if you are at risk for GDM, or are just planning to have the testing to make sure everything’s okay with your blood sugar, then consider other reasonable testing options:

  1. If you are in your first or early second trimester, consider a Hemoglobin A1C test. It is a simple blood test that doesn’t require you to ingest anything prior. While there is no set level that determines gestational diabetes (there are levels for non-pregnancy-related diabetes), done early enough in pregnancy it can determine whether you already had undetected diabetes before even becoming pregnant, and a level of 5.45% may be associated with gestational diabetes, in which case you can make dietary changes and wait until 24-28 weeks gestation, when the glucose challenge and GTT are typically done, and then decide whether to test.
  2. Consider an excellent diet and random glucose testing. This just requires finger stick blood testing which can even be done by you at home, and is a commonly used alternative for women who can’t tolerate the Glucola. However, one test result alone is not enough to diagnose or rule out GDM, so you’ll want to work with your doctor or midwife to come up with a reasonable schedule for testing and assessing your results.
  3. Consider “The Jelly Bean Test.” This test, which has you eat 28 jelly beans, which also provide 50 grams of sugar, has been popular amongst midwives for decades, and now there are GMO-free and naturally-colored brands to choose from. While some data suggests that the results are not entirely as reliable as using the oral glucose test drinks, an article published in a major obstetrics journal states that jelly beans are a reliable alternative that are actually preferred by women and have fewer side effects.

If you found this blog informative (or even just shocking!), please make sure to share it with all of your pregnant – or could get pregnant – friends! Remember, 100% of pregnant women get offered this toxic cocktail as part of routine prenatal care!

See you in the comments and the next installment on how to know if you should have testing for GDM!

With so much love,



  1. Funny story…I passed this test with my first two pregnancies but had cleaned up diet before third baby ( semi paleo ) and I failed test!! I scored about 214….my doc was very worried and I was SHOCKED. BUT when we did blood monitoring around meals I was completely FINE! why did this happen??

    • If you were doing a low carb or low sugar diet….which paleo is, your body may have registered a false positive because of all the sugar overload. My OB had me carb load for 3 days prior to the test so that we wouldn’t have that issue (mostly paleo diet here too)

    • My guess is that since you are now paleo, sugar is more of a stranger to your body. Thus, it is tolerated less easily than when it was a more regular feature of your diet, and this horrible drink just shocked your adjusted system!

    • I have 3 children. I’m an RN. I can honestly say I am happy I will never ave to drink another GTT soda. Yuck. I don’t want my patients to have to drink this. There are better means of assessing gestational diabetes and risk for diabetes than this outdated test. We need a better way. Midwives and CNMs know a better way and in time their evidence based research will demonstrate it. I would like to see more providers ask their gestational diabetic how the patient will incorporate exercise into their daily and weekly schedule. This sets them up for better glucose and insulin homeostasis. The patient commits to this in their care plan.

  2. For anyone who needs an alternative: my birth center gave me the option of the the glucose drink or 16 ounces of orange juice. I opted for the OJ for both my pregnancies.

    • Hi PhillyMama – what hospital system did you use? I use the Paoli/Lankenau system (Chester County/Philadelphia) and wasn’t presented with that option in my past two pregnancies. Really want to do OJ this time (3rd pregnancy)!! Thanks for your help!

      • Just wanted to add a comment about other ‘alternative’ tests. My OB office lets you choose between the ‘Orange Drink’ the ‘Fruit Punch Drink’ or… 20 pre-packaged Brach’s Jelly Beans. I took the jelly beans because i knew what they tasted like. Although honestly, that much sugar is VERY hard to get down in 5 minutes, one bite at a time. Its still nice to have a non-medicinal option, granted I’m sure there all kinds of junk in jelly beans too.

  3. I am curious what your experience and thoughts are with capillary glucose testing for postprandial glucose testing? I offer this testing as an alternative for my clients to the glucola load. They must keep a diet diary along with 3 days of capillary testing: fasting, 1 hour and 2 hour readings. This gives insight into each lady’s regular routine and food choices which ultimately affect her glucose numbers. The physicians we work with at Maternal Fetal Medicine agree that this is a more accurate method of testing. What are your thoughts?

  4. There’s very little in this post to support a recommendation against Glucola. What are the specific toxic effects of BVO, and have they been shown to occur in humans? “Associations” and “links” are mentioned, but no studies are cited. How much BVO is required to see that effect (remember, “the dose makes the poison”) and through what route of administration? And how does that compare to the amount of BVO in Glucola? At the very least, these questions needed to be answered before recommending against a screening test for an important condition.

    • All I can say is read about the concept of the precautionary principle. Where a developing fetus is concerned, any is too much! And I am clearly not recommending against the screening test — I am saying read the labels, only test if needed (not everyone needs the test), and pressure the company to get the toxins out — there’s no good reason for them. And yes, if you follow my links you will see that the toxic effects of BVO ARE established in humans…Follow the links in my piece, and also look for the Scientific American article where BVO is discussed.

      • Most of your links go to your other blog posts, none of which cite actual studies showing maternal-fetal transmission, any negative effects, or at what levels. For example the three links in the “What’s Wrong with BVO?” section: the first cites no data, the second doesn’t even mention BVIO, and while The Scientific American article discusses BVO in sodas, it is primarily its effects when soda is consumed at very large volumes. Again, the dose makes the poison. It does not seem that you’re providing any concrete evidence that the BVO in Glucola acts as a toxin.

        I am familiar with the precautionary principle and as you know it is extraordinarily vague, and if strictly applied actually prohibits itself (i.e. it’s internally inconsistent). You are of course correct that not everyone needs the test, and it was a mischaracterization on my part to suggest that you were recommending against the test instead of the drink.

        • the precautionary principle is quite clear, sam, it states that if there is a toxin in question, the burden should be on the manufacturer, etc, to prove safety, rather than those questioning it to prove harm.

          “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action.” – Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, Jan. 1998

          • The vagueness comes from the “threats of harm” phrase. What constitutes a threat of harm? What’s the threshold? There has to be some minimal credibility to that threat, otherwise it’s just simple fear mongering. There has to be a reason to put the burden on the manufacturer, otherwise we’d be asking every single ingredient in every substance on the market (not just in medicine) to be “proven safe.”

          • Why shouldn’t all ingredients be proven safe? After all, we thought xrays, DDT, and unlimited use of CT’s were safe. Hmmm… guess again.

          • Bullshit. If you really believed in the precautionary principle, you would NOT be trying to convince women that testing for GD is unimportant because of the false negatives and false positives. If you believed in the precautionary principle, you would weigh the risks of the various testing methods — as well as the number of women you are going to convince that GD testing is altogether unimportant and untrustworthy with your alarmist rhetoric — vs the benefits of avoiding uncontrolled GD. By the way, the only mom I know with GD was a super thin, healthy eating marathoner with no family history of diabetes. On the contrary I had a crappy diet and a history of GD, and I passed with flying colors.

          • Try READING the blog. I actually say the test is important. And interestingly, marathon runners often have glucose problems — it’s an adrenal issue.

    • I agree. Saying that bromine is in both BVO and brominated flame retardants is a fear-tactic. It doesn’t hold any value as to the safety of bromine in general. Oxygen is in a lot of things including carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide…one of those is safe, the other can be deadly. Just because they share a similar element does not mean they are the same thing, they are ENTIRELY different.

      Going on to say that bromated flame retardants build up is misleading. We’re not talking about flame retardants (see above) we’re talking about BVO…which you don’t mention builds up, just that it can be found in certain tissues, I’m assuming after multiple exposures (which this test is not).

      Sure, it has some gross stuff in it, but a generally healthy woman taking this test has a body that is able to handle it. People don’t seem to trust their body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. If you’re constantly exposed to something and the body can’t keep up, sure…you have a case. But a one off test for something important like this is not the end all do all for mom or baby.

      There’s no problem with boycotting it to pressure companies to make it healthier in general, but be more straight forward and eliminate the misleading fear-mongering.

      • Toxicity has been shown in adults who have binge consumed soda containing BVO. So how do we know how much baby gets exposed to. I’m just asking for a healthier product. Keep in mind, it is banned from human consumption in Europe and in Japan…

        • Thanks for this article I’m pretty sure all the people that need more proof believe in everything the FDA says… I surely don’t and this happened to me now I’m testing my glucose four times a day and pretty much every measure has been fine I had just two of my fasting measures in two different days that were a little over and now one of the doctors wants me to take insulin and the other one is trying to force me to take the three hour test and I eat keto so I told them I will continue to test at home and if my measures go wrong I’ll decide if I’ll take the insulin or not…

      • This is an excellent point. Even _if_ BVO isn’t great for you, it sounds like we’re applying concerns around chronic exposure to this single exposure event. These are not comparable. So many things are totally fine for us in low amounts and toxic in high amounts (even water).

        So, for me, I’ll seek out an alternative if it’s easily available (like some of the other commenters had at their clinics). Otherwise, replacing BVO with the stress of finding an alternative procedure seems counter-productive.

        Thanks for all the thoughtful comments.

      • Not all women taking this test are generally healthy. Some of us have had overexposure to B VO due to drinking too much soda before we learned that it was very bad for us. Some of us get pregnant while we’re overweight or obese, and not because we want to be pregnant while we’re in these conditions, but being in this condition means that we have fat cells in our body that hold a host of dangerous compounds as we all know that’s where those compounds are stored. We really don’t want to add to them by drinking things like this. Not to mention those of us like myself, who have Crohn’s disease. Most of the things in that Orange drink will cause an unnecessary flareup Which could potentially kill me or my unborn child. I just asked my doctor yesterday if there was an alternative because I have Crohn’s disease. She told me no. She said I had to take the drink for the test. She also told me that the drink was safe for my baby because of the test results that we would get. She didn’t say the drink was safe in and of itself, just because of the results it could procure.

    • Sam, you have got to be kidding me. BVO would not be banned in a ton of countries if it was no big deal. Did you read FLAME RETARDANT? The mere fact that it is use as a Flame Retardant tells me I don’t want it in my body.

  5. Hi Aviva,

    Thanks for your informative post as always. I was wondering about the practice of using grape juice to do the glucose challenge test which may Homebirth midwives (including mine) do. My understanding is that Fructose is digested in a different pathway than glucose. Could you explain how this might affect the test. And what the difference in metabolism would be.


    • Yes, the only fully validated sugar test is the glucola. Th jelly beans have been studied as a close runner up. There are no studies I’ve seen that demonstrate whether grape juice, for example, increases blood sugar/insulin comparably, and limited data shows that a high carb meal does not…Will talk more about the testing options in next week’s installment on GDM. Cheers!

      • Most midwives I know or have worked with use the “breakfast test” including myself. So you’re saying it’s not actually accurate? :-/ I learned that “all you need is a 50g carb load” so in addition to the breakfast (eggs, toast, OJ), I offer 3 other vegan options that include things like ezekiel bread, and even a smoothie made of banana, strawberry, almond milk, and spinach. I REALLY want to keep using these for my GCT’s b/c I think they are good, healthy food but the thought that it may not be accurate is disheartening. Can you say more about it?

        • Michelle, it’s my understanding that the reasoning behind the ‘breakfast’ method is, these foods can represent a realistic meal, one considered to be nutrient balanced. Care providers using this method are attempting to show how the body performs under the influence of food intake that is normal as opposed to the glucola method, which is used to create a stressor on the glucose processing parts of your body.

          It seems to me (and this is just my opinion, fwiw) that either approach can be considered a valid one. The method recommended by the care provider depends upon the care provider’s approach to this aspect of pregnancy care. It may also be worth considering that not only are GD testing methods varied, but the results of a GD test can be interpreted differently among care providers (as in, there are literally different ranges of results that are considered positive or negative, and the answer of “pass” or “fail” from the care provider depends on which charts they use to determine the outcome of the test).

          If I was a pregnant mom, I would want a care providers who has an individualized consideration process when it comes to my and my baby’s care. I would seek someone who would be willing to look all of the influencing factors upon the outcome of a GD test and help me by providing all of the information about the test and how the results are determined. And I would seek someone who offers me all of the possible care options in the event that I test positive for GD without any pressure to choose one of them. When I’m treated with respect and allowed to make my own decisions based upon all of the information, I make the best decisions for myself.

  6. Love this info. As a woman that has only ever used homebirth midwives for my 5 births, I have never done a typical GD test. As a midwifery student, I have never worked with a midwife that has suggested the typical GD test. I am thankful for you and other doctors like you, that are working hard to spread the health-word. I often wonder what other docs think of you and your ways – and I’m glad and smiling that you are forging the healthy way. Thanks a million!

  7. What if you’re allergic to Soy. And your ob still has you drink this drink. And you are on file for throwing it up every single time. Could an allergy raise your glucose? I’m expecting twins and my number was 144 (my ob office wants it at or below 140. My last pregnancy was the same (also a twin pregnancy). And I did the 3 hour (passed that test) but I was also throwing up and I passed out (it was a fasting test of over 17 hours). And the office wants me to do that test again.

    • ABSOLUTELY! It is well accepted in the medical community that some women cannot tolerate this test — so you can ask your doctor for an alternative test. The allergy probably wouldn’t raise your glucose but a twin pregnancy can! Ask about random glucose testing…They might accept that option if you are willing to check diligently for a short while. Good luck with all them babies! 🙂

    • They made you fast for 17 hours with a TWIN pregnancy? When I was pregnant with twins, I couldn’t go more than 2 to 3 hours without protein/carb combo due to nausea, fatigue and shakiness.

  8. Uggg I’ve had this drink 4x this pregnancy and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 36 weeks pregnant and now monitor blood sugar 4 times per day. I had screenings done at 17, 26 and 35 weeks due to suspected late term gestsational diabetes as a cause of late term severe polyhydramnios and large baby with my last pregnancy. Wish I had known. My diet has been far cleaner with this pregnancy than the prior pregnancies but still ended up with gd in the end. Find out if I need insulin today.

  9. great post. I passed on the test. didnt make sense to me intuitively.
    but what about the Rhogam shot. could you write about that?

    • Yes, I’d be happy to write about Rhogam in the future. I consider it a very important medical preventative strategy and recommend it to my patients. If low risk history then just after a miscarriage or postpartum; if high risk history (i.e. history of prior miscarriage, bleeding in pregnancy) then also give at 28 weeks…
      Hope that helps as a quick summary. Your midwife or doc can review your risks with you and help you determine whether it is needed. But yes, a good therapy!

  10. I choose to do a combo of #1 & #2 with my last pregnancy as I did both drinks the pregnancy prior and dealt with the side affects of nausea, dizziness, headaches and exhaustion (I refused to throw up as they told me I would have to re take it or accept an automatic fail). The medwife (yes o spelled that wrong on purpose) refused to see me after 30 weeks and switch to an ob unless I took the glucose test & agreed to start weekly appointments then with a fluid ultrasound check and nst a week. Even threw out the big baby, sick baby and even dead baby cards. My fasting and two hours levels were fine and my a1c came back at 5.2%. I switched to a midwife in the practice and she was incredibly supportive. Baby chose to be born at 40 week’s 6 days at 8 lbs 13 oz and 21 inches long. I chose natural birth and found it funny she was my biggest 🙂

  11. The hgbA1c is actually trying to look at levels before pregnancy, so doing it in the second trimester is not helpful. In fact, most studies show it’s most accurate at 8weeks LMP or less.

    • Yes, it is preferable in first, but many women don’t get prenatal care until second tri, and GTT is not done until 24-28 weeks, so I would still consider it as an overall marker of blood sugar status. The data is conflicting but does not exclude it. If anything, it would OVER diagnose women, not under diagnose, that latter which is the greater risk.

      • I beleive that the testing should be an option. Once taking the test i refused taking the three hour test. I also refuse took take any treatment. I have for kids and the last two, i was considered GD..i question myself still today…why was i bever told not to eat, after 12 midnight?? And after i inform them that i had eaten, why didnt they reschedule the appointment??

  12. I don’t like your advice about skipping the test if you’re not at high risk. It can happen to anyone. I am the exact opposite of a GDM patient. I was 115 pre-pregnancy, I gained about 20 pounds total, neither of my parents are diabetic, and I eat healthily. But I still had a GDM with both my pregnancies. I got double takes when I went in to meet the nutritionist. I was able to manage my blood sugar with diet and exercise, but if I slipped up, it sky-rocketed. I would prefer one or two doses of artificial coloring to my baby than months of elevated blood sugar. It’s dangerous to me to give medical advice to people when you haven’t even met them.

    • There really is no “opposite of a GDM patient.” There are many more factors to GDM risk than weight before pregnancy and amount of weight gain. In fact, all women over 25 are considered to be at risk. Anyone with a family member with diabetes is at risk. I will address these in my next blog. And I do clearly state that MOST women will fall into a risk category that warrants getting tested. The point is, nobody should have to drink artificial coloring, etc, to get an important test! Sorry you had GDM — I know that is very stressful.

      • I’m really surprised that people are hunting for reasons to bash you. I sometimes wonder if they a) don’t know how to read b) don’t read before they comment. You didn’t say don’t do the test, you were specifically talking about the ingredients of the drink from what I can see.

        • That is correct, Alison. I am not against the test at all. Just appropriate use and cleaner ingredients in the test drink. Appreciated.

  13. My last comment had terrible auto correct errors.
    I was allowed to carry a very affordable (insurance even paid for it) glucose meter with me for 3 days. 2 weekdays and one weekend day. I tested fasting and after each meal. They could determine from my numbers if I was or was not diabetic. Of course my numbers were 200′s and I had GD in my last pregnancy. I knew it was coming just didn’t know when. Either way I have friends that have been allowed to do the same and they were not dx as GD. P.s. even with numbers in the 200′s my A1C was only 5.4 . The reason being that the test reads the average of the last 3-4 months and I had only developed the diabetes in the last 2 weeks by then. ♡

  14. This test made me very nauseous for hours before I passed out. I was driving home from my appointment when I had to pull over in a parking lot because I started to black out. There should be a WARNING label on these drinks and doctors should inform women what the risks and side effects are! I would have never taken it if I wasn’t told it was completely safe.

    • It made me sick too, because I hadn’t eaten and I have GD. Eating a snack with protein and fat while taking a, GASP, Zofran as soon as I was able and before driving was the solution. Honestly, common sense would not go astray here.

  15. Thank you Aviva!
    Although I am not currently in a place in my life to expect pregnancy, I do appreciate the facts you mentioned about alternatives to this product. I am a healthcare provider as well. Personally, I have had an extremely life-altering experience with migraine headaches. My saving grace has been to treat the cause–that is, whatever I have experienced to be the cause (as there is a deficiency in significant research studies about etiology, and so forth). I have personally found that ANY food additive, artificial coloring, refined product-including concentrated sugars and so forth, has an impact on the way I feel. Having had migraines for over half my life, I can rattle off specific brands, additives, pollutants, and other triggers (avacado and banana! :o(. ) that I have discovered. Is it clinically proven? Not all of it. Has my body and my situation proven it? Absolutely. So perhaps for the average woman, this product can be consumed like water, without adverse effect, and they may mindfully disregard possible hazards to their unborn child. But for many, this is crucial information that may impact not only our physiological state, but also our peace of mind. So, if swapping out natural jelly beans, OJ, or grape juice is a fair alternative– and provides peace of mind, I think it’s definitely worth it! It is extremely important for our patients to know the facts, the current guidelines and recommendations, and their practicing providers philosophy. As long as their decision is educated, the provider has done their part! This is all great information, and good discussion among all of the responders.

    • I have had migranes all my life too. After doing MRT testing or a LEAP test for food allergens/intolerences my results came back matching what I had already discovered on my own and matched my prior history. My blood reacted with food dye, corn, soy, sulfites, nitrites, bananas, oranges, tuna, caffeine, ibupfofen, dill, cucumber, saccharine and many other “everyday” foods. At age 22, I spent 3 weeks in a Clinical Ecology Unit in Chicago testing food, water and chemicals one at a time. My doctor told me right after the hypoglycemic reaction to corn meal & corn syrup to avoid Glucola & any type of blood sugar testing because my corn allergy would mask the true results of the test. In other words if I reacted to Glucola was it an intolerence type reaction or true blood sugar issues? It was Dr
      Theron Randolph’s position that both an allergy/intolerence would produce
      the same end result and I might end up being treated for diabetes in
      error. Many people have hidden food allergies or intolerences that they are unaware of. I kept a food diary and wrote down what I ate. Every time I had tuna I got a banging migraine and GERD.

      • Do you have a link to this doctor’s opinion? I’m being told I have GD based on a total of 3-4 readings over the period of testing 4x a day when I had a soy allergy reaction. I’m being told the soy allergy has nothing to do with the high readings and I *know* it was the cause.

  16. I’m so glad you’ve posted this! I opted to monitor my own blood sugar with a glucometer in lieu of drinking glucola. I’m so glad I did! My sugars are a little high depending on what I eat, but eating ultra well seems to keep it in check. I’m really enjoying being educated about about my body in a way I wouldn’t have if I’d chosen to drink the glucola.

    • Sarah,
      Are you buying supplies out of pocket to test your sugars? I proposed testing my sugars to my midwife and she was fine with that but said my insurance probably won’t cover supplies without a diagnosis. Sure enough it’s true. I have a glucometer and some strips and lancets from my last pregnancy. I managed it well last time I had only failed the GTT by a few points. Just was curious. I know I can just buy supplies but it’s more expensive that way.

  17. Thank you for covering this topic! I do hope that your continuing posts in the series will include a post on the typically recommended “GD Diets.” I feel that they lack actual nutritional value! For a woman who had been eating very little processed grains and lots of vegetables prior to the diagnosis, the prescribed diet may actually increase the amount of refined carbs she is eating, while reducing the vegetables. That can’t be a good idea.

  18. This is excellent! We’ve pinned it and shared it to Facebook and stopped shy of mass emailing every pregnant person we know or know of! SO GOOD!

    I have eight children and have never take a glucose test. But, I always eat super high protein and low carb, and it has never been an issue.

  19. We don’t actually need a new and better product from Big Pharma. Studies have validated Tropicana orange juice and Beach’s jelly beans for the 1 hour GCT. Some providers use apple juice, which would be easy to validate as well.

  20. While I am glad to know the dangers of glu-cola thanks to your article, and alternative tests that can be done, I don’t agree with your questioning of routine testing for gestational diabetes. I did not fall into any of the high-risk categories (just had a grandparent that had diabetes) and if it hadn’t been for routine testing I would not have known I had it. I know very few tested actually have it… But I hate to think about what could have happened in my pregnancy if I hadn’t been tested because I was young, had a healthy diet, a healthy weight, a non-smoker or drinker or drug user, and was physically active.

    With that being said, I am expecting my second and have already been screened with glu-cola testing once in 1st tri so I am glad to know the risks and will definitely request alternate testing methods when I will undoubtedly be tested again… (Passed the early test!)

  21. How many ppm of BVO is in the Glucola drink? I don’t think drinking Glucola once or even twice to screen for a potential dangerous condition that could have a huge detrimental effect on an unborn baby or newborn constitutes rejecting the GTT based on trace amounts of bromine and vegetable triglycerides (which is what BVO is). For the BVO to have a toxic or dangerous effect on an established pregnancy the mother would have to drink 10+ Glucola a day, everyday.
    Maybe offering an alternative based on scientific research, like 50-100g (depending on the type of test, 1 or 3 hour) of pure dextrose and fresh lemon juice instead of Glucola to test with instead of not testing at all would be more advisable to pregnant mothers.

    • There is no data that demonstrates the amount of BVO that is harmful to a fetus. We JUST DON’T KNOW. So the 10+ glucolas/day is not based on data. And yes, the whole point is that there should be KNOWN SAFE alternatives available to women here — and that they should be given the option to select these. Or they should just be the standard.

      • Also, just to explain a ppm. 1 ppm = 1/1000000 = 0.000001 = 1×10-6 or 0.0001%. It is used to measure the chemical concentration in a solution of water. So, if 10oz of Glucola or 300ml of Glucola contains 3 ppm of BVO that means that the Glucola contains 0.0003% of BVO or 0.09mg of BVO. Hardly a dangerous amount and it is surely destroyed by the hydrochloric acid (a very strong acid) in your stomach as it is a such a minute amount of bromine and vegetable triglyceride before it would ever make it to the small intestine to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Leaving little to no chance that it would affect a developing fetus unless the mother consumes 2 plus liters of Glucola a day.

        • Sorry, I meant 0.09mL of BVO. Meaning 0.09 thousandths of a liter or the equal in size to approximately 1.8 drops of water

        • Yes, I believe a similar justification has been used for many harmful exposures — radiation, mercury, lead, until it was too late to find out they were dangerous and the damage was done. The bottom line is that you don’t actually know what the safe amount is — nobody does. And the reality is that it is banned in all of EUROPE. There’s no good reason to consume it — so why would you even suggest the risk is acceptable? An unnecessary risk is an unacceptable risk in my book.

      • From a clinical standpoint something containing BVO with less than 3-5 ppm would have pretty much no chance of having a toxic effect on an established pregnancy. BVO is an emulsifier used in citrus flavored drinks to kept the flavor from separating from the actual liquid drink. The amount consumed to have a toxic effect would have to be larger than 2 liters a day, which is proven. The amount of BVO in Glucola is not enough to have a toxic effect on a human mother and fetus. (I’m actually on hold with Vegamed, Glucola’s manufacturer to get an actual amount and ppm in the drink.)
        The problem with doctors who are not pathologists or clinical chemists (like myself) giving advice on laboratory testing and unproven alternatives are the reliability of the alternatives. They do not understand how quantitative lab testing works and the amount of analysis and testing required to substantiate claims that 28 jelly bean are equivalent to a precise formulary product. There are obvious analytical issues involved with alternatives like jelly beans and orange juice. There is no way to determine the exact amount of sugar or glucose in each jelly bean or glass of o.j and no way yet to standardize the dose of jelly beans for accurate testing. Are the sugars as bioavailable as the sugars in Glucola and will the kinetics of absorption be the same? How do you determine a standard dose that is reliable/accurate and how do you keep the standard dose in supply? These are legitimate questions to the efficacy of the alternatives in comparison to Glucola. The precise amount of glucose in jelly beans cannot be established and can lead to unreliable test results and false negatives. Although this article is well intentioned, most healthcare workers and lay-persons do not understand the empirical evidence that goes into lab testing and guidelines. Basically, their understanding of chemistry and laboratory testing is limited. The jelly bean substitute has preanalytical issues that cannot be determined and it is too ambiguous to give reliable results. A false negative is more dangerous than consuming Glucola in order to receive a reliable test result and the consequences of untreated GDM are more dangerous to a mother and neonate than consuming glucola. The study linked in the above article only addresses palatability and side effects of jelly beans vs. Glucola in a small sample of women (160). It does not address the accuracy of the results of the jelly bean alternative vs. Glucola, because the dose is clearly not standardize and the amount of glucose consumed cannot be determined as it is with Glucola. In other words the advantages of using jelly beans do not outweigh the risk of receiving a false negative or drinking Glucola. Changes to testing criteria should not be changed by doctors, nurses, midwives or dieticians. To quote the College of American Pathologists, “Although it is likely that a jelly bean dose could be found that would be acceptable at the commonly used 140 mg/dL cutoff, this is only extrapolation. A jelly bean alternative that has been shown to be as sensitive as, or more sensitive than, the liquid dose at the 140 mg/dL screen cutoff has not been verified or validated.” Meaning jelly beans are not a reliable method for testing. Also, there non-glucose challenge testing alternatives like a fasting plasma glucose or a casual plasma glucose diagnostic test completed on different days if you determine Glucola to be too dangerous to ingest.Also, just to explain a ppm. 1 ppm = 1/1000000 = 0.000001 = 1×10-6 or 0.0001%. It is used to measure the chemical concentration in a solution of water. So, if 10oz of Glucola or 300ml of Glucola contains 3 ppm of BVO that means that the Glucola contains 0.0003% of BVO or 0.09mL of BVO. Hardly a dangerous amount and it is surely destroyed by the hydrochloric acid (a very strong acid) in your stomach as it is a such a minute amount of bromine and vegetable triglyceride before it would ever make it to the small intestine to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Leaving little to no chance that it would affect a developing fetus unless the mother consumes 2 plus liters of Glucola a day.

        • Thanks for your reply. To clarify: The ppm of safety has NOT been established — the 2 L of more is to reach a binge effect! And the jelly bean test actually has been validated and the data are published in a major medical obstetric journal, as I cite in my article. Also it is well established that the glucola has less than stellar Sn and Sp, with challenges in reproducibility in the same patient at a two week span. In fact, the leading researchers on testing for GDM agree that how to test is not conclusive. New toxicology data makes it clear that even in ppm substance we thought previously harmless are not, and we also don’t know the effects of chemical cocktails on the growing fetus. And we have no idea of the effects of the bromine on the fetus. So rather than justifying that it is ok, just agree that we actually DON’T know, that the BVO is unnecessary (many oral glucose tolerance drinks DO NOT contain it, and say take it out….Makes no sense to me otherwise.

  22. Of course I read this post on the day I had the test—AFTER taking it, of course. Is there any research on what can be done to flush this out of your system?

    I will say that there was no pressure from the OB to take it this way. I already have a sensitive stomach to sugar, so she was up for me doing a week long monitored test, but I just went ahead with the regular test because it was quicker. The drinks are only 10 oz, which I was surprised about after hearing how “horrible” drinking this stuff was. I agree that the chemical shouldn’t be included if it’s not necessary, but I also agree with those commenting that it’s important to be clear that you’re against the type of drink that is being used (with the additives in it) rather than against the test itself. The trouble is that you don’t know what type of product the lab you’re going to use is using until you get there.

  23. Thank you for posting this! I recently had to take the glucola test and think it caused a very different and bad side effect. A couple days after taking the test, my doctor’s office calls me and tells me that they got the results back and my numbers were “a little abnormal” so they wanted to get me started on diabetic counseling right away. Here’s the bad side effect: I started panicking. I went through one of the most panic-filled stress-filled nights until the next morning when I was able to call the office back. (Oh, and by the way, my fiancee told me to stop reading up on these things on WebMD as all that did was scare me further.) Upon talking with the doctor’s office, I found that only one of my levels was abnormal and it was only by a few points. Everything else was fine. So now I’m looking at the secondary-test of pricking my fingers every day for a few weeks, just to make sure. (I have a history of not passing glucola tests, and then having to do the secondary testing measure anyhow, why they don’t just skip the glucola test with me anyhow, I don’t know.) I just wish I had been offered the jelly bean or orange juice alternative instead. By about a quarter of the way into the bottle of glucola, I start to feel nauseous. (I’m seriously considering sending that in as a suggestion to that Fear Factor or Survivor show..the person that can survive drinking the most of that stuff before vomiting wins.)

  24. The doctors did the 1 hours glucose test at 10 weeks…all because I was overweight, I don’t have a history of GD or big babies. I did fail this one as I had just had a sandwich. I took the GTT and “failed” it because of ONE number being slightly elevated…the fasting one. it was 101 and they wanted it below 90.

    After reading this article I knew there was a reason I didn’t feel the need to do the GTT AGAIN! They made me attend a GD diet class, test my blood sugar 4 times a day and call in weekly with my numbers AND menu! I’m so glad I researched and refused the second GTT! I did it the first time because I thought it was ‘required’…but then I thought about it…they are working for ME. I get to choose my care. My fasting number in the morning is 5-10 points (?not sure of the terminology) above “normal”, everything else through the day is within normal range….withOUT a special diet! They wanted to place me on a GD program (though the official dx of GD wasn’t going in my chart). They wanted to push me to high-risk because i’m overweight and because of my slightly elevated morning numbers. I refused. I was looked at like I was trying to kill my baby! I finally was able to contact a CNM that saw…and accepted…my point of view! It’s so worth it to speak up…even if it is uncomfortable!

    I do wish I had known about the BVO though; I would not have done the test to begin with.

  25. I think using the A1C test is a great idea that could show the big picture of someone’s glucose control with less margin of error. Since there doesn’t seem to be consensus of whether or not the GTT should be fasting, regular diet, or high carbohydrate in the days before (!), this could help in standardizing testing.

  26. When I was pregnant with my 3rd baby, my first midwife ordered an A1c test early on. My score on it was borderline, and she decided that meant I had gestational diabetes. I knew I didn’t, and started researching the A1c test, to find out what it was, and what could cause false high results. What I found out told me that I will never take that test in pregnancy again. I am always low in iron at the beginning of a pregnancy, despite good diet and cast iron pans. Low iron can cause a false high A1c result. So can high stress in the few months prior to the test. For me that time period had included: unemployment for our sole breadwinner, him starting a new job, being separated for a month while he started the new job, making a cross-country move without hubs and with 2 kids under 4, 6 weeks living in motels, moving into a new house, and finding out that said new house would not work, so we needed to break a lease and move again immediately. Just a little stress! I am not at all sure an A1c is a suitable test for early pregnancy, which tends to be very stressful for many women, and is a time period when low iron is not uncommon. I ended up changing midwives, keeping an eye on my sugars, and having a healthy baby boy at home. I never did have gdm.

    • This is why a good doctor treats the individual, not the lab result. The value of the A1C in early pregnancy is to see if a woman is going into pregnant already diabetic. This either leads to early dietary intervention or if needed, critical treatment that can actually prevent baby form having heart defects. So not altogether a bad idea except that you are right, anemia can throw it off, and also there is no established “too high” in pregnancy.

  27. Great article!
    Can I ask about the alternative testing? I was allowed to eat the 28 jelly beans but I decided to have an egg before going in for the test so that I could “pass” which I did. I saw another post about the paleo diet which is a lot of protein. Does this egg technique actually work? My theory is that the egg protein will help metabolize the sugar faster so you get a better reading. I had DG with my 4th pregnancy (this was the 5th) and I controlled my sugars with diet and testing 4 times a day. I didn’t want to deal with being labeled “high risk” again so I did the egg.

    • Rather than “faking” the test it’s better to say no than taking your doctor off the radar for problems you could have that could affect your baby! If you have GDM it’s better to know. If you don’t want to know, it’s better not to lie to your doc, which is essentially what you’re doing — because there goes the trust relationship and her/his ability to help you! Aviva

      • My midwives told me that the gestational diabetes test is no longer taken when fasting. They encouraged me to eat a breakfast of primarily protein to minimize averse side effects of the test. They also said that if a woman ate a sugary breakfast (sugar cereals, pancakes, even granola can contain a lot of sugar) and then did the test, there are far more false positives. So they wanted to minimize those. But, at least for the last 3 years (my last two pregnancies) my hospital-based midwives said the test is no longer taken while fasting. Maybe they use a different test?

  28. Aviva, thank you! I have been telling friends and clients that they have a choice for years! My midwife was fine with my idea to finger prick before and after meals for two days. I had a zero cane sugar or corn syrup diet and I knew intuitively that the toxic overload would show false positive while making me very ill. I have never been able to process that amount of sugar. On top of that I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum and could not have gotten it down. HG mamas especially need options. I just heard from a friend that she hurled that orange stuff on her dr. while he was trying to help her force it down. That’s what you get for forcing something that makes no sense under the circumstances- or for pushing toxic goo in general. I will be happy to share your new series all around! -Moorea

  29. Totally agree with this post. My husband is a doctor (not an obgyn) and when i was pregnant he didnt want me to do this glucose test called Sullivan Test in my country which is what you describe. Instead he did finger prick to me randomly: several mornings before breakfast, one hour after a heavy meal, two hours, 10 minutes after an ice cream or something very sugary, etc. Its safer than Sullivan Test and gives you the same information.

  30. This is such a great article. I am 34 weeks pregnant now with my second child. I recently just had my glucose test done. I wish I would have read this before! I would have love to be apart of a movement of pregnant women taking a stand. I opted out of the test but my midwife said that if I did not get the test done, unfortunately they would have to transfer me out of the natural birthing center. I am expected to deliver at UCSD Natural Birthing Center for my Second natural birth.

  31. Thank you so much for this article! too bad i gave in and took the test 2 weeks ago! at my 3rd pregnancy, failed the test on both prior pregnancies and got really sick after the longer test so this time i decided opt out. i ended up going and again got sick out of it but at least i passed it and i don’t have to go back. i wish i knew more about it.
    thank so much

  32. Hi I’m booked in to do the 2 hour glucose test, and meant to be drinking that stuff. What am I meant to do, I need to find out if I have gestational diabetes again, I had it with previous baby. I don’t see myself saying I don’t want to drink that? What should I do??

  33. Thank you for the information. When will your next blog post following up on this topic be available? I have my glucose text coming up soon. Before I read your post, I already had reservations about drinking the drink because the idea of drinking any pure sugar drink with food coloring makes me sick. Thank you, Nikki

  34. Would love to read the next installments! It’s been 2 weeks and I haven’t seen parts 2 or 3 pop up on the blog! When can I expect them?

  35. I visited with my doctor last week regarding the test, and she argued with my contention that Glucola is toxic (and of course, pointed out to me I haven’t attended medical school – so I guess that’s supposed to put me in my place because I’m obviously too stupid to research – I have many certifications in my profession, and also hold an MBA – not exactly an idiot!). I guess she’s in big Pharma’s back pocket – as are most, if not all, of the doctors in my small town, as she also refused to consider alternatives for testing. I wish it was as easy as saying I object to this test – but as I’ve found out, you can argue with gathered research from various medical sources, and when a doctor’s mind is made up, there’s no changing it, apparently…

  36. I had read this article a few weeks ago and had my Doctors appointment yesterday. He scheduled me for the glucose test and I said no thank you I’ll pass, I have been checking my numbers at home and am fine. He strongly suggested I have the test because he is only my family doctor and when I switch over to an OBGYN in a few weeks they will want the results. My doctor and I talked about the ingredients and he came up with a solution I feel is great. I go in tomorrow for my test and I need to bring my own drink with me consisting of fresh squeezed orange juice and local organic honey equalling 50g. I think thats a win win for both of us.

  37. Hi Aviva, to revisit the comment on Rhogam, I am also a homebirth midwifery student and would really appreciate an article written on Rhogam. I had a client handout all written up, but now I’m back tracking based on more research on its safety and effectiveness in pregnancy unless there’s been a trauma. I look forward to hearing your two sense, as I always love reading your articles and find them so helpful in my education!


  38. just drinking water and i was fine…. came by for my other appointment and they give me that drink-glucola then they callback saying i need to make an appointment at the lab for 3hours they say i should not eat before it for 3hours im 6weeks pegro

  39. My doctor is amazing, and I don’t have to do the orange drink, I am going to get the Naked Red Machine juice and drink that instead!

  40. This article is interesting. I received a phone call today from my OB Office telling me my glucose came back high and I now have to go to the diabetes center. My whole life my levels have been low. I am a high risk pregnancy so I am monitored weekly as is. My last OB visit did not go to well. The Dr told me I had to do another glucose because I was past my 28 weeks, I said I don’t want to, its always been low,and I get very ill from the sugar especially me who suffers from severe anxiety and panic attacks. I said how can I take this without drinking the glucose drink, she said “ill just make you as a diabetic”. I straight out said you cant do that, its a lie and against the law to falsify a medical document (I work in the medical field, I know this). And now mysteriously today I get a phone call that my levels are high, but it doesn’t mean I have Gestational Diabetes, I just have to go for Diabetes counseling?? Anyone have any feed back on this? Because now my husband and I are terrified, especially with all the complications we have had with prior unsuccessful pregnancies.

    • Same with me! My doctor said that since I refused then I will be treated as GDM. They argued with me about the test and made me feel like I would be without a doctor if I didn’t agree. So, I went to diabetes counseling and now am testing myself at home with a glucose meter (not one reading has been high). My charts are online and so much of what they write in them are incorrect that it makes me very uncomfortable…. Let alone having an OB who acts like I deserve to be punished for not undergoing a test which should be my choice. I will be moving out of state in 2 months and am already looking for a midwife who might look more at me and less at her laptop.

  41. Wow – sooo glad that I came across this website today! I was scheduled for that test today. But i called and talked to a nurse, she was actually very understanding and respected my point of view when it comes to artificial ingredients, so we talked a bit. She then talked to my OB – who insisted that I had that test done. I said to the nurse that I know I can say no to the test, so no one can force me to do it. I explained to her, that it should not be this difficult to test my bodies reaction to sugar- just allow me to drink a natural soda or juice. It’s not rocket science. So she is now calling the diabetic clinic to see what they suggest as an alternative. Thank goodness for sweet nurses! It’s unbelievable that there are things allowed in that drink that are forbidden in Europe (I’m from Europe, so I stay as far away from a lot of american products that I can). It makes me angry, that women are not offered an alternative, and doctors acting as if there is none… wow. I think the worst is, that it feels like a no-no to say out loud that you don’t want certain things in body….As the nurse said – this is the first time anybody had a request for an alternative. Woop woop…

    • I’m so glad you got that nurse to listen to you! I’m badly allergic to all corn sweeteners so my midwife told me early in pregnancy to start looking for drinks with exactly 50 grams of sugar.

  42. Thanks for this awesome article! I just wanted to share that when it came time for screening, my midwife handed me a sheet of paper that contained a list of alternatives and I got to choose what to consume for my screening…. I can’t remember the number of ounces, but I enjoyed a guilt free coca cola!

  43. I’m so glad people are talking about this. Some 13 years ago my midwife preceptor/clinic professor introduced me a midwifery model of blood sugar testing and management of ‘hyperglycemia’ or elevated blood sugars. I don’t use the term GDM because that is what I consider a medical disease/disorder requiring a medical diagnosis from a doctor. However, elevated blood sugars I consider a self-manageable physiological condition.

    My midwifery clients self test with a glucometer, typically monthly, weekly and/or daily as the situation dictates. They test first thing in the morning, then 1 and 2 hours after meals. This is such a great model of managing blood sugars and stabilizing them because the woman gets immediate and personalized feedback about what they just ate and whether or not that particular food at the current gestation, age and lifestyle raises their blood sugar. And it’s different for different women and can change from one pregnancy to the next.

    The number one dietary recommendation that I give that helps women stabilize blood sugars during pregnancy is to stop eating cereal and non-fat milk for breakfast. Instead, to eat whole foods and minimize breads, pasta, grains. Eggs and bacon, or whole milk yogurt smoothy with whole fruit, or yogurt and fruit with nuts and coconut. Starting with these kinds of whole foods (skim milk is not a whole food, all boxed cereals have poor nutritional value and raise blood sugar quickly) regulates the hormones (insulin and leptin) in healthier ways and adds a lot more nutrients that women and growing babies need.

    This additional information about the contents of the glucola drink is very helpful. I will add it to my informed consent information for my clients.

    Midwife, Mother and amateur cook/nutritionist/herbalist
    Los Altos, California

  44. Thanks! I already decided I’m not doing the test and asked my doctor if there was an alternative. (Not because of the reasons you listed but those are excellent reasons–this is my fourth and I’ve never had it before and the drink is sooooo disgusting). He said it could refuse the test but there wasn’t an alternative. Just switched to a midwife and I’m doing the jellybean test. Thanks!!!

  45. Hi everyone- just hoping for some advice…
    I go to my doctor (whom I like) talks really fast and I’m always terribly tired on doctor day, as it stresses me out. In short, took the first test because I was too tired to stand up for myself. Of course, I failed it. I do not want to take the 3 hour test. I know how bad that would make me feel, how stressful, and how useless it is in my case. I already eat well and exercise. Now that I’ve taken the first test, am I still allowed to tell my doctor that I’m not going to take the second one?

    • Well, if you really do have GDM you’ll want to know it. So you can, of course, refuse anything you want to — but it would be super important to work with your doc and get your diet better so that your blood sugar isn’t high for your long term health and babies — and this will require some form of follow up testing. Sounds like you also need to be more rested and perhaps bring a friend or advocate so that you are making decisions from the best possible place of self-empowerment rather than exhaustion! Best wishes, Aviva

  46. I am pretty new to all of this information. I am 22 wks and already told my doctor that I do not wish to drink the glucola. She told me my only alternative is to eat a Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s… I haven’t eaten at Denny’s since back in my high school days when that was the place to go after a party at 3 am, really? She said because of the calories, carbs, and sugar I need to take in. This doesn’t make sense to me and I’m afraid my knowledge is short lived in this subject to battle with her ph.D. What do I do because there is no way I’m eating that crap either. I am not a perfect eater but I have my limits. The OB I see is in a “Wellness Center” that strives for more natural approaches so I’m so confused now on how she is ok with either of those choices, any advice please! She said we can talk about it at my next visit next month and she already denied OJ and jelly beans when I brought it up.

  47. My midwife with my first child had an alternative to the drink, which was, if I remember correctly, 2 pieces of toast with honey and a large glass of orange juice. My midwife now is having me drink organic grape juice. Much better than the GD Drink From Hell, which made me dizzy, nauseous, and made me feel like I was going to either pass out or throw up… or both!

  48. Thanks for posting this article. The first time I took this juice drink I felt very sick but had not vomited. I failed it and had to go back for the second test which was even more glucose juice drink than the first time. I have to think they are almost trying to make you sick and sugar intolerant. I vomited this drink up twice during the appointment and. Was told I’d have to do it again. Which made me sick and angry all over again. I cannot eat sugary cereals for. Breakfast because. I get sick and vomit. I don’t think we should be forced to drink this if we feel sick from it. We should be. Treated as individuals rather than a number. I’m not too happy with American medical practices.

  49. I am dealing with extreme hyperemesis gravidarum. There is no way I can drink that stuff without instantly throwing up. I have a PICC line and my blood sugar (and lots of other things) is already tested weekly. My blood sugar has averaged between 60 and 80 every week for the first 7 months of pregnancy. Is a GD test even necessary? My doctor doesn’t’ seemed convinced and is still pushing the glucola test. I am not overweight and I have low blood pressure. This is my second child and I did not have GD with my first child.

    • Hi Kristyn,
      Sorry to not have read your post before. Normal weight and low BP don’t rule out gestational diabetes, though given the fact that you’re not eating and that you have such low blood sugar, that certainly makes it less likely! If it’s going to make you throw up to drink glucola, the test won’t be accurate so seems you really can’t do it…
      Hope you’re feeling all the way better by now!

  50. I just took the 3-hour test Friday at 28 weeks. I got so sick, I ended up in the hospital with contractions (no dilation, thankfully) and was put on bedrest. I was nauseous, got bad sweats (requested a fan in desperation), gas/diarhhea, dizziness, eventually getting severe pain in my right shoulder. It was horrible and I will never agree to take it again! I just think it’s funny how my first baby was very large and I gained more weight than average, but never had GD. This baby is of average size and I have gained a normal amount weight, yet NOW I’m suspected of having GD? I had PCOS prior to the pregnancy, but had been on a no-carb diet for 18 months and lost quite a bit of weight. I was hoping my PCOS would go into remission and my unmedicated labs were steadily improving (normal A1C, testosterone, etc) when I got surprised by a positive pregnancy test. I’ve since switched to low-carb at my doctor’s request, but am very careful knowing I’ll be going back to no-carb eventually. After reading these posts, I’m wondering how much my no-/low-carb diet has to do with how sick I got. I guess the PCOS could be a factor, but my numbers were great before the pregnancy and my doctor said the fact that I’m still pregnant means my hormones are behaving as they should. My point in all this is to warn other women that this test is NOT necessarily harmless and could make you very sick. I was not told that and was completely unprepared for what happened. If I had known how things were going to go, I would have refused the test and opted for an alternative to the glucola.

  51. Hey!
    Thank you for this great article.
    I am a mom of 2, sportscientis from my profession and owner of the trade mark mamafit in Austria.
    To me it was in my second pregnancy strange, that I am, in Austria, forced now to do this glucose stress test. It is linked to the money we get after birth (called: Kinderbetreuungsgeld – carring for your child money) in the time (the time span is from 1 year to 2 1/2 years, in this time a mom can stay at home, and gets money from the state, not much, but more than in other countries).
    We have a really good screening system already since 40 years in Austria. It is called “Mutter Kind Pass” so it is a checkup system, that screens mother and child from pregnancy on, and after birth screens the babies health till he/she is 4 years old.
    From year to year more tests are coming up and turn from optional to obligatoriy, if you want to have this Kinderbetreuungsgeld, the state provides.
    Me, as a sportsscientis and very sporty person, had a long talk to my gynaecologist, why he thinks, that me, in my situation (no member of my family has diabetes 2, I was never overweight or not fit, had no problems in my first pregnancy, when this test was just optional). He insisted in this test. And I told him, that for my body, this test brings so much sugar in, I would never ever drink or consume in my daily life, this is pure stress to me and my baby.
    But he just did not want to understand my point of opinion.
    Funny note besides is, that in my first pregnancy, when this test was not fixed in the screening plan yet, I refused to go to the checkup. And then my gynaecologist made a note in my screening book: “patient is not cooperative concerning glucose stress test…”…. no comment.
    Anyway, thanks for the articel, it was very interesting to me and mirrors exactly, what I felt and thought about this crazy “all pregnant women have to do this” test.

    lots of love and greetings from IRIS – AUSTRIA

  52. Went to get my blood test today for my pregnancy appointment. This is my third pregnancy and I purposely wait until the later months of pregnancy for less unnecessary appointments as possible. They presented me today with this glucose drink for pregnant women. I instantly became hesitant. This is something I felt was unnecessary. We have the ability to deny any treatment. Otherwise I can just walk out of the doctor’s office. Simple as that. Just because they are medical professionals doesn’t mean I have any obligation to do as they say. All of my other tests came out fine, which should be an indication that I wouldn’t need additional tests. I read the ingredients and couldn’t care less if it’s prescribed only for pregnant women. Spiritually I felt hesitation and if you get any minor feeling of hesitation, your spirit is letting you know something isn’t right. I’m glad I followed my intuition and went into protective mode. If I didn’t have a another human being growing inside me, maybe I would be more open to the idea of these tests but another life depends on my decisions. I agree, feel empowered to say “no”. Again, before I take any out of the ordinary action, I do my research online. Reading this blog is actually no surprise to me. My intuition is usually right. I am very glad I denied this test. I will not be someone else’s fool or test rat. Ladies, follow your gut feeling!

  53. Very bad experience for me!!!!

    I failed the 1 hr test and had to take the 3 hr test yesterday morning with 11 hrs of fasting. The drink was very sweet to me plus they kept it ice cold which irritated my throat. The lab technician told me not to drink or eat until the last blood drawn in 3 hrs, but the instruction note from my OB’s office says “Please make sure to drink water throughout the test. ” So I decided to listen to my OB. I felt so thirsty and hot after I drank the solution so I had a cup of water and I started to burp a little but I swallowed it back down. 10 minutes after my first post-drink blood drawn, I blacked out in the waiting room and collapsed. The lab staff cooled me down and put me on a bed, and I was lying on my side. The first few minutes I felt better, and then came the projectile vomiting. The lab staff told me you CAN sip a little water to make your mouth comfortable, but you CAN NOT drink water to cure your thirst.

    I am a small women, 5’2″, 120lb pre-pregnancy and 127 at 6 mos of pregnancy. The dr’s test order form didn’t mention my weight and the lab certainly didn’t weigh me. I don’t know if they give the same testing dose to a women twice my size. Plus I’ve been eating healthy (no sugary drink, no large amount of carbs, rarely eat dessert) and I’ve been having small meals since I got pregnant. I don’t know under what circumstances I would put so much glucose or other forms of sugar in my system within 5 minutes on a normal day. This test seems very extreme to me!

    I’d rather poke my finger after each meal for 3 days and record how my blood sugar reacts to different type and amount of food. That’s should be more accurate.

  54. Hi Aviva,

    Thanks so much for this helpful article! I’m 26 weeks and due to go in for the test next week- my midwifery practice has offered a glucose drink that is non-GMO corn and dye free. Would you still recommend not doing it or do you think this alternative is safer?

    Thanks so much!

  55. Hi,
    So I just found this after I drank the disgusting glucose drink.
    I failed my screening and test but am so confused.
    I’m a holistic nutritionist who has been eating fairly well throughour this (first) pregnancy.
    I’m not overweight and really don’t have any risk factors.
    3-4 hours after the test I had intense hypoglycemic crashes and felt terribly I’ll.
    I bought a glucose test kit and have been within normal margins for pregnant women (although I’ve only been testing a couple days)
    I feel the test is poorly designed. I would never crush the equivalent of 2 cokes on an empty stomach and sit still for 2 hours.
    Could my body just be sensitive to the testing process or do I really have gd?
    I will adjust my diet regardless and continue to monitor glucose but I can’t help but feel like the test isn’t that accurate.
    Thank you so much!

  56. Great article. I don’t think the GTT can really give an accurate picture — who eats 50 g of sugar in a sitting without any other food??

    When I was pregnant (upon asking) my OB let me do home blood sugar monitoring. I had to check my fasting blood sugar and 1 hr post-prandial for a week. That gave much more reliable data. I was glad to have such a progressive OB, and wish all women were offered this option.

  57. I am not a fan of GD testing, particularly in the absence of risk factors. But what I want to know is, why do they not just use pure 100% glucose in water? I’m pretty sure it’s available in powder form at any supermarket and doesn’t have any additives like the Glucola does.

  58. Here’s what I do: Using a brix refractometer (0-32% range), I monitor my urine sugars. Readings over 5.5 are considered “diabetic range” and will show this long before glucose finger-stick numbers are at alarming levels. Conversely, numbers consistently below 5.5 brix are safe, even if glucometer disagrees. Why the discrepancy? Two reasons: 1) The refractometer gives total percentage sugars, not just glucose, but a glucometer ignores all the other sugars, of which there are many. 2) Blood sugars vary wildly from moment to moment when what is really needed is an average. Sugars are released into the urine over time as the bladder fills and the urine from any void event is uniform in sugar concentration, giving a picture of the last few hours of sugar levels.

    High readings are easily brought down by: small-drink re-hydration (no more than 4oz at a time and no longer than 1 hour between drinks) using distilled water; green smoothies; and calcium gluconate supplementation. Sometimes other minerals are needed for pH concerns before sugar will respond, but this is unusual. Also helpful is to limit carbs/fruit to morning and midday meals and eat light, vegetarian suppers, which should include eggs or safe fish for the pregnant mom.

    This all works very well for me. Seven children and no GDM or other complications with pregnancy or delivery in any.

    I’m always interested in sharing this with other moms. [email protected]

  59. I have a college friend who was living in Vermont. there one option offered was to drink Vermont maple syrup. They also offered the jelly beans and 2 or 3 other options other than the glucose mix. She thought ‘why on earth would I drink that nasty junk when I could just have some syrup?!?!’

    we should all have this option!

  60. I really wish I had read this article before taking the test….TWICE. I failed the first 2 hour 75MG test minimally (on one of the three reads) and actually requested to re-take it and failed that one number again. UCSD has a stricter policy than general guidelines and treats any patient who fails any of the three blood draws (fasting, 1 hr, or 2 hr) as a Gestational Diabetic…meaning classes, diet modification, reporting of blood sugar on a weekly basis, additionally ultrasounds and additional Non-Stress tests. I’m not clear if their more conservative thresholds are prudent or just an unnecessary “precaution”. Also, considering I don’t drink/eat anything like this drink in ‘real-life”, how good of an indicator is it that my blood sugar would EVER spike to the value it did during this test? I know that I will opt out of drinking this at my 6 week post-baby appt now and just wait for 3 months post baby for the A1C to ensure I don’t have diabetes then (oh yeah, now that I’m GD, they recommend to be tested afterwards too).

  61. I refused the drink and told my ob I would check my sugar level at home fasting and after meals. I monitored for 6 weeks and my levels were fine. No yucky drink for us!! My ob tried to fight me on it, but he couldn’t refute my argument so he relented.

    • Hi Jilda,

      This is Megan from Dr. Aviva’s team and I just wanted to say that you are awesome! Dr. Aviva knows first hand how incredibly empowering this can be for mamas, and it is her goal to bring information that empowers her readers and followers. Thank you for sharing your experience!

      Megan-Dr. Aviva Romm Nutritionist

  62. Dr’s determined I had gestational diabetes and I could never keep my fasting blood sugar with in their range so I had to do insulin shots at night. What is you opinion about insulin shots?

    • Hi Amye,
      I consider this the safest medication to use during pregnancy for blood sugar that isn’t controllable with diet. You’re doin’ the right thing! 🙂

  63. I got a massive headache that lasted the whole day after drinking the glucola with my first pregnancy 12 years ago. When I became pregnant again I had a new doctor. I told her my experience and she told me I didn’t have to drink it. They could just take my fasting blood sugar first thing in the morning. I’ve done that my last two pregnancies. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor you don’t want to drink that nasty stuff and ask for alternatives.

  64. I remember the glucola test well. While sitting in the waiting room several minutes after drinking it I became hot, flushed, dizzy, and my vision went black for a moment. I thought this reaction would mean that I would for sure fail the test, but the test ended up coming back normal. I also didn’t feel very well in general for a day or two after and had a headache. Based on this experience, I will refuse the glucola next time!

  65. With my last pregnancy, I had to take the Glucola test twice since I failed the first time. The second, longer test results were completely normal.

    I’m pregnant again, at 36, and my midwife said because of my advanced maternal age, I’ll have to take the test three times this pregnancy. Is this true? And can I request orange juice instead? I really don’t want to have to take the test so many times and go through false “failures” and the stress it causes.

    I’m not paleo for moral reasons, but I very rarely eat processed foods and watch sugar consumption(even natural sugars like dairy and fruit).

  66. No surprise!

    My body was telling me to get out of there when they told me to drink the stuff. I was prescribed exactly what is in the picture above in the text. I’m the kind of person who wouldn’t even take Tylenol for a headache during pregnancy, so to drink this horrible orange stuff that I had no idea what was in it.. it was terrible. What makes me not surprised, though, is that I had to abandon my hospital and doctor, and run away to either have my baby at home or at another hospital, because he was trying to force-break my water during one of my last exams. He tried to have a nurse hold me down, then proceeded to “check” me to see how far dilated I was. Keep in mind, this guy is retiring in a few months. He told me I was 5cm dilated, and said I had to stay, but I wasn’t even contracting. I signed a release form after arguing that I WAS allowed to refuse medical advice, and I never came back. So I went home, bleeding pretty heavily and in pain. That night, I started worrying myself to death thinking he harmed my baby. The next day, I was slowly stopping with the bleeding, the day before my actual due date. The doctor had told me he wanted to induce me a week before I was even due, even though my fluid was plentiful and the baby had room, no complications. This wasn’t the first time I’d felt unsafe with this doctor. My water began to break at about 7:10pm on June 26th, so I went into another local hospital. They told me I was barely even 2cm dilated! They agreed I did the right thing going to a different hospital, and said they weren’t sure why he’d do such a thing. I suggested maybe he was afraid to lose his pay before retirement (lol). At 6:28am on June 27th, my daughter Sky Monroe was born at 8.8lbs, 20 inches. It was an all natural birth, no pain killers, which my previous doctor tried to keep me from doing. He didn’t support my birth plan whatsoever! The nurses at the old hospital were terrible to me, yet at this new hospital I’d never even been to before, I was treated with so much respect and love.

    The moral here is, trust your instincts. My body told me not to trust him, as well as the drink mentioned above that I had no idea was even considered toxic up until now. Your motherly instincts know what’s best, almost all the time. If I’d have stayed that night, who knows what would have happened? Thank God he’s retiring.. no mother needs to put up with what I went through, especially first time mothers like myself. What kind of doctor tries to talk his patients into getting induced weeks ahead of time, anyways?? I thought babies were supposed to stay in as long as possible, unless there were health risks involved?

  67. This is another clear example why food labeling is so important to put in place. Requiring women in their childbearing years to partake of Bromide containing fluids for a test
    is archaic. Many other countries have outlawed the use of bromides due to their long term binding to iodine receptor sites. While iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormone(necessary for every cell in the body), bromide has been proven to contribute to hypothyroidism, which is at epidemic levels in America.

  68. Thank you for posting about this. Clearly there are a few people here who are missing the point and/or cannot read. I only see two ingredients listed that I would consider to be fairly “safe.” If something is questionable, why would you want to unnecessarily expose yourself or your child to it? The companies creating these products could certainly use less questionable ingredients in their products, no doubt about it. I may opt for the orange juice alternative if I’m able, my last pregnancy I had the glucola and it made me feel ill. I can’t say I eat perfectly but I definitely avoid these ingredients and I never drink soda… so my body was likely “shocked” by the incident.

  69. If it isn’t food, then I would not want it in my body. Chemicals are over used in the US and I have to wonder about those in this blog that are promoting the idea that it is ok to consume them. Many chemicals do not match the body’s own natural chemistry. In fact, many synthetic chemicals cannot be broken down by the body and can get stored in our cells. Over time those chemicals that these companies produce with quite a profit accumulate. So to say a little isn’t bad is a misnomer. My baby is forming and I will choose to say no. This is my body and my baby. I make the choice. Knowlege is often kept from the masses and you need to be proactive and use critical thinking. Common sense says that if you are producing a product that contains chemicals, food coloring, and possibly GMOs, you are not seeing this child as you would see your own. If you would knowingly expose your own child to chemicals shown to do harm, then your level of consciousness may be low. I know that I am responsible for this child and it is something that I take seriously. It is quite simple to make something naturally, it just requires some consideration for others and profit not being a determining factor.

  70. I wish I would have read this when I was pregnant with my son. I did not want to take this test and my doctor forced me to (I’m hypoglycemic so I honestly have no idea how I failed this test) but I only drank half, barfed and then failed. She refused to do a retest and made me get a monitor to check at home. My levels went from 55-85 my highest was 90 when I ate some cake and ice cream one day and I checked my levels 3 times a day. Well she then put me on metformin and every time I took it I got so light headed and dizzy that until I drank something with sugar I would just feel awful and then she told me I had to get an ultrasound because my baby was most likely 10 pounds at only 35 weeks and would most likely die in child birth and I lost it I was balling my eyes out and terrified then she tried to force me into getting a c section and I go to a navy hospital so there was no one else available. Needless to say my son was and is healthy and was only born 7 pounds 6 ounces at birth. Doctor pressure people into so much and I wish I stood up for myself.

  71. Just took my tolerance test yesterday. Because I’m now considered advanced age I had to do it in the first trimester as well. I put up a small fuss for first trimester test. Needless to say I had a migraine for 4 days later, dry heaves, followed by 2 days of the scoots. But i passed. Had the second screen yesterday that is standard for all and failed by 1 point. I am now sick again with these same symptoms. I put up a small fuss prior to taking the test, but it was not my regular doctor (I have a midwife) and she didn’t seem to care ( an ob). Well at the second test after a fail, the lab techs treated me like I have no choice in the matter on the 3 hour test. Needless to say the fight was on with my midwife. I stood up for myself. I was not going to go thru the same hell that I did with my second. After the 3 hour test was completed and passed for my second the following occurred: my left arm looked like a heroin addict with all the needle pricks, it was so severly bruised that no one can get blood from that arm to this day, I was also sick with all the same symptoms above, and what was the last straw was my second born did NOT MOVE for two weeks after the test and that was with me trying to encourage him to move. The doctor I was working with for my second pregnancy was FIRED by me, especially when the guilt trip of being a bad mother was laid on me and I moved to a new office. But alast the mentality has follwed me to my new office. My midwife begged me to meet her halfway since she has to work with these types of doctors. I told her what my diet was and that I’m already sticking my finger and these numbers are in acceptable range after meals. Still she wants to send me to dietician. I also informed her that she better becareful while putting this in my medical file since I worked in the insurance industry for a time. Needless to say I support this article and that there needs to be better study done instead of an outdated reference study done from the 1960’s. This test is crackpot science in my opinion. Oh fun little side note…my third I passed the test with flying colors, but I was living on a fast food diet of Burger King, McDonalds etc. GO FIGURE!?

  72. I was adamantly opposed to drinking the glucola drink. I was taunted and teased by other moms who were in my pregnancy group who shared a midwife. I told them the drink makes me sick. I didn’t question it with my first child but I’ve learned a lot since then. I almost threw up during my first pregnancy after drinking it and was told I’d have to come back and do it again if I did.
    I wasn’t going to put myself or my baby through that again. After many attempts to get me to drink the drink including the other moms chanting “drink it drink it” over and over, and telling me they would have to drop me as a patient, I held my ground and said no. My midwife reluctantly agreed to let me do home testing with a glucose meter and finger prick 4x a day for 7 days. After the 7 days, and not a single reading outside the normal blood sugar range, I was told to test again for another week but wait two hours after testing. I refused. It was absolutely ridiculous what I had to go through just to avoid drinking a toxic drink. Things need to change! I’m glad I didn’t allow their bullying to persuade me to go against my maternal instincts.

  73. I opted out of the test with my midwives, because I didn’t fall under many of the risk factor groups, my blood test looked good, and generally I eat healthy and avoid sugar and high-glycemic foods. I started cutting back on those years ago and ever since, my tolerance for sugar went down and when I eat a high-glycemic food on an empty stomach, I feel the effects a lot more than I used to notice! When pregnant, I noticed an even greater effect from sugar (which is normal). So I just avoided sugar–and ate lots of fiber and protein to slow its absorption when I did have some. I think the test can be important but I felt I could avoid it in my case and just adjust my diet anyway–which would be healthier for me and baby. I also read that lots of sugar when pregnant can lead to a big baby which I was afraid of! Thankfully I ended up with a very healthy 6 lb 13 oz girl born at home at 40 weeks 3 days. I think limiting my sugar intake may have helped her not be too large — huge babies run in my husband’s family! (My sister in law’s first baby was almost 11 lb!!!)

  74. Thank you so much for your honest, intelligent, and educated article on this issue. It is our right to read labels and deny testing. When I denied my glucose test, the OBGYN said that it would be best if we no longer worked together. Thank God I already had a level headed, supportive midwife who will perform the normal glucose test after a meal for me. The American medical system has good intentions but as they say, “the road with hell is paved with good intentions. “

  75. Hello, my daughter is expecting her first baby on 26th November in U.K. She was told to go for a gestational diabetes test yesterday because her glucose level was very slightly elevated but she is showing no other symptoms & is carrying very neatly. She is small in build naturally & hasn’t put on a lot of weight during her pregnancy. Everything has gone very well all the way through. The midwife called her today saying she shouldn’t have had the test so late in her pregnancy – it was a mistake telling her to go! The baby was extremely active after my daughter drank the sugary drink. My daughter is very worried she was so poorly advised & is now very concerned she may have inadvertently done harm to her unborn baby. Is there need for concern? Is there anything she can do now?

  76. P.S. Sorry, I should have mentioned that my daughter is a healthy eater all the time. She is not a junk food person at all. She is a big fruit & vegetable eater. I personally think the slightly elevated glucose level may have been from grapes & apples, both of which are favourites.

  77. Old article I know but thanks for hte good advice. I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant with my second and I had GDM with my first (he’s almost 5 now) but never needed medication, it was easily controlled through diet and he was born at exactly 8lbs so not particularly big by any means especially for being 2 weeks late. Since then however I have had bariatric surgery and I cannot tolerate the Glucola at all. I managed to keep it down in my first trimester when they had me take it (i don’t know how) but now in the past week i’ve tried multiple times to take the 2 hr test and within 20 minutes of downing the drink I get dizzy, faint, hot flashes, sweating and then I vomit every single time so clearly I will not be able to take this test. I am hoping my OBGYN will be ok with the me logging my food and doing random capillary tests as that is how I controlled it with my first son, thanks for the suggestion I’ll have to bring it up with her when I see her next.

    • Hi Ashton!
      I am the nurse practitioner in Dr Romm’s practice, and I often hop in to answer comments and questions since Dr Romm doesn’t always have time to get to them all!
      Thanks for your comment! Good luck with your pregnancy, and with discussing this with your OB/Gyn. Perhaps directing her to Dr Romm’s blog, or printing it out to take to your visit would be helpful.
      Wishing you the best,

  78. Hi Aviva,

    Thanks for this post! I am a home birth midwife in Portland, Oregon and am struggling with GD testing in my practice. I am an OHP provider, which means that I offer midwifery care to clients on the Oregon Health Plan, even though there are lots of hoops to jump through to get clients covered for an out of hospital birth. They won’t approve anyone to be covered for their out of hospital birth without doing the standard Glucola GD screen at 26-28 weeks. I have a client who wants to refuse this test, which I fully support (she’s a low-risk mom and is willing to eat really well, do a random test, do finger pokes at home, etc). I was hoping to use your quote from ACOG in this article in my letter to OHP when I send in her information that they will most likely deny, but the link is no longer working. Do you know where I can find the original of this? Thanks so much!
    Catherine Bailey, CPM, LDM,

  79. I have three children and during my first two pregnancies, my doctor never offered to take the glucose test, so when I had to switch doctors for my third child, he asked if I wanted to take it and I refused. Even though the doctor was okay with my decision the nurses and staff looked very hateful at me upon refusing. It’s my body and my child so I felt it necessary to protect myself from ingesting chemicals when I felt fine.
    I have always wondered if the BVO has anything to do with the rise of Autism……..

  80. About four weeks ago (at 40 weeks pregnant) I went to the ob Triage because my son wasn’t moving. Doctors decided to induce me because his heart rate was looking irregular. While waiting, his heart beat dropped down to 76bpm. I was rushed in for an emergency c-section. When waking up they told me they had to resuscitate him for 15 minutes. He was born 10 lbs and 14 ounces. Long story short, two weeks later we had to make the decision to take him off machines because there was no brain activity. The doctor who delivered him had requested blood tests before they induced me. He looked at those blood tests because he was confused on what went wrong. He checked my blood work and noticed I had gestionial diabetes. I was confused on how easily he was able to figure that out. A simple blood test could’ve saved my baby. My last appointment (39 weeks and 5 days) I had high blood pressure. The nurse practitioner listened for my son’s heartbeat, said everything was fine, and let me go. At the time (this was my first pregnancy) I didn’t realize they shouldn’t have let me out of there with high blood pressure. They should’ve investigated more. I pretty much had the extremely swollen feet and hands during the entire end of my pregnancy. I took the 1 hour glucose test and received a negative, which now shows either I didn’t have it at the time or I had a false negative. It’s taunts me everyday that a simple finger poke could’ve saved my baby’s life.

    • Erica, I am so sorry for your devastating loss. Yes, appropriate blood work, careful measurements of baby during pregnancy, monitoring blood pressure – these are all critically important and I hope your story is cautionary for other women. It sounds like you actually had pre-eclampsia that was missed. Again, so so deeply sorry. I wish you peace and healing and a great deal of support and kindness from your community. Aviva

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