The dreaded glucola

I did my one hour glucola test yesterday, aka oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).  It involved downing 50 grams of artificial orange goodness:


It’s done for gestational diabetes screening at 24-28 weeks, and my blood was drawn exactly one hour after drinking the concoction.  It felt gross ingesting that much sugar in one go, and I legitimately did not feel well the rest of the day.  I felt even more sick than I usually do, and then in the evening I developed a sore throat.  I haven’t been sick since I had a cold when I first found out I was pregnant.

This morning, besides still having the sore throat, I got the result and it was elevated.  I FUCKING FAILED THE GLUCOLA TEST!  I couldn’t help but keep thinking that.  I was so upset, I started to tear up, but I had to get it together because I had patients to see.  Now I have to take the follow-up 3 hour test, which involves checking a fasting blood draw, downing 100 grams of more artificially-colored liquid sugar, and then getting my blood drawn each hour for 3 hours after drinking it.

This is all very upsetting for me.  I hate to be overly dramatic, because I know better than anyone that there are way worse complications of pregnancy that I thankfully don’t have.  But when it comes down to it, this daily challenge with my eating during pregnancy has been really hard.  Maybe I jinxed myself by starting this blog, because this formerly Paleo girl has not been able to stay Paleo in pregnancy, and now I have an elevated 1 hr glucola.

This has been my typical day.  I wake up, and sometimes start feeling sick even before I’ve eaten anything.  I usually try to eat something more Paleo for breakfast, like unsweetened Greek yogurt with blueberries, but sometimes I’ll just want my waffle with almond butter and honey.  If I go with the latter, I feel a little twinge of guilt.  I’ll usually have a snack in the late morning, and then I’m hungry by lunch.  For lunch, I’ve been having a regular-sized meal like a wrap or sandwich.  When I eat, it just tastes SOOO good and I want to keep eating.  Often it’s hard to stop.  And then later I’ll feel sick.  I usually have a late afternoon snack when I’m done seeing patients, and even after having just a bar, I’ll often feel sick.  Then I get home, again want to keep eating and have a hard time stopping, and then later feel sick.  And mind you, I’m not gorging myself on huge meals, it’s just hard to stop myself after a smaller or regular-sized meal knowing that the more I eat, the more likely I’ll feel sick later.

I had given up on remaining Paleo long ago, because the food preferences in pregnancy were just too strong.  Also, despite eating way more carbs than I did before pregnancy, I haven’t been gaining the recommended amount of weight.  So I figured my body was telling me that I need some more carbs to help gain weight.  I didn’t think I was going that overboard.  Many of my patients are drinking juice and soda regularly, eating fast food and junk food regularly, and not surprisingly gaining too much weight.  I wasn’t going THAT crazy, so I thought I was fine.

Well now with this elevated glucola result, I can’t help but feel like my body is betraying me.  As long as I wasn’t going completely crazy with the carbs and sugar, I wanted to try to stop feeing so guilty, and try to enjoy what I was eating.  Because most of the time, I so badly want to eat more, but I can’t because I feel sick all the damn time.  But now this abnormal glucola result makes me wonder if I’ve been eating too many carbs.  On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve been limiting carbs to the point that my body couldn’t handle this sudden glucose load.

Once again, I feel like I can’t win.  Given this daily misery of feeling sick multiple times daily since 7 weeks (I’m 26 weeks now), it was at least nice to be able to be more relaxed and enjoy some carbs.  Now I’m terrified that I might actually have gestational diabetes, and then I’ll have to really be super cautious with what I’m eating, not to mention check my blood sugars 4 times a day.  I’m really hoping I’ll pass the 3 hour test.


4 thoughts on “The dreaded glucola

  1. Meg June 5, 2015 / 10:09 am

    Sorry to hear this POB. Got not much technical to say because whatever I say, you with your experience and knowledge in your field know a lot more and know better. What I do want you to know though is that I’m very glad you have this blog. I can understand why you’re feeling like you are, but you did not jinx yourself and for various reasons this blog is really a good idea.

    Before I got pregnant I used to catch myself thinking that women who gain waay too much weight in pregnancy are being irresponsible (never thought about GD then, just epigenetic changes in the baby), and I used to remind myself that I have no idea how I will be in pregnancy. Usually, during the second half of my normal menstrual cycle I am a slave to progesterone and get massive carb cravings. When I first found out I was pregnant I thought that I would have that scenario for the next 8 months just amplified by a hundred with the progesterone of pregnancy and I would get uncontrollable cravings and might get huge. I decided then to be gentle on myself. I thought, I know what it’s like when hormones dictate my actions and I am going to try my hardest not to berate myself (something I’m prone to doing) for craving carbs.

    I’m trying and so far am going ok with that mission, but I have my days too for eg when I can’t get over the 6 slices of bread I’ve had in one day in addition to the glass of milk (insulin central) and 2-3 serves of fruit. I try and balance it out over the week after that, but doesn’t always work. I’m still slightly terrified each time I do my 3 a day finger prick self monitoring. I know what it’s like and I know what you mean in this post.

    I don’t know you in person so this may seem weird, but *hug*. I hope the OGTT goes ok and whatever happens, you’ll deal with it and Willie will be ok in the end.


    • Paleo OB June 6, 2015 / 8:59 pm

      Thanks so much for the support, Meg. It really means a lot to have others out there who can relate. I think my initial shock from the result is wearing off, and I’m just readying myself for the confirmatory 3 hour test tomorrow. Whatever happens, I’ll do my best to deal with it. And yes, it’s good to keep in mind that pregnancy mucks around and changes everything in terms of cravings and food preferences, so it’s good to try not to be too hard on ourselves.


  2. Bostongal June 5, 2015 / 7:38 pm

    So sorry to hear this! 😦 I’ll be hoping that the next test goes well, but no matter what happens, it is amazing that you are bringing a baby into the world and all will work out! The wife of my hubby’s good friend is a health nut (never missing a day at the gym, eats ridiculously healthy, etc.), but she revealed to us recently that she somehow had gestational diabetes when she was pregnant. And then their baby was almost a month early. She shared to let us know that as unexpectedly crazy as her pregnancy and labor ended up being, everything ended up ok and now they have a healthy, happy and super sweet toddler!


    • Paleo OB June 6, 2015 / 9:07 pm

      Thanks for the story about your friend. It makes me feel better- what I’ve learned is that pregnancy definitely messes with everything- food preferences, energy levels, sensitivity to smells, emotions, you name it. And also makes you insulin-resistant, making it easier to get diabetes. So despite our best intentions, stuff happens. And it’s good to be reminded that we’re doing our best, and that in the end things turn out fine.


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