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Dealing With Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes - Treatment Overview

Gestational Diabetes - Treatment Overview

Most women who have gestational diabetes give birth to healthy babies. You are the most important person in promoting a healthy pregnancy. Treatment for gestational diabetes involves making healthy choices. Most women who make changes in the way that they eat and how often they exercise are able to keep their blood sugar level within a target range. Controlling your blood sugar is the key to preventing problems during pregnancy or birth. You, your doctor, and other health professionals will work together to develop a treatment plan just for you. You do not need to eat strange or special foods. But you may need to change what, when, and how much you eat. And walking several times a week can really help your blood sugar. The lifestyle changes you make now will help you have a healthy pregnancy and prevent diabetes in the future. As you start making these changes, you will learn more about your body and how it reacts to food and exercise. You may also notice that you feel better and have more energy. During pregnancy Treatment for gestational diabetes during pregnancy includes: Eating balanced meals. After you find out that you have gestational diabetes, you will meet with a registered dietitian to create a healthy eating plan. You will learn how to limit the amount of carbohydrate you eat as a way to control your blood sugar. You may also be asked to write down everything you eat and to keep track of your weight. You will learn more about the range of weight gain that is good for you and your baby. Going on a diet during pregnancy is NOT recommended. Getting regular exercise. Try to do at least 2½ hours a week of moderate exercise.3, 4 One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throu Continue reading >>

Diet For Gestational Diabetes

Diet For Gestational Diabetes

I have gestational diabetes. Why do I have to watch what I eat? Eating well is an important way to stay healthy for all women in pregnancy. But if you have gestational diabetes (GD), choosing the right food is especially important. When you eat, your digestive system breaks most of your food down into a type of sugar called glucose. Glucose is one of your body’s main sources of energy. Glucose enters your bloodstream and then, with the help of insulin (a hormone made by your pancreas), your cells use the glucose as fuel. However, if your body doesn't produce enough insulin – or your cells have a problem responding to the insulin – too much glucose stays in your blood, instead of moving into the cells and getting converted to energy. Pregnancy hormones reduce the effect of insulin, so your body has to make more of it. If your body can't keep up with the demands for insulin, your blood sugar levels can get too high. That's when GD happens. It's important to control it, as it can lead to problems for your baby. You may be able to control GD by changing what you eat and combining a healthy diet with regular exercise. Learn all about gestational diabetes, including risk factors, symptoms to watch out for, and how it's managed. How will I have to change my diet? If you’ve been diagnosed with GD, your doctor should refer you to a dietitian who can work out a special diet for you. Every pregnancy is different, so what works for one woman may not work for you. You’ll probably need to experiment with different foods and combinations of foods before you work out what’s best for your body. Your dietitian will be able to help you with this. Women with GD say the foods they can tolerate often change as their pregnancy progresses, which can be frustrating. Others say their Continue reading >>

Learning To Cope With Gestational Diabetes

Learning To Cope With Gestational Diabetes

Two Fridays ago, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was devastated. This pregnancy has been stressful enough for me, just hoping that the baby will be OK and dealing with an ever demanding toddler at the same time. I felt completely blindsided by this development. After all, I’m young, healthy, I exercise and eat a balanced diet and I have no risk factors. Yet both the preliminary 1 hour screening and the 3 hour glucose challenge showed my blood sugar levels to be elevated. All I could imagine was the hassles associated with becoming high risk and having a medically invasive birth instead of the more natural experience I was hoping for. First hurdle was the seeming lack of sympathy of the office staff at my OBGYN. I received the call with my test results on Friday afternoon while packing to leave for a weekend trip to visit family. I was informed that my results were too high and given the phone number to another office to call and set up an appointment with a staff “who would help me deal with my weight gain and dietary issues.” In the stress of the moment I wanted to blurt out to the nurse that I eat a healthy diet and lower than typical for pregnancy weight gain and that I wasn’t overweight before I got pregnant either so why didn’t she just keep her opinions to herself. Of course I didn’t say this, and I had to remind myself that she was just doing test result call backs, she didn’t know me or even have my chart. As far as she was concerned that was the end of the phone call. I had to stop her and try to ask some questions. I got my actual test numbers and managed to get a basic explanation of what to expect from this new specialist, including an address. Apparently the office I was being referred to has a special gestational diabetes program Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar

Gestational Diabetes: Dealing With Low Blood Sugar

Introduction Women who take insulin shots or take the medicine glyburide are at risk for low blood sugar levels. Most women with gestational diabetes do not have problems with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If your blood sugar (glucose) drops very low, make sure to get treated immediately so that neither you nor your baby is harmed. Low blood sugar occurs when the sugar level in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally. Women who take insulin may get low blood sugar if they don't eat enough food, skip meals, exercise more than usual, or take too much insulin. These steps can help you avoid a life-threatening emergency from low blood sugar: Test your blood sugar often so that you don't have to guess when your blood sugar is low. Know the signs of low blood sugar, such as sweating, shakiness, hunger, blurred vision, and dizziness. The best treatment for low blood sugar is to eat quick-sugar foods. Liquids will raise your blood sugar faster than solid foods. Keep the list of quick-sugar foods in a convenient place. Wait 10 to 15 minutes after eating the quick-sugar food, and, if possible, check your blood sugar again. Keep some hard candy, raisins, or other sugary foods with you at all times. Eat some at the first sign of low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar before getting in a car, and don't drive if your blood sugar level is less than 70 mg/dL. Teach your friends and coworkers what to do if your blood sugar is very low. How to deal with low blood sugar emergencies Here are some ways you can prevent and manage low blood sugar emergencies. Be prepared Although most women with gestational diabetes do not have problems with low blood sugar, you should always be prepared for the possibility. Keep some quick-sugar foods with you at all times. If you a Continue reading >>

Lifestyle Changes To Deal With Gestational Diabetes

Lifestyle Changes To Deal With Gestational Diabetes

If you have gestational diabetes, your chances of giving birth to a healthy baby are high if you follow some simple lifestyle precautions. Although gestational diabetes can cause complications for the expectant mum and baby's health, there is a lot you can do to keep the condition under control and minimise it's effects on you and your baby: Control your blood sugar levels by testing them and keeping them within a healthy range. You can test a drop of your blood during the day to find out your blood sugar level. Home glucose testing kits are available at most chemists. Eat a healthy diet. Do not diet but discuss a meal plan for gestational diabetes with your dietician. She may invariably advise you to watch your intake of carbohydrates. They tend to rise your blood sugar levels. Opt for healthy cooking methods such as grilling, steaming or roasting food rather than frying. Cut down on food high in sugar or fat. Include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Moderate physical exercise under the guidance of an expert will be helpful. Try to find a pregnancy exercise consultant or a physiotherapist with experience of working with pregnant women. Ask her about the best activities for a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes. Track your overall weight gain and weekly rate of gain. Discuss with your doctor the amount of weight that is healthy for you and try to maintain that. Keep a daily record of your diet, physical activity and glucose level. You could also write down what you’ve eaten on a daily basis. This will help you track down how well the treatment is working and what needs to be changed. Some women with gestational diabetes may need to take insulin to manage their diabetes. If you are required to take insulin injections, your doctor will monitor your co Continue reading >>

Bittersweet

Bittersweet

Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes can be a shock, but it could also turn out to be a long-term boon for you and your baby. Besides being an “older” mom, Cecilia Paetsch had no risk factors for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM, or high blood sugar during pregnancy). “i thought it was really only a concern for obese women, and my weight wasn’t an issue,” says the 35-year-old attorney from Northbrook, Ill. “I was also pretty conscientious about what I ate, and somewhat consistent about exercise, so I figured i was in the clear.” Paetsch’s pregnancy was normal and routine—until she was diagnosed last year with GDM at week 25. Paetsch is one of a growing number of women being diagnosed with GDM, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports now affects 2 percent to 10 percent of expectant women. in 2011, the American Diabetes Association endorsed lowering the threshold for diagnosis, but most OB-GYNs are still utilizing the old standard. If the proposed new criteria are used, the number of women diagnosed with GDM could jump to 18 percent—nearly 1 in 5, says Mark Landon, M.D., chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. GDM develops when hormones from the placenta compromise a woman’s ability to use the insulin produced by her pancreas. Though most women compensate by producing extra insulin to break down glucose (blood sugar) for energy, some can’t; their excess glucose builds up in their blood and passes through the placenta to the fetus. Recent studies indicate GDM can have long-term consequences for mothers and children and that it poses risks at lower blood-sugar levels than previously thought, says Landon, the lead author of a large 2009 stu Continue reading >>

Dealing With Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Dealing With Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes is a form of type 2 diabetes that is only present during pregnancy. However; having gestational diabetes puts a woman at elevated risk of developing diabetes outside of pregnancy in the future. Gestational diabetes can be very serious if not treated properly, as it increases risk of preeclampsia in the mother, large birth weights, postnatal hypoglycemia, jaundice, and still birth. Therefore it is important for women to know the main risk factors for the condition, which include: - Body Weight – The higher an individual’s body mass index (BMI), the higher the risk for gestational diabetes. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy is also a risk factor. - Ethnicity - Individuals with Hispanic, African, Native American, South or East Asian and Pacific Island ancestry all have greater risk. - Family History - Having a close family history of type 2 diabetes puts an individual at greater risk. The condition is often asymptomatic; therefore standard practice recommends that all pregnant women get screened for it during the third trimester of their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed through a glucose tolerance test that measures the level of glucose in the blood, which may be followed by additional testing if the results from the original test are abnormal. If a woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, it is important that she receives the proper prenatal and postnatal care to ensure her safety, as well as the baby’s. Fortunately, Cone Health’s Center of Excellence in Women’s Health has an exceptional network of obstetrics and gynecology specialists dedicated to providing the best care possible for women with gestational diabetes. Spokesperson Background: Dr. Carolyn Harraway-Smith is an OB/GYN at Cone Health Continue reading >>

12 Tips For Coping With Gestational Diabetes

12 Tips For Coping With Gestational Diabetes

My first pregnancy was pretty smooth sailing until the seventh month when I learned I had Gestational Diabetes. Common among Hispanics and women over 35, Gestational Diabetes (GD) is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes have high blood glucose levels during pregnancy, especially during third trimester. Although doctors aren’t sure why, women who are black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian have an increased risk for developing gestational diabetes. In my case, I had eaten pretty healthy (I certainly wasn’t binging on sweets or desserts) and with medical counseling I learned my diagnosis was most likely hormonally based, meaning my placental hormones caused a rise in blood sugar not mater what I ate. For those of you diagnosed with GD, I’m not going to lie…it’s not a walk in the park, but it is manageable and the diagnosis forces you to be healthy during pregnancy (and not gain a ton of weight). Here are some things that helped me cope with GD and deliver a healthy baby in spite of having it (be sure to check with your doctor before you implement anything new into your GD self-care routine): 1. Seek a second opinion. Although I love my ob-gyn, I also saw an Endocrinologist at Northwestern who specializes in Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes. I did this for my second pregnancy and I would highly recommend it. I wish had done so for my first pregnancy. 2. Develop strategies to cope with GD “pain points.” The mandatory 2 hour fasting between meals was killer. Take a nap during those two-hour fasting windows if you can or keep yourself busy to make the time go by quickly. The fasting is what truly bothered me (and the continuous finger pricking). I only gained 25 pounds with my second pregnancy so being on the GD diet for nine month Continue reading >>

How To Deal With Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

How To Deal With Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

There are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes and this total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040. Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year, says International Diabetes Federation, the non-profit association promoting diabetes care, prevention and cure worldwide. As a result of socioeconomic conditions, girls and women with diabetes experience barriers in accessing cost-effective diabetes prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and care, particularly in developing countries. Diabetes and Pregnancy We know that the key to a healthy pregnancy for a woman with diabetes is keeping blood glucose (sugar) in the target range – both before the patient gets pregnant and during her pregnancy. To do this, the patient needs a diabetes treatment plan that keeps meals, exercise and insulin in balance. This plan will change as they change with pregnancy. Patients will need to check their blood glucose often and keep a record of the results. With blood glucose in the target range and good medical care, the chances of a trouble-free pregnancy and a healthy baby are almost as good as they are for a woman without diabetes. Before pregnancy: Despite advances, babies born to women with diabetes, especially women with poor diabetes control are still at greater risk for birth defects. For this reason, good blood glucose control before the patient gets pregnant is very important. If the blood glucose levels are not in good control, they need to be brought under control before pregnancy. During pregnancy: Pregnancy is often a time of great highs and lows of blood sugar, so good prenatal care are essential. Many changes occur in the body due to the pregnancy and because of diabetes these changes Continue reading >>

Dealing With Gestational Diabetes

Dealing With Gestational Diabetes

I’ll be 35 weeks pregnant by tomorrow and I’d like to believe that I’m handling my gestational diabetes tremendously well, which basically means I haven’t caved in and scarfed down a whole pizza pie or chocolate cake (although I really, really want to!!!). The great news is I have been able to keep my blood glucose numbers in check with dietary changes so my endocrinologist will no longer prescribe meds or insulin. However, I still have to continue monitoring my blood sugar level an hour after meals. When I first consulted my endocrinologist, she required me to take blood readings before and after meals, but my pre-meal readings were consistently normal so I have graduated to taking readings only after meals. Yay me! My endocrinologist gave me the MyStar Extra glucometer from Sanofi Aventis for free and the kit contained the machine and a lancet pen enclosed in small zip-up bag for portability. This post from OLX says that the glucometer costs Php3,800 so if that’s true, then it’s absolutely fantastic that I didn’t have to pay for it. I still have to buy the testing strips and lancets though, since those aren’t included in the kit. The BG Star testing strips cost about Php1,300 for 50 pieces or Php700 for 25 pieces, while the One Touch Ultra Soft lancets are much cheaper at about Php400 for a box of 100 pieces. I was able to buy the lancets in both Mercury Drugstore and Watsons, but the BG Star test strips were only available in Mercury Drugstore. When I first started with my gestational diabetes ordeal and had to test 6x a day, I would go through a 50 piece pack of test strips in only 8 days. So that’s roughly Php5,000 per month just for the test strips and Php1,600 for the lancets. But now that I only have to test 3x a day, my costs were cut in half. Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes - Understanding And Dealing

Gestational Diabetes - Understanding And Dealing

Shannon's Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis: Like every expectant mother, I vowed the best medical professionals available would handle my pregnancy. At least that was my mission as a first time mom. It began as a very happy and special time for me with absolutely no morning sickness or other normal discomforts. That was unfortunately not the story to the end. In the months and weeks to come I would go from a low-risk pregnancy to a high-risk pregnancy in a span of three hours. I had never even heard of Gestational Diabetes, but I would soon learn it was a condition during pregnancy that left untreated could harm the mother, child or both. To me, the world of medicine had become informal, cold and fast-paced. I wanted to find someone who would be with us throughout my pregnancy, answer all of our questions and have a wonderful bedside manner. After discussing the issue with a friend she encouraged me to go and see her midwife who worked in the area with a medical group. We went to see her for our first appointment and found everything we were looking for in Linda. In fact, she was more than that. She was also funny and compassionate, down-to-earth and friendly to both my husband and I as people, not just clients. We were on our way to becoming a family. At about twenty-two weeks we went for the official ultrasound knowing in our hearts that we were going to have a son. When we saw for sure on the monitor we were overjoyed. We had already chosen his name, Logan Michael, a name of Scottish/Irish descent. We wanted our son to have a strong name that tied into his heritage. It was around the 28th week when I was scheduled for my one hour GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test). The one-hour glucola test is a standard procedure for all expectant mothers between the 25th and 28th week of p Continue reading >>

I Struggled With Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

I Struggled With Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy. According to the American Diabetes Association, it's a fairly common pregnancy complication — affecting 18 percent of pregnancies. Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed (via a glucose tolerance test) between week 24 and week 28 of pregnancy — although, the test may be done earlier if you had gestational diabetes with a previous pregnancy or if you have multiple tests showing glucose in your urine. While gestational diabetes is cause for concern, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and monitoring blood sugar levels can help you and your baby stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. These WTE mamas share their stories about how they managed, dealt with, and treated their gestational diabetes while expecting. Continue reading >>

High-risk Moms-to-be Say: Coping With Gestational Diabetes

High-risk Moms-to-be Say: Coping With Gestational Diabetes

Coping with gestational diabetes can be tough, but you're not alone. Read on for some tips and wise words from other moms-to-be in the BabyCenter Community. Count down "After I was diagnosed in my second trimester, I made a countdown calendar that ran right up to my due date. It reminded me that there was an end in sight, and that I was doing what was best for my baby." — Joanna Smart swaps "I get frustrated when I think about what I can't eat, so I think in terms of swaps. I'm swapping white tortillas for whole wheat ones and having spaghetti squash instead of pasta." — Helen "For low-carb snacks, I swap potato chips for zucchini or cucumber chips. For treats, I have blueberries and strawberries or a peanut butter protein bar. When my craving for sweets gets too intense, I chew on a piece of sugar-free gum or have a bite of dark chocolate." — Jenny "Rather than order my usual blended coffee, I've switched to an Americano with sugar-free hazelnut syrup or a small latte. Steamed milk tastes sweet to me now that I've cut back on sugar so much!" — Heather "I've always loved to drink ice water, and staying hydrated helps with my blood sugar, but I can't stomach it while pregnant. I've found that having it hot – like tea without the tea bag – makes it much easier to drink. Drinking room temperature water works well too." — Patti "Flavored sparkling water is my go-to drink, but I always look for brands with no added sugar or sweeteners – just a touch of fruit. If I can't find one, I buy regular sparkling water and add a tiny dash of unsweetened fruit juice, along with ice." — Terri "I found that drinking plain water when I woke up at night made me queasy, so I've been having a glass of unsweetened almond milk instead." — Becca Low-sugar treats "It's import Continue reading >>

Checklists For Every Trimester And Your Countdown To Baby

Checklists For Every Trimester And Your Countdown To Baby

We’ve covered what gestational diabetes is, how it’s diagnosed, some controversies surrounding both of those things, and what the standard medical treatment for diabetes during pregnancy is. This post is going to take a look at how to control diabetes through diet and lifestyle changes, and how to monitor pro-actively while taking charge of your health care team. As a reminder, I tend to be unapologetic (and certainly not politically correct) about pregnancy issues. I also believe strongly that as mothers we need to be in charge of our care – part of which means being educated and proactive about doing what is best for ourselves and our babies. Treating gestational diabetes holistically first requires understanding that pregnant women naturally become insulin resistant to make sure the baby is getting the glucose that he or she needs for the brain. This means that a pregnant woman does not need to get a lot of sugar in her diet. Secondly, you need to understand that the current “ideal diet” model given to pregnant women (and everybody) is very high in sugar levels. Yes, it recommends whole grains, wholemeal, etc. At the risk of sounding very repetitive, it doesn’t matter how whole your grains are or how complex your carbohydrates are – your body still converts them all to SUGAR. Pregnancy is a time when your body has greatly increased nutritional needs. You ARE eating for two. But you do not need to eat the standard modern diet for two. You don’t need to eat junk food for two. And you really don’t even need to eat carbohydrates for two. Your amazing pregnant body is already more resistant to insulin, so the sugar that does go into your body will stay in your blood stream longer. You need to stay on low levels of carbohydrates and get plenty of fat and Continue reading >>

Dealing With Gestational Diabetes

Dealing With Gestational Diabetes

Pregnancy is a phase when a woman undergoes a number of changes, both physiologically and psychologically. Nurturing new life within is not an easy task, and the body needs to prepare and buck up to be the life-giver. While motherhood is a delightful experience for most women, it becomes ever-important for women to take care of themselves during this phase. This includes being aware of the probable health-signals associated with pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is one such condition that some women may develop during the second half of their pregnancy. While it poses some risks, the main idea is to know the what, why, and how of it, and take the necessary measures for safeguarding the health of yourself and your baby. Here is all you need to know about gestational diabetes. What is Gestational Diabetes? Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. The pancreas cannot produce enough insulin as a result of pregnancy-related changes. Hence, your blood sugar levels may rise and fluctuate rapidly having detrimental consequences on you and your baby, if not managed well. Thankfully, it is very much possible to manage GDM with conscious and consistent changes, but one needs to be aware of the condition. One factor that makes this difficult is that gestational diabetes almost never shows any diabetes symptoms. Some women may show some symptoms similar to type 2 diabetes like increased thirst, higher frequency of urination, dry mouth, tiredness, and fatigue etc. Getting tested for Gestational Diabetes Whether you show the above symptoms or not, it is important to get yourself checked for the condition. During the initial antenatal appointment i.e. between weeks 8 – 12, you will be questioned to Continue reading >>

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