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How To Manage Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes means diabetes that develops or is recognised for the first time during pregnancy. It affects between five and nine per cent of pregnancies. Diabetes develops when the body can't produce enough insulin (insulin deficiency), or produces a normal amount of insulin but the body’s tissue does not respond normally to the insulin (insulin resistance). Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, which regulates the amount of sugar available in the blood for energy, and enables any sugar that isn't immediately required to be stored. During pregnancy your body has to produce extra insulin to meet your baby's needs and your body becomes naturally more insulin resistant, especially from mid-pregnancy onwards. If your body can't produce enough insulin or develops too much insulin resistance, you will have too much sugar in your blood and may develop gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually resolves itself after your baby is born. However, if you have had gestational diabetes in one pregnancy, you are more likely to get it again in future pregnancies. You are also at a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life and you will need to be regularly screened by your doctor throughout your life. You can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by paying attention to what you eat and how much exercise you get. How will I know if I have gestational diabetes? You may be screened during the second trimester of your pregnancy for gestational diabetes. There is a range of different policies on who is tested for gestational diabetes and what test is given. You may want to ask your caregiver about their experience and preferences. If you are in a low risk group you will be offered a glucose challenge test (GCT) betwe Continue reading >>

How To Manage Gestational Diabetes

How To Manage Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is surprisingly common—and often comes with no warning signs. While counting carbs isn’t fun, the disease can be managed for a healthy pregnancy. Nycki Etherington was shocked when she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). A slim 29-year-old, Etherington had no risk factors for the disease, which occurs when a woman’s pancreas isn’t able to produce the extra insulin needed to keep increased blood sugar in check during pregnancy. Since GDM has no real symptoms (common complaints of people with diabetes, such as tiredness and frequent urination, are often normal parts of pregnancy), she had no warning signs. Etherington was given an oral glucose tolerance test between 24 and 28 weeks, and, like almost 10 percent of pregnant women, received a positive result. Enduring yet another procedure during pregnancy can seem like an unnecessary inconvenience—the oral glucose tolerance test takes several hours to complete—yet it’s essential to catch and treat this condition. Left unchecked, high blood sugar levels increase the risk of developing pre-eclampsia, which is life-threatening to both mom and baby. As well, women with GDM may give birth to very large babies, which can get stuck in the birth canal and require intervention, such as a C-section. However, as Winnipeg endocrinologist Pam Katz notes, the condition is highly manageable. In fact, if women with GDM are properly monitored and work to keep their blood sugar levels in check, most go on to have healthy pregnancies. “With education and support,” Katz says, “most patients with gestational diabetes have a positive experience and a great outcome.” This is why the Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that pregnant women get tested. “If we depended on risk fact Continue reading >>

Management Of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Management Of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Gestational diabetes mellitus is a common but controversial disorder. While no large randomized controlled trials show that screening for and treating gestational diabetes affect perinatal outcomes, multiple studies have documented an increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes in patients with the disorder. Data on perinatal mortality, however, are inconsistent. In some prospective studies, treatment of gestational diabetes has resulted in a decrease in shoulder dystocia (a frequently discussed perinatal outcome), but cesarean delivery has not been shown to reduce perinatal morbidity. Patients diagnosed with gestational diabetes should monitor their blood glucose levels, exercise, and undergo nutrition counseling for the purpose of maintaining normoglycemia. The commonly accepted treatment goal is to maintain a fasting capillary blood glucose level of less than 95 to 105 mg per dL (5.3 to 5.8 mmol per L); the ambiguity (i.e., the range) is due to imperfect data. The postprandial treatment goal should be a capillary blood glucose level of less than 140 mg per dL (7.8 mmol per L) at one hour and less than 120 mg per dL (6.7 mmol per L) at two hours. Patients not meeting these goals with dietary changes alone should begin insulin therapy. In patients with well-controlled diabetes, there is no need to pursue delivery before 40 weeks of gestation. In patients who require insulin or have other comorbid conditions, it is appropriate to begin antenatal screening with nonstress tests and an amniotic fluid index at 32 weeks of gestation. Screening for gestational diabetes mellitus is widely practiced despite lack of evidence that it prevents adverse perinatal outcomes. Although the disorder affects approximately 2.5 percent of pregnant women1 and has been the subject of extensive res Continue reading >>

9 Gestational Diabetes Dos And Don’ts

9 Gestational Diabetes Dos And Don’ts

1 / 10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy With a Gestational Diabetes Diet Pregnancy already comes with a long list of things that you should and shouldn’t do to achieve the best outcomes for you and your baby. But if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), then you need to learn some more dos and don’ts to keep your blood sugar under control and make sure that diabetes doesn’t harm your pregnancy. You will need to learn about a gestational diabetes diet — foods and lifestyle habits that help stabilize your blood sugar — as well as, possibly, gestational diabetes treatment. This may include diabetes medications your doctor prescribes during pregnancy to keep your blood glucose under control. It is possible to have a healthy pregnancy with gestational diabetes, but you must take care of yourself to reduce your risk of the following: An overly large baby Cesarean delivery (C-section) Miscarriage Preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure) Preterm delivery Stillbirth Other poor health outcomes for your baby Long-term health effects for you Controlling your blood glucose is important for everyone, young and old. But for pregnant women, good blood sugar control is important before, during, and after pregnancy to reduce the chance of diabetes complications. According to the Mayo Clinic, good blood sugar control during pregnancy can help prevent or reduce these risks: Prevent complications for the baby Prevent complications for the mother Reduce the risk of birth defects Reduce the risk of excess fetal growth Reduce the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth Reduce the risk of premature birth To keep blood glucose under control during pregnancy, it’s important to check your blood sugar level frequently. If you are Continue reading >>

Nuh Develops Smartphone App To Help Manage Diabetes During Pregnancy

Nuh Develops Smartphone App To Help Manage Diabetes During Pregnancy

SINGAPORE: A new smartphone app is being used as part of a clinical trial to help pregnant women with diabetes manage their condition better and prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes mellitus is a type of diabetes that develops usually during the second half of pregnancy, when there is insufficient insulin production to meet extra demands for pregnancy, resulting in high blood glucose levels. Singapore has one of the highest rates of gestational diabetes in the world, with the condition affecting 20 to 30 per cent of expecting mothers. If left untreated or poorly managed, it can lead to various complications for both mother and baby. For the mother, this includes increased risk of high blood pressure, while the baby runs the risk of jaundice, breathing problems, and in the worst scenario, still birth. The app, developed by the National University Hospital (NUH), is being used as part of a clinical trial for a tailored coaching programme to help more pregnant women better manage their gestational diabetes, compared with standard care alone. It consists of several components. First, there are short, personalised interactive lessons and daily tips to help mothers understand the importance of managing the condition for themselves and their babies. There are also tracking features to help women monitor their weight and blood glucose levels, even on the go. This is done via the detachable Aina blood glucose monitoring device, where a blood test strip is analysed to determine the user’s blood sugar. Advertisement The app can be paired with a Bluetooth weighing scale to help chart weight gain. It also helps track food intake, which may cause spikes in blood glucose levels, said Dr Yew Tong Wei, who is site principal investigator of the SMART-GDM Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition of abnormally raised blood sugar levels that may occur in the second part of the pregnancy and goes away once the baby is born. Some women with gestational diabetes may need no treatment, some need a strict diet and others may need insulin injections. As GDM is a condition that occurs during pregnancy, it is not the same as having pre-existing diabetes during your pregnancy. Between 5% and 10% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, usually around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy. Typically, women with gestational diabetes have no symptoms. Most women are diagnosed after special blood tests Some women with gestational diabetes (about 30%) have larger than average babies. As a result, they are more likely to have intervention in labour such as a caesarean birth. But the baby will not be born with diabetes. Studies have suggested that women who develop gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Testing for gestational diabetes All women are screened for gestational diabetes at their 24 to 28 week routine check up. Women who are at higher risk may be tested more often. You are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes if you: are overweight over the age of 25 years a family history of type 2 diabetes come from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or some Asian backgrounds have had gestational diabetes before have had a large baby before. The tests available for gestational diabetes are: Glucose challenge test There is no fasting required and you are given a 50g glucose drink (equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar) with a blood test taken one hour after. This is a screening test only and if the result is above a certain level, you will be advised to have a gl Continue reading >>

How To Deal With Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

How To Deal With Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

While all else may be going just fine, some expecting mothers start developing high blood sugar levels between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. This is known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Similar to other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose). Up to 9.2 percent of pregnant women suffer from this problem, according to a 2014 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, it is recommended that all women get tested for gestational diabetes at the beginning of the third trimester. The exact cause of GDM is unknown, but the hormonal changes during pregnancy play a key role. During pregnancy, the body produces larger amounts of some hormones like human placental lactogen, estrogen and hormones that increase insulin resistance. These hormones affect your placenta and also interfere with the action of insulin, the hormone that regulates your blood sugar. Women over the age of 25 who suffer from high blood pressure, have a family history of diabetes and were overweight before becoming pregnant are at a higher risk of developing GDM. Also, women who have previously given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds or had an unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth are at a higher risk. Some of the mild symptoms of gestational diabetes may include fatigue, blurred vision, excessive thirst and excessive need to urinate. Developing GDM during pregnancy doesn’t mean that you will have diabetes after delivery. In most cases, the blood sugar levels of pregnant women with gestational diabetes tend to return to normal within a few hour or days post delivery. However, it is recommended that women who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy get tested for diabetes every 2 to 3 years as they are at an increa Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Many women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Here is what you need to know to plan for or manage gestational diabetes. Before you schedule an appointment, it would be helpful to gather as much information as possible about the issues that are concerning you. We suggest you talk with family members and request medical records. What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that happens during pregnancy. Unlike type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes is not caused by having too little insulin. Instead a hormone made by your placenta keeps your body from using the insulin as it should. This is called insulin resistance. Blood sugar (glucose) then builds up in your blood instead of being absorbed by the cells in your body. The symptoms of gestational diabetes usually go away after delivery. But sometimes they do not, or you may have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. What causes gestational diabetes? Healthcare providers do not know what causes gestational diabetes, but they do know what happens. The placenta gives your growing baby nutrients and water. The placenta also makes several hormones to keep the pregnancy healthy. These hormones include: Estrogen Progesterone Cortisol Human placental lactogen These hormones can affect how your body uses insulin (contra-insulin effect). This usually begins about 20 to 24 weeks into your pregnancy and could lead to gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, more fat is stored in your body, you take in more calories, and you may get less exercise. All of these things can make your blood sugar (glucose) levels higher than normal and possibly lead to gestational diabetes. As the placenta grows, it makes more of the hormones. The risk for insulin resistance becomes greater. Normally you Continue reading >>

How To Manage Diabetes During Pregnancy

How To Manage Diabetes During Pregnancy

Bringing a new life into the world can be exciting! However, it can also be stressful due to the toll that pregnancy has on an expecting mother’s health. One of these health concerns is gestational diabetes. During the later phase of pregnancy, the fetus has a higher demand for food supply. As a result, the placenta produces a larger amount of hormones that prevents insulin from doing its job. Mothers who are at risk of developing gestational diabetes cannot adapt to the increased insulin need because the beta-cells cannot make enough insulin to keep up with the increasing demand. Researchers do not completely understand why some women's beta-cells do not make adequate insulin, while others are able to keep up. The insulin-blocking hormones and inadequate production of insulin contributes to the rise of maternal blood glucose. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed between weeks 24 and 28. Will gestational diabetes affect the baby? There are risks that will affect the fetus during the pregnancy, at the time of delivery, and once the child is born if blood sugar levels are not controlled. Mothers who experience gestational diabetes are more likely to have a very large baby (9 or more pounds), require a C-section to avoid injuries to the baby, and their baby becomes more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Therefore, it’s extremely important to maintain good blood sugar control throughout pregnancy. In fact, the parameters for controls are stricter than those of a typical type 2 diabetic (see glycemic targets below). Will gestational diabetes come back? A mother who experiences gestational diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the future. However, studies show that women who aggressively manage their diet and exercise can decrease this likeliho Continue reading >>

What You Need To Know About Gestational Diabetes

What You Need To Know About Gestational Diabetes

What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes means diabetes that develops for the first time during pregnancy. According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada gestational diabetes affects between 3.7 and 18 per cent of Canadian pregnancies. Diabetes happens when your body can't produce enough of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is made by your pancreas, and it does two jobs: regulating the amount of sugar available in your blood for energy enabling any sugar that isn't needed to be stored During pregnancy your body has to produce extra insulin to meet your baby's needs, especially from mid-pregnancy onwards. If your body can't manage this, you will have too much sugar in your blood. It's then that you may develop gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born. It's unlike other types of diabetes, which are lifelong conditions. How will I know if I have gestational diabetes? You will be offered a routine glucose tolerance test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Or you may be offered one earlier or at the end of pregnancy, if sugar is found in your urine during a prenatal appointment. If you are considered low risk for gestational diabetes you may not be offered the glucose tolerance test at all. Factors that make you low risk include: Being under the age of 25 If you are Caucasian or a member of another ethnic group with a low prevalence of diabetes You have a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or less You have no previous history of gestational diabetes, glucose intolerance, or adverse pregnancy outcomes related to gestational diabetes You have no family history of diabetes What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes often doesn't have any symptoms, but you may experience the followi Continue reading >>

Patient Education: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (beyond The Basics)

Patient Education: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (beyond The Basics)

INTRODUCTION Insulin is a hormone whose job is to enable glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream to enter the cells of the body, where sugar is the source of energy. All fetuses (babies) and placentas (afterbirths) produce hormones that make the mother resistant to her own insulin. Most pregnant women produce more insulin to compensate and keep their blood sugar level normal. Some pregnant women cannot produce enough extra insulin and their blood sugar level rises, a condition called gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects between 5 and 18 percent of women during pregnancy, and usually goes away after delivery. It is important to recognize and treat gestational diabetes to minimize the risk of complications to mother and baby. In addition, it is important for women with a history of gestational diabetes to be tested for diabetes after pregnancy because of an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the years following delivery. More detailed information about gestational diabetes is available by subscription. (See "Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy: Screening and diagnosis".) GESTATIONAL DIABETES TESTING We recommend that all pregnant women be tested for gestational diabetes. Identifying and treating gestational diabetes can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications. (See "Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy: Screening and diagnosis".) Complications of gestational diabetes can include: Having a large baby (weighing more than 9 lbs or 4.1 kg), which can increase the risk of injury to the mother or baby during delivery and increase the chance of needing a cesarean section. Stillbirth (a baby who dies before being born), a complication which fortunately is now rare in women with gestational diabetes because of good control of blood sugars and careful monitoring of mo Continue reading >>

I've Just Been Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes – What Can I Eat?

I've Just Been Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes – What Can I Eat?

From the moment you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes you are likely to be faced with what seems like an endless list of new tasks: more clinic appointments, more blood tests, taking medications, being more active and eating a healthy, balanced diet. No wonder it can all seem so daunting and overwhelming. One of your first questions is likely to be, “what can I eat?” But, with so much to take in, you could still come away from appointments feeling unsure about the answer. And then, there are lots of myths about diabetes and food that you will need to navigate, too. If you’ve just been diagnosed and aren’t sure about what you can and can’t eat, here’s what you need to know. This may come as a surprise, but you don’t have to go on a special diet when have gestational diabetes. Depending on your current diet, you may have to eat less of some foods and more of others. In the past, people were sent away after their diagnosis with a list of foods they weren't allowed to eat, or often told to simply cut out sugar. Nowadays, you may need to make some changes to your diet, but it’s not a case of cutting things out. Rather, you’ll need to follow the same healthy, balanced diet that’s recommended to everyone. The main aim for managing gestational diabetes is ensuring that your blood glucose levels are under control, so your healthcare team will discuss targets that are right for you. Achieving the targets will increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and your food choices play a vital role in this. It is important to enjoy your meals while making changes to your food choices that are realistic and achievable. This will help control your blood glucose levels, and help prevent excessive weight gain during your pregnancy. All carbohydrates will ha Continue reading >>

What Can I Eat If I Have Gestational Diabetes? Food List And More

What Can I Eat If I Have Gestational Diabetes? Food List And More

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that only occurs in pregnant women. That means you can't get gestational diabetes unless you’re pregnant. You may develop gestational diabetes for the first time during pregnancy or you might have a mild undiagnosed case of diabetes that gets worse when you’re pregnant. During pregnancy, the way your body uses insulin changes. Insulin is a hormone that breaks the foods you eat down into glucose, or sugar. You then use that glucose for energy. You’ll naturally become more resistant to insulin when you’re pregnant to help provide your baby with more glucose. In some women, the process goes wrong and your body either stops responding to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin to give you the glucose you need. When that happens, you’ll have too much sugar in your blood. That causes gestational diabetes. If you have recently been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, or are curious about what will happen if you are diagnosed with it, keep reading to learn more about maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Eat protein with every meal. Include daily fruits and vegetables in your diet. Thirty percent or less of your diet should be made up of fat. Limit or avoid processed foods. Pay attention to portion sizes to avoid overeating. If you have gestational diabetes, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet may help you manage your symptoms without needing medication. In general, your diet should include protein plus the right mix of carbohydrates and fats. Once you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, ask your doctor about working with a registered dietitian or nutritionist. They can help you plan your meals and come up with an eating plan that will keep you and your baby healthy. Aim to base your meals around protein. Include lots of fresh foods a Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman has high levels of glucose in her blood. High blood glucose is caused because the mother can’t produce enough insulin (a pregnant woman’s insulin needs are two to three times that of normal). There are two reasons why the mother needs more insulin: Because pregnancy causes certain types of hormones (that are made by the placenta) to be released. These hormones make it harder for insulin to do its job Because the growth demands of the foetus (developing baby) increases the mother’s need for insulin Unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes is only temporary and usually disappears after pregnancy. However, a woman who has had gestational diabetes has an increased risk (50-60%) of developing type 2 diabetes in the future; therefore they should be tested for type 2 diabetes each year. Why insulin is important Insulin is a natural hormone produced by the body. It is needed to take the sugar from your blood and move it into your cells (where it is used as an energy source for the various things that cells have to do). If your body cannot make enough insulin, sugars from the foods you eat will stay in your blood stream and cause high blood sugars. High blood sugar levels are known as hyperglycaemia. What can gestational diabetes do to me and my child? The risks to you include: An increased chance of needing a caesarean section to deliver your baby An increased chance of developing HOP (toxaemia or pregnancy induced hypertension and protein in the urine) An increased chance of getting urinary tract infections The risks to your baby include: Being very fat and large at birth. Babies who are too large or fat at birth have a much higher risk of developing serious problems following their birth Having their shoul Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes And Your Diet

Gestational Diabetes And Your Diet

Some women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes manage to keep their blood sugar levels under control using diet and exercise alone. If you have gestational diabetes, you need to limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks you have. These foods raise your blood sugar levels very quickly. You will be shown how to monitor your blood glucose levels and, as you go on, you will see which foods are raising these levels too high. Carbohydrates and blood sugar levels Generally, it’s helpful to understand how carbohydrates (carbs) work. Healthy eating means eating foods that don’t encourage your blood glucose levels to spike. This means looking at the carbohydrates you eat, which include sugars and starchy foods. When it comes to complex carbohydrates, you still need to eat some starchy carbs with each meal, but avoid the ones that are released very quickly into your bloodstream. As you monitor your glucose levels, you will see why: they have a dramatic effect on your blood glucose levels. The glycaemic index was devised to show which foods release sugar quickly and which ones don't. Look for options that have a low glycaemic index. Read more about the glycaemic index and find a list of foods that have a low glycaemic index (low GI) here. Sugars (simple carbohydrates) include sweet foods such as sugar, honey and natural sugars that occur in foods like milk and fruit. Manufacturers add sugar to a wide range of processed foods, from cakes and chocolate to peanut butter or tomato sauce. Some of these foods release sugars instantly into your bloodstream, causing it to spike suddenly. "I lost the craving for sweets after about two weeks."Beth, mum of two Starchy foods (complex carbohydrates) include foods such as pasta, noodles, rice, couscous potatoes and bread. They need Continue reading >>

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