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My Experience With Gestational Diabetes

My Experience with Gestational Diabetes

My Experience with Gestational Diabetes

Every pregnancy has its own set of ups, downs, special moments, and emotional setbacks. My pregnancy with Dessa was no exception! Thankfully, the joyful moments from my pregnancy greatly outshine the frustrating events, but there were some moments that were challenging for me to overcome, especially when it came to my health. I occasionally shared small glimpses of my experience with gestational diabetes on the blog and Instagram account, and I have recently become aware of the fact that it’s a fairly common diagnosis for many expectant mothers. And yet, somehow, it can feel incredibly alienating to be diagnosed because many women don’t realize they know other people who have gone through the same thing.
It’s my hope to share a little bit about my own experience with gestational diabetes to offer a little reassurance to anyone else diagnosed with the condition that you are not alone and also let you know what other unexpected repercussions may await you down the road. I always found the shock of new information to be the biggest obstacle to overcome. Hopefully this post will soften the blow a bit and help you feel more equipped to handle what lies ahead.
From the One-Hour Glucose Test …
I turned 35 when I was 2 months along, which automatically qualified the pregnancy as being “high risk”. Those words sounded scary, but everything went smoothly for the first few months. My weight and blood pressure were always under control and the baby grew and developed exactly as she should. At my 28 week OB appointment, I had the infamous glucose screening. (I call it infamo Continue reading

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Does Cinnamon Help Manage Diabetes?

Does Cinnamon Help Manage Diabetes?

Cinnamon is a spice that has been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes. Recently, cinnamon has become a hot topic in diabetes research with conflicting results. The studies have been based on the idea that cinnamon may help to lower blood sugar.
How Cinnamon Might Lower Blood Sugar
Studies showing cinnamon as an effective diabetic treatment have proposed that cinnamon may have an insulin-like effect on cells -- triggering cells to take glucose out of the blood -- or that cinnamon may cause an increase in the activity of the transporter proteins that move glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells.
What the Research Says About Cinnamon and Blood Sugar
In the 2000s, several studies showed conflicting results, with some studies pointing to a hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) effect of cinnamon and others showing no significant effect. But more recent research suggests that cinnamon may indeed help to lower blood sugar. A 2013 review of 10 randomized control trials (the strongest kind of study for nutrition research) suggests that ingesting cinnamon does, in fact, lower fasting blood sugars, as well as total cholesterol.
How to Add Cinnamon to Your Diet
In the randomized controlled trials, people were given between 120 mg/day to 6 g/day for 4 to 18 weeks. That's the equivalent of between a small fraction of a teaspoon to two teaspoons per day. Adding a small amount of cinnamon to your daily diet--by sprinkling it on oatmeal, or using it to spice up a Mexican chili--can't hurt and may help.
But as with any supplement, check with your healthcare professional befor Continue reading

Everyday Foods You Should Avoid With Type 2 Diabetes

Everyday Foods You Should Avoid With Type 2 Diabetes

One of my least favorite things is telling my patients what not to eat. I like to focus on the positives and educate my patients about the plethora of good foods that you can eat. But, from time to time, I find that some people are grateful when they are told that certain foods are "off limits." The types of foods that I may deem "off limits" might surprise you because what folks think is healthy may not always be the best choice.
Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars - for instance, candies, cookies, soda, etc. Other foods of which you should avoid are foods rich in carbohydrate and/or sugar with limited fiber, and those that are lacking in nutrition (vitamins and minerals). Here are some examples:
Whole Wheat Bagels
Although this type of bagel is whole wheat, that doesn't mean it has fewer carbohydrates than it's white counterpart. One bagel is equivalent to eating about 4-6 slices of bread, which means it is very carbohydrate dense and can raise blood sugars. Bagels are also lacking in filling fiber and protein. Therefore, you are likely to be hungry a few hours after eating one which can negatively impact your blood sugars and weight.
To make this a healthier choice, decide to eat 1/2 (scooped out) and top it will a few scrambled egg whites and a vegetable of your choice. My favorite combination is 3 egg whites with 1/3 avocado, and 1/2 cup spinach - this adds protein, fiber, and healthy fat. Some studies suggest a larger, higher protein, higher fat breakfast may help to reduce HgbA1c.
Whole Wheat Pretzels
Whole wheat pretzels may seem like a Continue reading

How to Manage Gestational Diabetes

How to Manage Gestational Diabetes

I was pregnant with my first child when I went to my doctor's office for the routine screening for gestational diabetes at 28 weeks. I drank the sugar solution, and the nurse tested my blood sugar. I failed. Then I had to take the three-hour glucose tolerance test, but the nurse told me, "Your sugar isn't too high. I'm sure you'll pass." I didn't.
I remember feeling scared and wondering what this meant for me and my baby, but a diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn't have to be scary. It just means some extra monitoring, changes to your diet and perhaps some additional medication to keep your blood sugar stable and your baby safe.
Gestational diabetes is quite common. Two to 10 percent of pregnant women develop the condition. According to the Mayo Clinic, the placenta, which connects your baby to your blood supply, produces high levels of various hormones. Almost all of them impair the action of insulin in your cells, which raises your blood sugar. As your baby grows, the placenta produces more and more insulin-blocking hormones. For most women, this isn't an issue because their pancreas just secretes enough insulin to keep their blood sugar stable. But when a woman has gestational diabetes, her pancreas can't keep up with the rise in blood sugar, which can affect the growth and welfare of her baby.
After my diagnosis, I wanted to know what I needed to do to keep my baby safe. My doctor first referred me to a nutritionist, who taught me how to adjust my diet in order to eat a specific number of carbohydrates to keep my blood sugar stable. I was also encouraged to exercise Continue reading

Can Diabetics Eat Black Beans?

Can Diabetics Eat Black Beans?

Diabetes, being complicated is a condition that is very difficult to manage. As such, when a person is suffering from diabetes, he or she is always conscious about what is to be included and what should not be included in the diet. In this article, we shall try to analyze the effects of adding black beans to a diabetic diet.
So, come and join in for the article “Can Diabetics Eat Black Beans?”
Facts About Black Beans
The following are some of the facts about black beans that you need to consider when you are making a decision whether or not you should include these in your regular diet:
One-third cup of black beans is known to contain around 75 units of calories, 5 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fiber
Although black beans are known to be high in the total amount of carbohydrates that they contain, the low glycemic index ensures that these beans are healthy even if regularly consumed by the diabetes patients
Whenever you have one-half cup of beans if you are a diabetic patient, you should ensure that you have one source of protein and starch along with the same
Having known the important facts about black beans, let us see some of the benefits that regular consumption of these beans can have on the diabetes patients.
Benefits of Eating Black Beans for Diabetics
The following are some of the advantages that you can get if you are a patient with diabetes and eat black beans:
The black beans are low in the glycemic index which means that you can eat them safely with diabetes without the fear of your blood glucose rising
This also means that the Continue reading

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