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Real Food For Gestational Diabetes: What You Need To Know

Real Food For Gestational Diabetes: What You Need To Know

Real Food For Gestational Diabetes: What You Need To Know

Note From Mommypotamus: When I wrote about natural alternatives to the glucola test, many of you asked what to do if gestational diabetes is diagnosed and confirmed. Today I am so excited to welcome Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE, CLT, a registered nutritionist and gestational diabetes educator, who will be filling us in on how to take a real food approach to GD.
Lily is the author of Real Food for Gestational Diabetes, a thoroughly researched guide filled with practical guidance and easy-to-follow instructions. It is, hands down, the best resource on the subject that I have found so far. If you or someone you know is looking for information on managing GD with real food, I highly recommend it!
Gestational diabetes is never part of any mom’s plan . . .
But it is the most common complication of pregnancy, affecting up to 18% of pregnant women. Yet there are many misconceptions about this diagnosis, both in conventional health care and the integrative medicine world. As a registered dietician/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator who specializes in gestational diabetes, I’m going to clear up some of the confusion for you today.
Whether or not you have gestational diabetes, this post will help you understand how it develops and why it’s important to maintain normal blood sugar (for all pregnant women, really). I’ll also be sharing why the typical gestational diabetes diet fails and why a real food, nutrient-dense, lower carbohydrate approach is ideal for managing gestational diabetes.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is usually defined as diabetes that Continue reading

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How a Thin Diabetic Reversed Her Type 2 Diabetes

How a Thin Diabetic Reversed Her Type 2 Diabetes

I received a letter from reader Sarah, who has successfully used low-carbohydrate high-fat diets and intermittent fasting to reverse her type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, she is not particularly overweight as measured by body mass index, yet still suffered from T2D. At her heaviest, she only had a BMI of 24.9, which puts her in the ‘normal’ range. She writes:
The letter
I immigrated to US from P.R. China in the end of 1998 when I was 31 years old; I weighed about 55 kg (121 lbs). While I was in China, I lived thousands of miles away from my family, so I had sort of an intermittent fasting life style from age 19 to 31 years old. The meals in China were mostly vegetables and very little protein. I had an annual physical check up every year, but was never told of any abnormal blood results.
After I immigrated to the U.S., my lifestyle suddenly changed from one meal per day to three meals consisting of mainly grains with little fat and protein. I gained about 25 pounds (11 kg) in a couple of years, my weight did not continue going up. My heaviest was about 145 pounds (66 kg). When I was diagnosed with diabetes in Dec 2004:
Weight: 142 pounds (64 kg)
Height: 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm)
HbA1c: 9.4
FG: 214
I was told to exercise, so I started yoga shortly after my diagnose. I lost about 10 pounds (5 kg) and 2 inches (5 cm) from my waist but still required metformin. In the spring of 2005, I relocated to Galveston from Houston because of my work as an engineer. My endocrinologist sent me to a nutritionist who measured my after meal glucose in her office, it was near 200 mg/dl (11.1 Continue reading

Drugs That Can Worsen Diabetes Control

Drugs That Can Worsen Diabetes Control

One of the main goals of any diabetes control regimen is keeping blood glucose levels in the near-normal range. The cornerstones of most plans to achieve that goal include following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and taking insulin or other medicines as necessary.
However, it’s not uncommon for people with diabetes to have other medical conditions that also require taking medicines, and sometimes these drugs can interfere with efforts to control blood glucose. A few medicines, including some commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure and heart disease, have even been implicated as the cause of some cases of diabetes.
This article lists some of the medicines that can worsen blood glucose control, the reasons they have that effect, the usual magnitude of the blood glucose changes, as well as the pros and cons of using these drugs in people who have diabetes.
Where the problems occur
To understand how various medicines can worsen blood glucose control, it helps to understand how insulin, the hormone responsible for lowering blood glucose, works in the body.
Insulin is released from the beta cells of the pancreas in response to rising levels of glucose in the bloodstream, rising levels of a hormone called GLP-1 (which is released from the intestines in response to glucose), and signals from the nerve connections to the pancreas. The secretion of insulin occurs in two phases: a rapid first phase and a delayed second phase. Both of these phases are dependent on levels of potassium and calcium in the pancreas.
Insulin acts on three major organs: the liver, the m Continue reading

Prediabetes: Symptoms, causes, and risk factors

Prediabetes: Symptoms, causes, and risk factors

When someone has prediabetes, their blood glucose levels are high but not yet high enough to be a sign of type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes is very common, affecting 1 in 3 American adults.
Getting enough exercise, eating a wholesome diet, and maintaining a healthy weight can reverse symptoms of prediabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes from developing.
What is prediabetes?
Insulin is a hormone responsible for transporting sugar from the bloodstream to the cells to use for energy.
When a person has prediabetes, their body cannot use insulin effectively.
Sometimes this results in the cells not getting enough sugar, which leaves too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream.
High blood sugar levels can cause serious health complications, especially damage to the blood vessels, heart, and kidney.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 86 million Americans have prediabetes, but many do not know they have the condition.
Most people who have prediabetes don't experience any symptoms. By the time they do, it's usually a sign that the condition has progressed to type 2 diabetes.
Diagnosis
The American Diabetes Association suggests that people should consider blood-screening tests when they are about 45 years old.
However, glucose testing should begin earlier for those with risk factors for diabetes, such as being overweight or having a family history of diabetes.
Several blood sugar tests can confirm a prediabetes diagnosis. Doctors will repeat tests two or three times before making an official diagnosis.
Here are the most common diagnostic tests.
Glycated hemoglobin ( Continue reading

Can low carb help with gestational diabetes in pregnancy?

Can low carb help with gestational diabetes in pregnancy?

When Natalie Thompson Cooper was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in her first pregnancy, at age 28, she was very concerned. The condition, which affects at least one in seven pregnancies to as many as one in five, causes blood sugars to rise abnormally high, called hyperglycemia.
1
Natalie knew hyperglycemia bathed her unborn daughter in glucose, putting the fetus at risk for a wide range of potential complications, including miscarriage, birth defects, macrosomia (very large size), high blood pressure, birth trauma, and higher rates of C-section and even stillbirth.
2
Moreover, gestational diabetes (GD) — also called ‘carbohydrate intolerance of pregnancy’ — greatly increases the risk that the mother and her offspring will both face future health problems, such as much higher rates of eventual type 2 diabetes, metabolic conditions, and cardiovascular disease.
3
GD is one of the most common and significant complications of pregnancy. Prenatal guidelines the world over recommend the routine screening of all pregnant women and then, if positive, strict management, starting with dietary therapy, then if that does not work, insulin injections.
4
However, to this day, what constitutes the best “dietary therapy” is hotly debated, with some researchers proposing a diet high in complex carbohydrates (60% carbs) and others lower carbohydrates (40% carbs).
5
However, the recommended “lower carb” GD diet is still far higher than the under 20 g per day of the strict low-carb high-fat or ketogenic diet. In fact, many guidelines for GD recommend women, on an ostensibl Continue reading

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