The prevalence of this unusual case of diabetes leads women to wonder What Is Gestational Diabetes. Reported cases of gestational diabetes mellitus are soaring. Undoubtedly, this makes many pregnant women worried if they and their bundle of joy are suffering from the same fate. Are you expecting and wondering if you are at risk of this disease? Are you suffering from the symptoms and not sure about what steps you have to take?
This article contains all that you need to know about this condition. We will walk you through the symptoms and causes, as well as the telltale Signs Of Gestational Diabetes. On top of that, we will also help you understand how to address the condition with the available medical tests. Available treatment for your natal care and what to expect. Meal plan and recipes are also available to ensure that you and your baby will be healthy and safe.
The definition and causes of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes is a type of Diabetes Mellitus that only occurs in pregnant women. As its name implies, this type of diabetes only develops during gestation or pregnancy. Despite the fact that it affects how the cells in your body use glucose just like other types of diabetes. What Causes Gestational Diabetes that leads to the prevalence of this condition is still a mystery. But a recent spike of 7-percent in the recent years clearly shows a change in dynamic.
Researchers are still in the dark about the causes of gestational diabetes in expectant women. However, they presume that hormonal changes during gestation predispose some expectant women to develop insulin resistance. Lifestyle change is also another cause that is put into consideration. Simply because this type of diabetes was virtually unheard of back in the day.
Any complication during pregnancy is concerning. More so when it involves diabetes. It is true that your blood sugar level will return to normal after you give birth to your baby. But even then, you are still at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. Before you get too upset, take solace in the fact that expectant women are still able to control the condition. You can also avoid birth difficulties. This also means that you still have a chance to keep your baby and yourself healthy. Whether it be during pregnancy or after delivery.
Symptoms and risk factors
In many cases, this condition does not come with noticeable Gestational Diabetes Symptoms nor signs. Many expectant women are oblivious to the fact that they are developing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus/ Rather vague symptoms are to blame in this condition. Even if they do appear during pregnancy, chances are pregnant women overlook these following symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
Many expectant women dismiss the aforementioned symptoms as normal. They are not wrong, of course. Those symptoms are common in pregnancy. These vague symptoms make it difficult to recognize the condition early on. However, schedule an appointment with your doctor if the symptoms worsen. Especially when you also have the following risk factors:
- There is history of gestational diabetes in the previous pregnancies
- Expectant mother delivered infant of over 9-pounds in the past
- Has history of PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Woman has family with Type 2 Diabetes
- Pre-diabetes condition
Your doctor will examine and refer you to other health professionals specializing in diabetes. Registered dietician and endocrinologist will also be a part of your pregnancy care. As for the Gestational Diabetes Test, your doctor will most likely use two-step blood test approach. The test starts with glucose challenge test to determine the likelihood of suffering from the disorder. Glucose tolerance test will then take place in order to determine your body’s response to glucose consumption.
Treatment for Gestational Diabetes
Does your result come out positive? Your doctor will schedule routine checkups to monitor your and your baby’s condition. This check ups are held as frequently as possible. Sonogram will also become a part of your natal care as to monitor the growth of your baby. Gestational Diabetes Treatment involves lifestyle changes. If this doesn’t help bringing down your high blood sugar, your doctor will prescribe oral medication and insulin injection to keep it under control.
Managing Gestational Diabetes seems complicated in the beginning. As it involves complete lifestyle and dietary changes. But once you get the hang of it, it will feel natural. Your doctor will refer you to a dietician or a nutritionist to help you design a personalized meal plan.
Special diet for pregnant women with GDM
There is no specific diet that expectant women have to adhere during their pregnancies But following a balanced and nutritious Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan will help significantly. It helps them avoid further complications and keep their blood sugar level under control. If you are recently diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, you are typically advised to limit carbohydrate intake and only consume complex carbohydrates rich in fiber.
Are you not sure about how to come up with a proper meal plan? Don’t worry. Our nutritionist-approved Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan gives you an insight of what proper diet looks like.
- Breakfast includes 2 carbohydrate choices of 45-grams, protein (meat, eggs, fish, poultry, peanut butter, cheese), fat or vegetable of your choice.
- Lunch includes 4 carbohydrate choices of 60-grams, protein (meat, eggs, fish, poultry, peanut butter, cheese), fat or vegetable of your choice.
- Dinner includes 4 carbohydrate choices of 45 to 60-grams, protein (meat, eggs, fish, poultry, peanut butter, cheese), fat or vegetable of your choice.
- Morning, afternoon and evening snacks, include: 1 to 2 choices of 30-grams carbohydrate with added protein and fat.
Here is a sample of Gestational Diabetes Recipes:
- Breakfast includes 1-slice of whole wheat toast, 1 egg, and 1-cup of milk
- Morning snack includes 4-6 whole wheat crackers, 1-ounce of cheddar cheese
- Lunch includes 2-slices whole wheat bread, lettuce and tomato, 1-cup of raw vegetables, 3-ounces of turkey, 1-cup berries and 1-cup of milk.
- Afternoon snack includes 1 small apple, 3-cups of popcorn, 2-tablespoons of peanut butter.
- Dinner includes 1 baked sweet potato, 4-ounces skinless chicken breast, 1-cup broccoli salad with 2-tablespoons salad dressing, 2-tablespoons sour cream, 1-cup of milk.
- Evening snack includes 1 banana, 2-tablespoons Macadamia nuts, 1-cup plain Greek yogurt.