Archives for December 2012

Signs Of Gestational Diabetes: How Do I Know?

Signs Of Gestational Diabetes: How Do I Know?

What Are The Signs Of Gestational Diabetes?

During a normal pregnancy, after a woman eats, the food is broken down in the digestive tract and releases protein, fats and sugars.  Then, with the help of insulin your body produces, the glucose enters the blood stream and is used by the cells as fuel. Unfortunately, sometimes in pregnancy the hormonal changes make the cells less responsive to the insulin.  When the body can’t keep up with the increased amount of insulin, the glucose level in the blood gets too high resulting in you seeing signs of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that either starts during a pregnancy or is first diagnosed during pregnancy.

Signs Of Gestational Diabetes Are Sometimes Called Symptoms

Generally if a pregnant woman has symptoms, they are not life threatening. However, if a pregnant woman does have symptoms she should advise her doctor. Some symptoms include blurred vision, increased thirst and weight loss.

During pregnancy, it’s common for an expectant mom to feel fatigue because of her body is continuing changing to nourish the growing fetus. However, the fatigue could also be a sign that her body not metabolizing sugar properly. That is a major indicator of gestational diabetes. It’s also common for a pregnant women to get a skin, bladder or vaginal infection because of the changing hormones. However, constant reoccurring infections is a sign of gestational diabetes and should be discussed with a doctor.

The good news is that for most women, signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes disappear after giving birth.

Signs Of Gestational Diabetes Are Confirmed With A Test

As part of routine tests, pregnant women will receive an blood test between week 24 and week 28. Higher risk women are tested earlier. One hour before the blood is drawn, the mother is given a sweet drink.  If the blood has a high sugar content when it is drawn, it may indicate that your body is not processing sugar as it should. After a positive test, the doctor will order a glucose tolerance test to measure the baseline and over 3 hours of fasting blood glucose levels.   Once the condition is confirmed, in addition to the doctor’s office, expectant mothers can monitor their condition at home using a glucose monitoring machine.

Treatment For Gestational Diabetes

Diet and exercise are the best methods to treat this condition. Together they will help keep the blood sugar level within an acceptable range. It’s important to read food labels and eat a variety of healthy foods. The diet should be moderate in protein and moderate in fat. High-sugar foods, pastries, fruit juices and soft drink should be used sparingly.  Using a gestational diabetes meal plan is the best choice for your ease and your health.  Learn more about our meal planning solution on this page.

All carbohydrates should come through complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates are found in foods such as rice, pasta, bread and cereal. In rare cases when diet and exercise is not enough to control the blood sugar level, the doctor will prescribe oral diabetes medicine or insulin therapy.

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan: What Does That Mean?

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan: What Does That Mean?

How do I manage gestational diabetes?

Women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes may be need guidelines or help about what this means and how to eat to keep their blood sugar stable. It is important to get the right types of carbohydrates and plenty of protein as well as vitamins and minerals. This involves careful planning and your doctor will help you choose the plan that is right for you and your lifestyle.

Why is your doctor checking your blood sugar for gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition that may develop during pregnancy characterized by high blood sugar levels. That is why your doctor monitors your blood sugar levels throughout your pregnancy. The woman who is diagnosed with it will check her blood sugar often during the day to help determine how her gestational diabetes diet plan is working. This may be as often as four or five times daily. She must choose the right foods prepared the right way for the baby and herself.

How will you know what to eat for gestational diabetes?

Your doctor may give you some simple instructions on a gestational diabetic diet or he may send you to a nutritionist. Either way you will find yourself shopping carefully, and possibly weighing and measuring your food. Your doctor may also tell you about products on the market that are complete gestational diabetes diet plans or you may ask about them. All of these methods have their advantages, but some are less complicated than others. The complete diet plans take a lot of the work away, and assure the right balance for every meal and snack.

Who becomes diabetic during pregnancy?

Most pregnancies have no risk factors of gestational diabetes, but weight issues and sugar processing issues are risk factors that can be controlled by diet. Following a gestational diabetes diet plan helps address them, with little effort on your part. With the right plan you will be confident that you are eating healthfully but not so much as to cause excessive weight. When thinking about the cost in time, and possible birth defects and birth complications it is well worth the expectant mother’s time to do her best for her unborn child. A gestational diabetes meal plan may be just the answer for your pregnancy needs.

What are the advantages of a gestational diabetes meal plan?

A gestational diabetes meal plan eliminates the work of counting and measuring and looking up values of foods. It gives you time for other healthy things, like physical activity, working and caring for your family. A gestational diabetes meal plan takes the guesswork out of your daily routine.  You can find our plans and more information about gestational diabetes meal planning on our page – Click Here.

Management Of Gestational Diabetes: Steps To Take

Management Of Gestational Diabetes: Steps To Take

Management of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, which is glucose intolerance during pregnancy, can also be described as high blood sugar. Most cases of gestational diabetes presents itself at the halfway point of a woman’s pregnancy. Once this glucose intolerance is detected, a treatment to keep your blood sugar levels normal begins. Although gestational diabetes should not be taken lightly, it can be controlled.

Manage Your Gestational Diabetes With A Balanced Diet

Expectant mothers with gestational diabetes have to remain on a balanced diet throughout their pregnancy. Many are recommended to a dietitian that will create a healthy balanced diet to follow. There are also meal plans available that are specifically for those with this condition. If you need management of gestational diabetes, you will be advised to limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed in order to control blood sugar along with keeping track of what you eat. Although a diet is not ideal when pregnant, it has to be done in order to keep both mother and baby in good health. Maintaining a healthy diet can help you avoid having to take daily insulin shots to control blood sugar levels.

Get Regular Checkups

Having gestational diabetes means that in order to manage it properly, you have to visit your doctor on a regular basis. During your regular visits, your doctor will check your blood pressure, blood sugar level and take a urine sample. During these visits, you will also discuss your test results along with your diet and exercise plan. In addition, you will learn how to check your blood sugar levels at home to ensure that they are within normal limits.  Your doctor will want to make sure that you are eating right and keeping your overall blood sugars down to keep them under control.

Exercise Regularly To Manage Your Diabetes

Those with gestational diabetes should take part in moderate exercise for at least two hours per week, after getting approval of your doctor. Regular exercise combined with the right meal plan can help your body use insulin more effectively. This will help control your blood sugar level and help you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.

Management Of Gestational Diabetes During Labor and After Delivery

While in labor, those with gestational diabetes will be monitored closely. Blood sugar will be checked every hour and you may be given insulin through an IV. Your baby’s heart rate and movement will also be watched closely. After delivery, monitoring still continues but your blood sugar should return to normal quickly. Doctors must also make sure that your baby has a regular blood sugar level and may have to be given sugar water or other nutrition to keep from getting a low blood sugar.

Overall, with the help of a great meal plan, exercise and regular doctor’s visits managing gestational diabetes becomes less of a challenge. Small changes can greatly improve the health of mother and baby and ensure that the pregnancy goes smoothly.  Learn more about a gestational diabetes meal plan to manage your condition at our informational page – click here to learn more!

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

What is Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, which develops during pregnancy, is a condition that affects how the body’s cells use glucose. Those who develop gestational diabetes may experience high blood sugar, which affects the health of both mother and baby. Fortunately, this condition can be controlled and blood sugar returns to normal after the child is delivered.

Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes In Moms

In most cases of gestational diabetes, no obvious symptoms are present. Although no symptoms occur, tests are administered to all expectant mothers to check for elevated blood sugar levels. Many doctors would recommend that any woman wanting to become pregnant should see a professional in order to evaluate the risk of developing gestational diabetes. For those who do not choose to do so, checking for gestational diabetes is part of routine prenatal care at about 24 weeks. Expectant mothers who develop this condition can easily learn to manage their blood sugar with the help of healthy eating, exercise and in some cases medication.

Risk Factors

Although any woman can develop gestational diabetes, some are at a higher risk than others are.

Risk factors of developing gestational diabetes are:

Pre-diabetes: slightly elevated blood sugar.
Carrying excess weight: Being significantly overweight increases the chances of developing gestational diabetes
Those older than 25 years of age
Those who are not Caucasian: Although the reason remains unknown, women who are not Caucasian in race have a higher risk of developing this condition.

Mothers with gestational diabetes have a high chance of delivering healthy babies but complications are still possible.

Complications that of gestational diabetes that affect the child include:

Hypoglycemia: Babies of mothers with gestational diabetes can develop hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar.
Preterm birth: Mother’s with high blood sugar may go into labor early and deliver the child before the due date. Doctors may also recommend early delivery if the baby is growing too large.
Excessive birth weight: Extra glucose in the mother’s bloodstream can trigger their baby to grow too large too quickly. This is a result of the baby’s pancreas making excess insulin
Jaundice: Although not a huge concern, jaundice should be monitored carefully.

Mothers with gestational diabetes can also experience serious complications.

These complications are:

Pre-eclampsia
Eclampsia
Diabetes

Overall, gestational diabetes is a condition that should be taken seriously. Although there is a risk of complications that can affect both mother and child, it can be easily managed. In most cases, a great meal plan can control the condition and keep both mother and baby is good health. Eating right is a crucial step to controlling gestational diabetes.

Learn more about what is gestational diabetes by getting my FREE EBOOK and my newsletter on this page!

Learn more about our gestational diabetes meal plans at our informational page – Click here to learn more!

Diet for Gestational Diabetes: Where Do I Start?

Diet for Gestational Diabetes: Where Do I Start?

Diet for Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is brought on when a woman becomes pregnant; this process occurs due to the hormone changes within the body because of the placenta. During pregnancy, the placenta delivers nutrients to the uterus so that the fetus may develop. However, as the hormone levels in a woman’s body changes, their body may not be able to efficiently manage the glucose levels.

Although these changes are occurring, a woman’s pancreas will naturally produce more insulin to offset the indifference. It is when a woman’s pancreas is not able to produce more insulin that glucose levels within the body rise, which leads to gestational diabetes. However, there are some dietary techniques including meal plans one may employ to help manage their gestational diabetes condition.

Dietary Techniques

One may follow some basic dietary techniques in conjunction with choosing appropriate foods to help manage their gestational diabetes. It is beneficial for one to eat three small meals a day at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, it is also healthy to have two healthy snacks in-between meals throughout the day. It is important to not skip any of the meals or snacks because this helps to maintain insulin levels. When an individual is choosing foods to eat, it is wise to opt for fiber-rich, high-carbohydrate foods that will help to maintain glucose levels as well. However, during morning hours, it is not advisable to consume carbohydrate-rich foods as insulin levels are peaked at this time.

Foods & Drink

It is important for one to choose healthy foods and drinks to consume to help keep their gestational diabetes condition managed. Among choosing healthy foods, one should drink at least eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated. Healthy food choices include: four servings of dairy foods, or 1200 mg of calcium/day, three servings of iron-rich foods such as rice, eggs or leafy-green vegetables. It is also beneficial for one to consume one food source containing vitamin C per day; this can be an orange, green bell pepper, kiwi, papaya or even a serving of brussel sprouts. Lastly, it also beneficial for one to consume one food source per day that is rich in vitamin A; this can include butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or carrots.

Other Tips

Final tips for one to try are to refrain from foods that are high in sugar, or fat as well as to avoid caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco. Drinking caffeine, alcohol or consuming tobacco products all can aggravate gestational diabetes as well as cause birth defects.

Following these dietary techniques and using a gestational diabetes meal plan will allow a woman to manage her gestational diabetes and keep it in control so that it does not ultimately affect their baby. Typically once the child has been delivered, a woman’s glucose levels will return to normal thus reversing the gestational diabetes condition.

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms: Do You Have Them?

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms: Do You Have Them?

What is Gestational Diabetes?gestational diabetes symptoms

This is a specific type of diabetes that occurs in women during pregnancy. Basically, it is caused by hormones that occur during pregnancy that block insulin from doing its job in breaking down blood sugar. This leads to a condition of diabetes that a woman may have when pregnant, and usually clears up once the child is born.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

The symptoms that will be experienced are much the same as with diabetes in general. You can have an increase in thirst. There will also be an increase in the frequency of urination that is disproportional to the amount of liquids that are consumed. Fatigue will set in with occasional blurred vision. Nausea and weight loss can also be symptoms of gestational diabetes. Many of these symptoms can be mild and easily confused with the effects of being pregnant.

Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes

The symptoms alone are not enough to indicate a problem. In fact, because they are often so mild, they usually mean nothing, but when accompanied by risk factors, your health care provider needs to be informed. Among these factors are having diabetes in your family, being overweight before your pregnancy and having high blood pressure. A doctor can look at your medical history to determine what other factors may be applicable to your pregnancy.

Why Treatment is Needed for Gestational Diabetes

For the sake of the child as well as the mother, this type of diabetes needs to be controlled. Doctors will usually test pregnant women by the 24th week.  Without a diagnosis and treatment, a woman can give birth to a baby that is much larger than it would normally have been with complications. In many cases, the baby will not be able to be born vaginally. This increase in size is due to the high levels of sugar in the mother’s blood. This provides much greater energy than a baby requires for normal growth. A baby will often have a condition of low blood sugar levels after birth. This is due to the baby’s pancreas producing high levels of insulin in response to the mother’s blood sugar, then at birth the amount of sugar in the child’s blood is suddenly low so they need additional sugar water or breastmilk at birth.

The Fundamental Treatment for Gestational Diabetes

There are several treatments used to control gestational diabetes, but fundamental to all of them is with diet. In fact, with a proper diet and monitoring of your blood sugar, most women can keep the problem under control. In general, a diet that is low to moderate in both fat and protein is needed. Carbohydrates are obtained from fruits and whole grains. All food with sugar is avoided or completely eliminated such as soda pop, candy, donuts and other sugary snacks.

gestational diabetes symptomsThere are medications that can be prescribed to a pregnant woman to keep her blood sugar levels from getting too high, but these should not be used to control high blood sugar levels that come from eating the wrong foods. It is much healthier for you and your baby to eat right to begin with.

You can learn more about a gestational diabetes diet from our meal planning solution that is a kit put together to guide you through your gestational diabetes and help you improve your health.  Click here to find out more.

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan – What Is It And How Does It Work?

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan – What Is It And How Does It Work?

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan

Around twenty four weeks of pregnancy you may be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and higher than normal levels of blood sugar.  Some women are tested earlier because of their past pregnancies or family history, so don’t worry if you are tested early. Gestational diabetes will most likely resolve after pregnancy, however the importance of following a healthy diabetic diet is imperative for the health of the baby as well as the mother. Expectant mothers have only one goal in mind for their entire pregnancies, delivering a healthy baby. Mothers already know the importance of a healthy diet for their own health and their babies as a rule. Pregnant women today are often juggling jobs, family and many other responsibilities. A complication like gestational diabetes requires more than healthy eating habits, it requires a strict gestational diabetes meal plan that can be implemented immediately.

Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed late in the second semester with a simple glucose test.  Gestational diabetes, like type 2 diabetes, is caused by insulin resistance. Unlike type 2, gestational diabetes will usually resolve itself once the baby is born. Complications from gestational diabetes may harm the baby and the mother. The baby may be large from the storing of too much fat during pregnancy, which can lead to childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. Complications for the mother include a higher risk for other pregnancy related complications, such as pre-eclampsia and/or a Cesarean section. Non-pregnancy related issues include a higher risk for type 2 diabetes later in the mother’s life.

Gestational Diabetes Treatment

The best treatment for gestational diabetes is a careful diet designed especially for pregnant women who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Since gestational diabetes will most likely resolve itself post delivery no plans for lifelong management are necessary. However, since gestational diabetes can impact the health of the baby there is very little window of opportunity for experimenting with special diets. Often a newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic will immediately take medications to lower blood sugar while slowly developing their own personal diet, but in the case of gestational diabetes there is no option of time and medications may not be desirable.  You will need to follow your doctor’s lead and take the medications he/she prescribes.

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan

A  gestational diabetes meal plan, created by experienced, knowledgeable professionals, has many benefits.  Many expectant mothers faced with a diagnosis are completely unprepared to research and/or experiment with a new diet. While doctors serve as an excellent source of advice, the mother is often solely responsible for meal planning and preparation. This burden is usually added onto a mother’s regular daily meal planning for the entire family. A gestational diabetes meal plan, designed by experts, will allow the mother to immediately begin practicing new, healthy eating habits that will protect both herself and her baby from further health issues.  Learn more about our gestational diabetes meal plans on our information page, and know it’s a one time purchase that is designed to get you through these rough weeks and keep your baby healthy.

Gestational Diabetes Treatment – What Choices Do I Have?

Gestational Diabetes Treatment – What Choices Do I Have?

Pregnant Girl Eating Cake

Pregnant Girl Eating Cake (Photo credit: o5com)

Gestational Diabetes Treatment Is Important

Pregnancy can be a joyous occasion as mom and dad prepare for the arrival of the little one. However, women are not without minor to major complications during these 9 months. Conditions from morning sickness and fatigue to major complications can hospitalize the expectant mother from several days to weeks. Gestational diabetes is a condition brought on by pregnancy and is characterized by high sugar levels within the blood. Symptoms include excessive thirst and urination. Expectant mothers may also experience blurred vision, bladder infection and vomiting unassociated with pregnancy, and this makes you wonder what is the treatment for gestational diabetes.

Reasons to Solve the Problem

There are potential short and long term risks for mother and child due to gestational diabetes. Large birth size, breathing difficulty and low blood sugar levels at birth are but a few. There is also a risk of the mother developing metabolic syndrome after the child is born. This condition is associated with heart disease and other heart related conditions as diabetes and stroke. There is also a greater risk of childhood obesity for the infant, especially if you don’t pursue any gestational diabetes treatment.

Solutions for the Problem

Gestational diabetes often is tested and diagnosed during the 24th week of pregnancy. Doctors are still unclear regarding aggressiveness of treatment or start of initial screening. However, they do agree treatment will severely reduce complications associated with the condition. Although rare, some women are prescribed insulin to combat gestational diabetes. It is recommended women who do require insulin should always have a sweet food available to prevent low blood sugar. Low blood sugar is initially characterized by lightheadedness and nausea. If not treated right away the condition can be dangerous. Most cases of gestational diabetes can be treated with exercise and proper nutrition, especially the use of a meal plan.

Proper exercise helps to maintain healthy weight and blood circulation. Proper nutrition is the thing that keeps a mom from insulin dependency during pregnancy. Proper nutrition, as part of your gestational diabetes treatment, will provide foods that do not cause blood sugar levels to spike. Mothers must not forget they are eating for two and must be able to maintain an eating program of appropriate foods that do not add empty calories. Empty calorie foods include candy, cakes, ice cream and other sugary foods and cereals. Expectant mothers should also be aware of juice intake. Some makers claim their products to be sugar free or 100% juice. However, some of these products contain sugar and are contraindicated for the mother with gestational diabetes.  Each trimester will require eating habits to be adjusted to the baby’s needs. Some doctors prescribe prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. Mothers must realize vitamins are not meant to replace nutritional needs but to aid the pregnancy. Therefore, whole grain foods that are rich in fiber will give mother and baby a tremendous advantage. High fiber foods help digestion and may alleviate constipation associated with pregnancy.

Fortunately, gestational diabetes often disappears after birth. Proper care and nutrition during the condition will reduce long-term risks upon mother and child, and is the proper gestational diabetes treatment.  You can use a gestational diabetes meal plan to make life a lot easier on you and your family to help solve the treatment issues you might encounter.  Read more about our gestational diabetes meal plan on our information page.

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