Archives for January 2013

Studies Show Gestational Diabetes Risk Increases with Every Pregnancy

Newborn

Newborn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People often say that each pregnancy is different. What you may experience during your first pregnancy may not be the same as your experiences in your subsequent pregnancies. However, a recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that women with gestational diabetes during their first pregnancy have higher risks of developing the same condition in their subsequent pregnancies. In fact, according to this study, the risk increases with each pregnancy.

In the research, 65,132 first-time pregnant women with gestational diabetes were used as the sample population by a group of researchers led by Dr. Darius Getahun. One of the findings was that the risk of these women getting gestational diabetes during their second pregnancy is 13.2% increased. There is also an increase of 6.3% in the third pregnancy of women who initially had gestational diabetes but did not suffer from the condition during their second pregnancies. Those who have experienced gestational diabetes during the first and second pregnancies had a 26% risk for developing the same condition during the third pregnancy. Getahun was quick to point out that having gestational diabetes during the first pregnancy already means that the woman will likely also have the same condition in her second pregnancy.

Aside from the aforementioned risks, women with gestational diabetes are also at risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. That is why it is highly recommended by the American Diabetes Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for women with gestational diabetes to undergo counseling when it comes to lifestyle modifications, like diet, exercise, and weight loss or maintenance.

One of the limitations of the study was that the researchers did not look into other lifestyle factors that may have had contributed to a woman’s increased risk on gestational diabetes. They did not consider that the obesity of a woman can actually contribute in increasing the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Instead, the researchers recommend that early identification of pregnant women who are at risk for developing gestational diabetes and timely postpartum care should be exercised so as to prevent gestational diabetes and other adverse pregnancy situations from happening.

The study also showed that a person’s race or ethnicity may play a role in the return of gestational diabetes. According to the survey in the said study, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific islander women had the highest risk of developing gestational diabetes among other races. This can be due to the fact that the food in these races contains a high glycemic index, which means that they easily affect the levels of glucose in the bloodstream, thus causing sudden spikes.

According to Dr. Manju Monga of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, the findings in the aforementioned study reflect consistency in the results of more recent studies as of late.

As a recommendation, Dr. Monga further advises women with gestational diabetes to have themselves screened for type 2 diabetes after six months of giving birth. This will give them a head start on modifying their lifestyle to avoid developing type 2 diabetes later on in life.

You can learn more about the truths of gestational diabetes by signing up for our newsletter by entering your name and email in the box below!

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What Are The Blood Sugar Levels For The OGTT?

What Are The Blood Sugar Levels For The OGTT?

How Does The Doctor Diagnose Gestational Diabetes?

OGTTMonitoring one’s blood sugar levels in gestational diabetes (GDM) is essential. To be able to diagnose gestational diabetes in a pregnant woman, it is not enough to only rely on the physical manifestations, such as blurring of vision, increased thirst, increased appetite, and increased urination. The woman also has to undergo glucose screening tests in order to prove that she is really suffering from gestational diabetes. One of the tests that are being done on women to finalize their diagnosis of gestational diabetes is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

What is OGTT?

OGTT determines the amount of sugar or glucose present in the blood at a given time. In this test, the woman has to fast for at least eight hours before the test. A blood sample will be taken to measure the woman’s normal fasting blood glucose level. Afterwards, she will be asked to drink a liquid with around 75 grams of glucose in it. 30 minutes after finishing the solution, her blood sample will be taken once again. Three more blood extractions will be done every hour for the succeeding three hours, hence the test will last for approximately 3 hours. The values derived from the OGTT will determine whether a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes or not.

Normal and abnormal values

As a general rule, the normal value of the fasting blood sugar should be between 60-100 mg/dl. Anything higher than that is a candidate for gestational diabetes. The 1-hour sample should yield less than 180 mg/dl in order to be considered normal. As for the 2-hour sample, abnormal values are 155 mg/dl and above. For the sample for the third hour, 140 mg/dl and higher are already considered diabetic.

If only one of the readings is abnormal, this does not automatically mean that the woman is already diabetic. Another OGTT might be needed later on in the pregnancy. The doctor might also advise her to make some modifications in her diet and physical activities.

However, if two or more readings are interpreted as abnormal, they are already conclusive enough to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Factors affecting OGTT

There are several things that might yield false results in the OGTT. Some of these are:

  • Medications, such as phenytoin, and corticosteroids. You should consult your doctor first before having an OGTT while taking the aforementioned drugs.
  • Acute stress
  • Heavy exercise

What should I do if I am diagnosed with GDM?

The important thing in GDM is to control the blood sugar level and keep it within the normal limits so as to prevent any complications from arising. This can be achieved through proper diet and exercise. Diet should include moderate fats and proteins, complex carbohydrates, and less sugar. Exercise is also important to use up excess glucose during pregnancy. It is also essential to visit the health care provider to monitor not only the condition of the mother, but also of the baby.

Take a moment and check out my book on gestational diabetes, and if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes you can get more great information and meal plans for your condition.

To learn more about gestational diabetes, you can sign up for our mailing list and keep yourself updated with all the information you need in managing the condition.  Enter your name and email in the box below and we will send you 3 dinner meals and an ebook about how gestational diabetes can be managed.

 

 

Will I Deliver My Baby Early With Gestational Diabetes?

Will you deliver your baby early if you have gestational diabetes?

Childbirth

Childbirth (Photo credit: popularpatty)

Just like what its name suggests, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a type of diabetes that only happens during pregnancy. The high levels of various hormones during pregnancy can impair the function of insulin in your body. Since insulin is the hormone that regulates glucose, its inhibition can result to high sugar levels in the body.

There’s a good side and bad side to this condition. The good news is that blood sugar levels usually return to normal after delivery, although the mother becomes at risk for developing Type II diabetes later on. As for the bad news, gestational diabetes can have certain adverse effects on delivery, and that includes premature delivery.

What has GDM got to do with it?

For majority of the women suffering from controlled GDM, there are no problems concerning the health and delivery of the baby. However, if GDM is uncontrolled during pregnancy, this can result to problems for both the mother and the baby, including premature delivery of the latter. There are two common reasons why premature delivery happens for women with GDM, and they are as follows:

  • Macrosomia – Macrosomia is a condition in which the baby appears large for its gestational age. This excessive birth weight occurs because of the extra glucose that crosses the placenta from the bloodstream. In this case, the obstetrician might recommend giving birth to the baby through C-section to avoid birth injuries. If the baby continues to grow too large, the doctor might be forced to have the baby delivered prematurely.
  • Pre-eclampsia – High blood during pregnancy is known as pre-eclampsia, and it is a life-threatening condition not just for the mother but also for the baby. Because glucose makes the blood thicker, it can also pave the way for high blood pressure to develop. Continuous hypertension can result to seizures or even stroke, in which cases the baby needs to be born earlier than its term.

Does preterm delivery affect me and my baby?

Although preterm babies beyond seven months are not uncommon, they inarguably become at risk for several conditions, such as the following:

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) – Since the baby’s lungs only reach maturity during term, they may find it difficult to breathe once they are born pre-term. A pre-term baby might need to be taken care of in the NICU and be hooked to a breathing machine.
  • Jaundice – The liver of the premature baby is also not yet mature enough to break down bilirubin, hence causing a yellowish discoloration of the skin and even the whites of the eyes. Usually, this is not very alarming or life-threatening, but it would still require careful monitoring.
  • Type 2 DM and hypoglycemia – In the womb of a mother with GDM, the baby’s pancreas get used to producing lots of insulin in response to the high level of glucose coming from the mother. When the baby is delivered, it is possible that it might initially suffer from hypoglycemia because of its pancreas’ continuous production of insulin. There is also a possibility that the baby might suffer from Type II diabetes mellitus later on in life.

The key to GDM is to monitor one’s blood sugar during pregnancy to avoid any complications to the mother and the baby. Consult one’s obstetrician so that blood sugar level is controlled. It is also important to watch one’s diet and engage in regular exercise.

Sign up for our email list to learn more about how gestational diabetes affects all parts of your pregnancy, and get a free e-book and some meal planning resources.  Enter your name and email in the boxes below for more information!

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What Is An OGTT or a 3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test?

What Is An OGTT or a 3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test?

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test Is the Gold Standard

OGTT is an oral glucose tolerance test.  For most women, around week 24-28, they do a 1 hour glucose test in the doctor’s office.  Now, if you had gestational diabetes with an earlier pregnancy or your risk factors are high, you might get tested earlier in your pregnancy, and your doctor might go straight to the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.

The doctor is doing a quick check to see if you need to take the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  So, if you fail the 1 hour test, they send you for an OGTT.  OGTT is the standard to measure and diagnose you with gestational diabetes.  This test also tells your doctor how “bad” your gestational diabetes is.  So, he/she will know if you are going way high or just a little over.  That information may or may not affect their decision about medication and diet.

So, you arrive at the lab for your 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  You will sit in the lab waiting area for a little over 3 hours so bring something to read or write to keep you busy.  It’s a lonely place and the only thing on the TV’s is the news or Jerry Springer.  Not much fun.  Trust me, you will need something in addition to the 3 year old magazines they have in the lobby.

You come in fasting, not having eaten anything after midnight the night before.  You may or may not be able to drink water.  If you can, drink water so that your blood is easier to draw.  The last thing you want is to be dehydrated and not be able to get blood or take forever.  They take your blood sugar level first as a fasting level for the baseline of the 3 hour glucose tolerance test, then you drink a “glucola” which is a concentrated sugary drink.  (I would say it tastes like coke, but it doesn’t.) It’s pretty sugary, and there may or may not be flavor options.  Then in 1 hour increments they take a sample of your blood to measure.  Otherwise, you sit in the waiting area between blood draws for the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.

Then What Happens?

Once it’s over, you leave and your doctor gets the results fairly quickly.  Then you find out if your body has done a good job of removing the sugar from your blood stream or not.  Some women view it initially as a judgement and feel that they have done something wrong.  You should know that it’s just the hormones and your body is not handling the amount of hormones well, but that does not make you a good or a bad person.

Either way, you will be fine and so will your baby.  Gestational diabetes is very treatable with diet, exercise and sometimes medication.  Read about gestational diabetes meal planning in my recently published book on amazon, and find out how to plan your day to make your pregnancy healthier and happier.

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Brand New Book Released For Women In Need Of Gestational Diabetes Meal Plans On Amazon

ogttMathea Ford announces the release of her third book on Amazon, entitled “Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan and Recipes: Your Guide To Controlling Blood Sugars & Weight Gain“. The book provides a resource for the newly diagnosed mom.

Oklahoma City, OK (I-Newswire) January 19, 2013 – Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ and CEO Mathea Ford, RD/LD announces the launch of her third book “Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan and Recipes: Your Guide To Controlling Blood Sugars and Weight Gain”. Her book is available now in print form via Amazon. This book describes best practices for diets and meal planning for gestational diabetes and includes full meal patterns and recipes for the duration of the pregnancy. Mathea spent two years gathering the information and formulating the meal plan recipes for the bulk of this book and she is very grateful to all the friends and family that made the book possible including her fine group of employees at Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC.

Currently the book is priced at a very reasonable rate and is appropriate for those in need of information related to gestational diabetes diet meal plans. When asked about how this book will help newly diagnosed women, Mathea stated, “When women have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and are in need of some assistance in meal planning, the book teaches them how to manage a gestational diabetes diet meal plan with the ultimate goal a healthy pregnancy and a health baby.” In addition, Mathea talked about how the new health care laws will make it more likely for women to be diagnosed and in need of help finding their way, stating, “With the changes to the Affordable Health Care Act this is a timely launch as with the new plan year of 2013 we expect the diagnoses of gestational diabetes to increase with in the parameters of the Act.” Having gone through a pregnancy with gestational diabetes, Mathea feels her experiences can help new moms manage the tough road ahead and come out with a healthy and enjoyable experience when using a meal plan. Her book can be found at amazon by clicking this link: Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan and Recipes: Your Guide To Controlling Blood Sugars & Weight Gain

Brought to you by Healthy Diet Menus for You, LLC, Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ specializes in gestational diabetes diets and meal planning. The Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ website provides valuable information for all types of diabetic pregnant patients through an extensive information library of articles and a fully functional blog written by the CEO and Registered Dietitian, Mathea Ford. Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ is committed to bringing the utmost quality and service to it is client base through it’s website and toll free phone number. Specializing in this very complicated and unique group of patients, Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ is proud to be a superb resource that can be relied upon by it’s clients to meet the demands that our client’s desire.

Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ is operated by Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and is operated by the principals Mathea Ford RD/LD MBA and Chief Executive Officer and Donovan Ford, Chief Operations Officer. Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC was launched in January 2011 as the brain child of Mathea Ford who is also currently serving as CEO. Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC provides meal plans for diabetic, gestational diabetic, renal, renal diabetic and cardiac patients.

 

About Healthy Diet Menus for You, LLC:
Healthy Diet Menus for You provides people with set weekly menus. Each menu is specifically targeted towards particular health requirements. Save time by subscribing to our easy to use menu plans.

Company Contact Information
Healthy Diet Menus for You, LLC
Mathea Ford
PO Box 6554
73153

Medical Costs For Gestational Diabetes Higher, But At What Price?

I came across a recently released study today, and I was shocked to find out:

From the sample of 4,372 women, those with a diagnosis of GDM were almost twice as likely to undergo an emergency caesarean section, and their infants were three times more likely to be admitted to a neonatal unit. The resulting maternity care costs, specifically calculated by sampling patients from the public healthcare system, were increased by 34%.Of the other variables included in the analysis, maternal obesity was found to increase costs by 21%.

“Aside from the serious health implications, GDM is also placing a substantial economic burden on maternity care costs. This burden is likely to rise in the future if current practices remain unchanged given projected increases in GDM prevalence rates. However, what our study really highlights are the potential cost savings which may go to offset the costs of interventions that aim to prevent the onset of GDM in pregnancy,” explains Dr Paddy Gillespie, from the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway.

http://www.healthcanal.com/pregnancy-childbirth/35205-Maternity-Care-Costs-for-Pregnant-Women-with-Gestational-Diabetes-are-Higher.html

Wow!  Obesity and gestational diabetes – two words I don’t want to hear as a mom-to-be.  But, when you look further into this study, you see it says that the costs can be reduced by the additional testing that is being required by our (US) new health care laws.  By the requirement to test all moms for gestational diabetes, we find out sooner that they have or don’t have the disease.

If you know you have gestational diabetes, you are going to do what you need to do to get your baby and you through the pregnancy in a healthy way.  You will probably buy my book on gestational diabetes meal planning: Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan and Recipes: Your Guide To Controlling Blood Sugars & Weight Gain

That book is really helpful, by the way.  But many women find out too late that they have gestational diabetes because they don’t get tested.  Then the baby ends up too big, mom gains a lot of weight, and they have an emergency c-section.  Not fun.  So, embrace the idea that knowing is half the battle, and I congratulate you on finding out more information so you are best equipped to deal with this disease.

Learn more by signing up for the mailing list in the box below:

I Have Gestational Diabetes, When Will The Doctor Put Me On Insulin?

You May Be Wondering If You Will Need Insulin

One question that routinely pops up if an expectant mother has gestational diabetes, is at which stage of the pregnancy should insulin become a part of the medication prescribed. Most doctors prefer to treat patients the ‘natural’ way that is by altering the patient’s diet and encouraging a stricter exercise regime which could be beneficial in keeping excess weight off in addition to stabilizing sugar levels in the blood. If you face a similar problem of high blood sugar levels, it is quite possible that your doctor will conduct routine blood tests every few weeks or so, to test the effectiveness of the diet and exercise combination. In most cases, sugar levels can be brought under control and extra insulin shots are not necessary, but if your doctor advises it, just remember that it is these shots which can help to prevent further pregnancy complications.  This usually happens after 1-2 months of trying diet and exercise, but it depends on your doctor’s practice.

What Is Insulin Used For In Gestational Diabetes?

Insulin is an important hormone that is secreted by the pancreas and which enables the conversion of glucose absorbed from food into energy. Sometimes, a pregnant mother may not even be aware that she has untreated gestational diabetes and in such cases, the pancreas works even harder to meet the body’s insulin requirement. However in such circumstances, there is also a chance that existing glucose levels in the mother’s blood can reach the baby through the placenta, which in turn forces the baby’s pancreas to product extra insulin for faster energy conversion. Extra glucose is then stored as fat and in many cases, such babies are later born with health problems including trouble in breathing properly.

What are insulin shots for gestational diabetes?

After conducting a thorough analysis of your blood test and sugar levels, your doctor will suggest the right type of insulin and the dosage to take. Insulin shots can either be rapid acting insulin or long acting insulin and usually U-100 is prescribed unless a patient requires a higher concentrated dose. You’ll find that insulin is packed in small glass bottles sealed with a rubber lid or in pen like cartridges which are stored in pharmacies at cooler temperatures. Insulin can be administered as an injection in the arm or thigh, given through a pump or by a jet indicator which sprays the insulin directly on the skin. Oral insulin medication is usually not advised for pregnant women.

Insulin pen needle

Insulin pen needle (Photo credit: Aki Hänninen)

Self-administration of insulin may take plenty of practice but it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions properly. And it doesn’t hurt to let your doctor know if you have a fear of needles either! Hundreds of women all over the world take insulin shots to prevent the possibility of complications in the baby and also to reduce weight gain in the baby and the mother from continually high blood sugars. But remember- even if you are advised to take insulin shots, it’s still important to take care of yourself by following a healthy diet and getting your daily dose of exercise. Although you may find self-injection uncomfortable and even painful, it will all be worth it in the end when you hold your healthy newborn in your arms!

Let me know if you have been told you will need insulin shots, and how you feel about it!  You will get some training from the nurse and doctors about the best way to administer a shot but you will have to get over the poking yourself issue.  You may already be over that with the 4 times daily blood sugar checks, though, and your insulin needle is very small – many women state it doesn’t hurt much at all.

Speaking of being on a gestational diabetic diet to control your blood sugars in conjunction with exercise and other medications – click here to get our book with meal plans and other great information about gestational diabetes.  The book is on amazon, and it’s a great resource with meal patterns and recipes for you.

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How Do I Deal With Gestational Diabetes? 3 Steps For The Mom To Be

Dealing With Gestational Diabetes Is A Mental And Physical Ordeal

You may have just learned that you have gestational diabetes and you are still somewhat overwhelmed about it.  I remember being overwhelmed myself, especially with all there is to learn about.  I want you to know that you are not along and you can make it through.

You are working for both you and your baby.  I tried to think about the baby when I was feeling frustrated about what I needed to do and how I was going to get it all done.

Step One Is Learning What It Means To You

Every woman who has gestational diabetes does not have the same experience.  You will not be like your friend who has a horror story to tell you about her pregnancy.  Your body will react in a way that makes sense for you.  You may or may not have to take shots or be on bedrest.  It all depends.

Step Two Is Starting Small

Gestational diabetes is a huge undertaking.  That is why a step by step approach is the best one to have.  You can start with learning what it means.  You can learn a great deal about the overall picture and what it means to you from just reading a couple of articles on wikipedia about gestational diabetes.  Then you will know what it can be and how you can work to manage it.

After all, it is manageable.  You will get through it, and I don’t care if you were diagnosed at week 8 or week 38, it matters to keep you blood sugar levels under control.

Step Three Is Understanding Your Body

You need to learn what carbohydrates are.  Carbohydrates are the parts of food that are made up of glucose molecules, and your label on the food products tell you how much carbohydrate is in one serving of a food.  Knowing how your body reacts to carbohydrate is important in your control.  Some women can eat a good amount of carbohydrate and not have the same high blood sugar that other women have.  Some women find that eating just a small amount of carbohydrate really increases their blood sugar levels and they have to be very careful about what they eat and how much.

So, understand your body is different from everyone else.  Understand that you will have a different experience than others, and not beating yourself up over it will keep you sane.  Don’t expect to be perfect, do your best and eat what you can with a balanced diet.  Check your blood sugars as often as the doctor tells you to, so you can get good feedback on how you are doing.  And take your medication as prescribed.

If you are looking for a great way to manage a gestational diabetes diet, go and pick up our amazon book at:

Gestational Diabetes Meal Planning On Amazon

 

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Will I Still Have Gestational Diabetes After The Baby Is Born?

Will I Still Have Gestational Diabetes After The Baby Is Born?

Gestational Diabetes is not forever, just while you are pregnant.baby girl on chest

Yes, I did say that you will no longer have gestational diabetes once you give birth.  Because you are no longer pregnant.  And your hormones that were once raging through your body are suddenly gone.

So, not only do you lose the moodiness and any sort of full night’s sleep, you also lose the hormones your placenta is pumping out and giving your body such a hard time with.  You can finally eat cake and not have to worry about gestational diabetes.  Well, that is somewhat true.

Here is what happens – once you give birth, your placenta also comes out.  Your placenta is responsible for feeding the baby and making sure the environment in your womb is appropriate for your baby to survive.  So, it pumps out some hormones, like HCG, which keep your pregnancy going.  These hormones are also responsible for throwing your insulin system out of whack and causing you to have gestational diabetes.

When you give birth, a lot of changes happen.  You will be tested for several meals, possibly several days, to see if you are still having problems with your blood sugars.  To make sure that your body is recovering well from the shock of the birth and any other disruptions.  For most women, the gestational diabetes does go away and a regular diet results.  You are free to have your cake and eat it too!

Women sometimes do continue to have problems with their blood sugar after the birth, so it can happen.  You will have to continue on a diabetic diet and be evaluated further for your condition.  When this happens, it is usually that you had diabetes before you got pregnant and it was undiagnosed.  So you technically had it prior to being diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  And you will continue to have it – and possibly continue to need medication and other interventions to improve your health and well being.  After all, you have a lovely child to care for now!

You should also be aware that women who have gestational diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years after the birth of the child.  So, it’s in your best interest to maintain a diet similar to the gestational diabetes diet you started.  That will keep your blood sugars normal and under control.

If you need help with your gestational diabetes meal plan, check out our gestational diabetes meal planning kit in print at : http://www.gestationaldiabeticdiethq.com/amazon-gdm

 

Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan Book Is Released!

Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan Book Is Released!

Wow, I have been working really hard these past few weeks to give you a new, hip, more updated version of the gestational diabetic diet meal plan.  Before, it was an awesome collection of recipes and meal patterns that made me proud.

Now, it’s GDM booka book, on Amazon, and you can get a version with 20+ pages of information about being on a gestational diabetes diet, the meal plans and patterns, and over 90 recipes for dinner meals – that include the entree and sides.

Click Here Now For The Book!

This book is over 268 pages, and is chock full of great information that you will be able to use and get your gestational diabetes under control.  I am so excited because I know that more people will be able to access the book.  You won’t have to download it and print it yourself, and you can carry it along with you to learn more.

Let me know what you think about the new book!