Did I Cause My Gestational Diabetes?

Did I Cause My Gestational Diabetes?

did i cause my gestational diabetesWorrying is perhaps the number one past time of pregnant women everywhere. Pregnant women worry about the health of their baby, about how to prepare for the baby, and about just about every little thing down to whether or not they have enough tiny socks for their baby to wear when he is born. Women that have extra factors to worry about, such as gestational diabetes, probably experience this exponentially more.

Gestational diabetes also seems to bring forth a sense of guilt, as if the women that have gestational diabetes may have done something to ultimately case their condition. While there are factors that can contribute to contracting gestational diabetes, the answer to this notion is an overwhelming, astounding no. You did not, under any circumstances, cause gestational diabetes.

The True Cause of Gestational Diabetes

Ultimately, the causes of gestational diabetes are the changes, primarily hormonal changes, which occur in the body during pregnancy. There are two occurrences that are thought to contribute to gestational diabetes. The first is that the hormone insulin, which is supposed to convert glucose into energy, becomes ineffective. The second is that, while the body has become insulin resistant, the placenta is producing more hormones that cause a buildup of glucose. So these two factors together create the problem.

There are factors that can contribute to the likelihood of gestational diabetes. Some of these are factors that could be controlled by the mother, and some are genetic. Either way, these are merely factors that can contribute to the possibility of getting gestational diabetes, but do not in any way actually cause gestational diabetes.

Some factors that can contribute to the likelihood of gestational diabetes, but not cause it, are:

If the mother is very overweight before and during the pregnancy
If the mother gains too much weight too quickly during the pregnancy
A family history of type 2 diabetes
If the mother has a history of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
If the mother has a history of poly-cystic ovarian syndrome
…and many others

Again, these factors do not cause gestational diabetes in any shape, form, or fashion. These are merely factors that could contribute to the likelihood of getting gestational diabetes. Many doctors use these factors as markers to determine if they should test for gestational diabetes earlier, to make sure that your pregnancy is as healthy as possible.

It is important to remember that women of all backgrounds, health profiles, shapes and sizes get gestational diabetes. In fact, a woman could have every single risk factor on the above list and more and not have gestational diabetes, while a woman who seems in perfect health with no risk factors at all could have it. In that way, gestational diabetes can be a very confusing condition. That is why doctors test every pregnant woman for gestational diabetes, no matter what.

So let some of that worry off your shoulders. There is virtually nothing you could do yourself to actually cause gestational diabetes. It is yet another example of the genetic lottery, one that no one could make any guesses at beforehand. Not only did you not cause your gestational diabetes, but you can have a happy and healthy pregnancy as well as a happy and healthy baby. All is well. Click here for more advice.

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.

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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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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.

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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 Guidelines: 3 Tips To Get Started Right!

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines: 3 Tips To Get Started Right!

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines Are A Good Place To Start

Gestational diabetes is a condition that sometimes arises during pregnancy as a result of high blood glucose levels. During pregnancy, hormonal changes occur which are normal and usually not a problem. However, in certain cases these higher hormonal levels interfere with the body’s ability to manage glucose. This results in insulin resistance that can cause problems like excessive weight gain and the possibility of premature delivery.

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines To Control Your Blood Sugars

Doctors use gestational diabetes guidelines when testing and throughout the pregnancy to get the best possible outcomes for both you and your baby.  Although glucose levels return to normal levels following childbirth, the risk remains higher for women who had gestational diabetes that they will develop diabetes later on in their life. Therefore it is important to prevent or control gestational diabetes whenever possible. Fortunately there are things to be done to help control the condition, and here are some of the basics.

Staying Hydrated

Doctors know that according to the gestational diabetes guidelines, the effects of gestational diabetes are made worse by dehydration. Therefore you should make an effort to drink enough liquids. Be sure to have at least one glass of something to drink with every meal and at other convenient times for a total of at least 64 ounces per day. It’s important to drink non-caloric fluids, and mostly water to help with gestational diabetes.  You should not add extra calories and sugar by drinking juice, and avoid drinking any juice at breakfast.  Gestational diabetes guidelines recommend that you drink to keep your body healthy. Also do not drink more than two cups of coffee or three cups of tea per day.

Eat Healthy

One of the best ways of controlling gestational diabetes is through diet. Not the kind of weight losing diet you might adapt to lose unwanted pounds when you are not pregnant, but the kind of healthy eating that ensures that you have the proper nutrition for you and your unborn child. That means balancing carbohydrates, eating more fiber, and consuming less sugar and fat.  Gestational diabetes guidelines recommend that you eat whole grains and more whole fruit and vegetables, and less processed foods.  Watching what you eat and add to food, like gravies or sweets makes a difference in your blood sugar levels.  Some women find that eating and then taking a short walk will make a difference in their blood sugar levels for the day.  Either way, a healthy diet meal plan can make a difficult task into an easy accomplishment.

Meeting Your Dietary Needs

Eating a diet that meets all of your nutritional needs when pregnant can sometimes be a complicated undertaking even under normal circumstances. But when the pregnancy is further complicated by gestational diabetes, it can be even more difficult to make certain you are eating right. Therefore it is usually best to seek outside guidance to determine what you should eat in order to lessen the imp[act of gestational diabetes or to lessen its symptoms. Your doctor can help you with this and there are reputable suppliers of products specifically geared to the needs of women who are concerned about gestational diabetes. It is wise to look into these services early in your pregnancy before problems develop, so talk to your doctor today about how you can establish a dietary regimen that is effective for controlling gestational diabetes.  You can find a set of gestational diabetes meal plans made to get you started off on the right foot at this website – click here to learn more!

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.

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!

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.