What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disorder in which the body cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood because of insulin deficiency. There are two types of diabetes, i.e. type 1, which is an autoimmune disorder and type 2, which is the most common and is mostly associated with obesity, old age, family history etc.
When you are diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy, you should seek the best treatment immediately. Whether you are trying to conceive or are already pregnant, treatment of diabetes in pregnancy is the key to good health for you as well as your baby.
Diabetes during pregnancy is a very common complication or problem of pregnancy that affects approximately 4% of all pregnant women. This condition might be dangerous to both the mother and the baby and needs to be taken care of properly during pregnancy.
There are additional risk factors that can cause gestational diabetes:-
- If you have high blood pressure or any other medical complication.
- If you had gestational diabetes during your previous pregnancies.
- If you have a family history of diabetes.
- If you are obese when you conceive.
- If you have given birth to a large baby before, i.e., over 9 pounds.
- If you have given birth to a baby suffering from certain congenital disabilities.
- If you are older than 30 years.
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Risk Factors Associated with Gestational Diabetes:
If this is not treated on time, the expectant mother may face various possibilities are there like problems such as:-
- The baby may grow too large, i.e. condition of macrosomia
- Increasing problems during pregnancy
- Complications in delivery include injuries to the baby’s shoulders, nerves, etc.
- The baby may experience a sudden drop in blood sugar amount right after birth
- The baby has a higher risk of developing jaundice and other breathing problems
Symptoms of Diabetes In Pregnancy:
The symptoms of Gestational diabetes are not easily visible, and it is quite difficult to diagnose the situation, however, but various signs can help us to get a hint about gestational diabetes-
- Frequent urination.
- Blurred vision.
- Dry mouth.
- Suffer from recurring infections, which also take longer to heal.
Diagnosis Of Gestational Diabetes:
Medical experts haven’t concurred on a single set of screening rules for gestational diabetes. Some inquire whether gestational diabetes screening is required if you’re younger than 25 and have no risk factors. Others say screening every pregnant lady is the ideal approach to distinguish all cases of gestational diabetes.
Suppose you have higher risk factors, such as your body mass index, i.e. BMI, before pregnancy is 30 or higher, or a family history of diabetes. In that case, you are likely to be suggested a screening test for the diagnosis of diabetes in pregnancy.
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Routine Screening for Gestational Diabetes Include:-
1. Initial Glucose Challenge Test: If your blood sugar level is higher than normal, it only means you have a higher risk of getting gestational diabetes.
2. Glucose Tolerance Testing: You are asked to fast overnight, then your blood sugar level is measured. Then, you are asked to drink another sweet solution containing a high glucose concentration, and blood sugar will be checked every hour thrice. If at least two blood sugar readings are higher than normal, you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Preventive Steps to Be Taken for Gestational Diabetes:
There are no sure-shot ways to prevent diabetes, as there is always a risk of developing diabetes or other problems during pregnancy. However, various steps can be included in the daily routine to help prevent the problem.
- How to control diabetes during pregnancy? The best solution is. You are eating healthy food and planning your meals to include a balanced diet, i.e. carbohydrates like brown rice and wholegrain pasta. Also, replace the fatty food with lean protein and use the grilled instead of the fixed one.
- Along with a healthy diet, exercise regularly to maintain fitness and control your blood sugar level. Exercises that you can include are walking, yoga, etc.
- Regularly check your weight and other parameters like haemoglobin, blood glucose level, blood pressure, etc.
- Visit your doctor regularly to seek advice and medication to prevent such complications during pregnancy.
- Weight loss during pregnancy is not recommended; however, if you haven’t conceived yet and are planning to get pregnant, lose your weight beforehand, which will help you have a healthy pregnancy.
What causes diabetes during pregnancy is still unknown, and there is no sure way to prevent it. However, adopting these measures will help you to prevent further complications and reduce the risk of having it in future pregnancies or developing type 2 diabetes after the delivery. Motivate yourself and consider the long-term benefits of shedding those extra pounds.
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If Diagnosis Of Gestational Diabetes Is Positive:
- You need frequent health checks, especially during the last three months of your pregnancy
- During these health checks, your blood sugar level will be examined, and as per your treatment plan, you will be asked to monitor your glucose levels daily.
- Insulin may be administered if there are troubles in controlling the blood sugar.
- You will be asked to include special meal plans and scheduled physical activities per your treatment plan.
Sticking strictly to the treatment plan, you can treat the problem and other complications to give you a healthy pregnancy and birth and prevent such complications in your future pregnancies.
Your blood sugar level will be examined after the delivery and again after 6-12 weeks to ensure the blood sugar level is maintained. This is to ensure that you are not further at risk of diabetes, and it may not create further complications in your future pregnancies.
If you are at risk of diabetes and your blood sugar level has not returned to normal, you need to talk to your doctor and seek treatment as per the situation’s demand to avoid future problems.
How to Control Diabetes During Pregnancy and What to Eat?
Following a vital eating routine is critical during pregnancy, especially if a woman develops gestational diabetes.
High glucose levels might be risky for a woman and the developing fetus. To help oversee glucose levels, it is imperative to screen how many, what compose, and how frequently starches are consumed. Keeping a food journal may make this less demanding.
Separating suppers and snacks containing carbs equally for the day can help avoid spikes in glucose. The American Diabetes Association suggests that women with gestational diabetes should eat three small meals and two to four snacks daily.
Different approaches to help manage glucose include:
- Abstaining from eating an excessive number of carbs at one time.
- Adhering to complex carbs that are high in fibre.
- Consolidating sugars with protein or healthy fat.
- Not skipping dinners.
- Eating a protein-rich and stringy sugar breakfast.
- Eating a protein-rich, fibrous carbohydrate breakfast.
A glycemic load of 10 or below is viewed as low and is perfect for those with gestational diabetes attempting to oversee glucose.
Low glycemic stack food to eat include:
- 100% wholegrain bread and oats
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Some starchy vegetables, for example, peas and carrots
- Some organic products, for example, apples, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, and pears
These low GI nourishments gradually discharge sugar into the blood, keeping glucose levels stable.
Eating More Protein:
Eating protein along with carbs, or picking carbs with protein in them, adjusts glucose levels. Women with gestational diabetes should endeavour to eat lean, protein-rich food; for example,
- Fish, chicken, and turkey
Picking Unsaturated Fats:
Unsaturated fats are likewise part of any empowering diet. Cases of unsaturated fats include:
- Olive oil
- Shelled nut oil
- Most nuts and seeds
- Chia seeds
What to Avoid:
Maintaining a strategic distance from sugary nourishments.
Choice of sugary foods and beverages
Avoiding sugary sustenance and drink is prescribed to reduce the effects of gestational diabetes.
Glucose levels are raised when individuals eat sugary foods, especially refined and processed foods. Women with gestational diabetes are encouraged to keep away from or limit sugary foods, however much as could be expected.
Sugary nourishments to dodge include:
- Fruit juices with added sugar
Keep away from exceptionally starchy nourishments
Starchy foods are high in carbohydrates and have a major impact on glucose, so eating them just in little bits is imperative. Some extremely starchy nourishments are best avoided or constrained. These include:
- White potatoes
- White bread
- White rice
- White pasta
With that in mind, here is our pregnancy special diabetes diet you may want to follow.
- Ensure to include fresh vegetables in your diet. Make your favourite salad with them or toss it in butter. If this doesn’t work, try a vegetable soup.
- Fresh fruits are another big must! Stay away from pineapples, as they can induce contraction and papaya. Include a lot of fresh apples and oranges in your daily bowl.
- Steel-cut oatmeal with berries topped is another favourable diet for those with gestational diabetes.
- Include more protein-rich foods like tofu, eggs and beans. They help in adjusting the glucose levels in the blood.
- Much on a bowl of nuts for some added energy. Do not feel guilty and include nuts like almonds, pistachios and cashews as a mid-day snack or whenever you are hungry. But stay on limits!
- Avoid white potato or white rice. They contain a lot of starch and are unhealthy. Instead, try a bowl of brown rice.
- Avoid fast foods like fried ones. Keep alcohol at bay.
Importantly, do not skip your meals. This can lead to a fluctuation in glucose levels, and getting them under control could be hard.
Having a healthy pregnancy is not as difficult if handled well. As your pregnancy advances, your dietitian may roll out improvements to your diet, given the aftereffects of glucose observation and how much weight you’ve gained. Suppose you must begin taking insulin despite everything you’ll have to take after an eating design. However, a dietitian will probably roll out a few improvements to consider your treatment. Hope you have a happy and safe pregnancy. Happy Parenting!