According to the CDC and new diagnostic criteria, it is estimated that about 18% of pregnancies will be affected by gestational diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes – don’t fret! While gestational diabetes can lead to either the mother or child after diabetes, there are some ways to decrease your chances. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at what exactly gestational diabetes is.
Gestational diabetes happens to pregnant women who were not previously diagnosed with any type of diabetes and who have high blood suger (glucose) levels. While the official cause of gestational diabetes is still unknown, their are some definitive clues as to what might be some of the contributing factors. As we know, pregnancy effects hormone production in the human body which, in turn, can block insulin production or prevent it being used adequately. Without efficient insulin production, glucose can’t leave the blood and be transformed into energy. When enough glucose builds up in the blood, it leads to hyperglycemia. The problem is that during pregnancy, the mother may need to produce up to three times as much insulin which only can expedite this process.
There are a few complications that could arise during a pregnancy affected by gestational diabetes.
Usually, there are no physical symptoms that immediately give away whether you have it or not, or the symptoms are so mild that they are just misconceived as another cause from raging hormones. Most people find out after going to a doctor and test results show the unusually high levels of glucose. Here are some of the mild symptoms that people have experienced:
These symptoms closely mimic the same side effects experienced during pregnancy which is why it is hard to diagnose gestational diabetes based solely off of physical indications. It is very important for all women to get an oral glucose tolerance test between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. This is the time period that most women start to develop or have already developed high levels of glucose. Some women who have a higher risk for gestational diabetes should consider getting checked earlier for the condition.
There is no cure for gestational diabetes, however there are some things you can do to help protect your health and the health of your baby. The best thing to do is to get some preliminary test taken before attempting to get pregnant. Doctors can provide information as to how great your chances are of getting diabetes is and provide you with some different ways to reduce your chances.
The whole battle for those who have been diagnosed is to maintain their blood sugar to a reasonable level to avoid harming themselves or their baby. Here are some of the things you should do if recently diagnosed:
Obviously you want to stay away from unhealthy foods from fast food chains, so lets break down some recommended dieting tips to help you and your baby stay healthy.
Check out this video about a good gestational diabetes meal plan.
This post will be followed up with specific meals that are easy to make and great for diabetics.
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Image credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66709294@N05/6126641064/