A study related to gestational diabetes (Risks of Gestational Diabetes) appeared in The Endocrine Society’s publication, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. It was titled Diabetes and Pregnancy: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. Upon its release, obstetricians undoubtedly started to question how they’ve been treating diabetic and pre-diabetic pregnant women for years.
The study was actually designed to come up with best practices that physicians could use to treat diabetic women of child bearing age. It looked at pregnant women with a pre-existing type 1 or type 2 diabetes diagnosis as well as those who developed gestational diabetes.
What the researchers found out during the study prompted them to recommend that obstetricians order specific diabetes testing during the initial prenatal visit as well as throughout the pregnancy. The diabetes testing methods that the researchers are calling for are the type that can detect very low blood glucose levels. The tests are considered the best course of action because of their extreme sensitivity. It is believed that they will be able to detect any insulin-related issues far earlier than less sensitive diabetes testing supplies.
The new diabetes testing guidelines were not all that came out of the study. Researchers are also advocating that patients with gestational diabetes be encouraged to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day and undergo nutrition therapy. It is also recommended that in order to achieve the best outcomes, the patient’s nutrition therapy should be completed with medical oversight.
Interestingly enough, this news about the new guidelines hit the stands around the same time as the birth of a rather large baby in Utah. At birth, the baby weighed in at 14 pounds and was diagnosed as having type 1 diabetes. Large babies are not uncommon in cases where expectant mothers are already diabetic or develop gestational diabetes during gestation. Such births can cause both the mothers and children to experience health problems. Hopefully, the new guidelines will help minimize or prevent those health risks from occurring in the future.
A Diabetes Story: My Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes
When I first heard the words gestational diabetes I sat on the examination table and blinked at the doctor. What proceeded out of his mouth was a flow of words, reasons, statistics, and information that was a lot to take in and to take in pregnant…even harder. I went to my scheduled appointments, received my monitor and papers to chart my numbers, my diet, my activity, my life basically. I went from trying to eat healthy, splurging from time to time, to now almost feeling obsessed with what I was eating. How much I ate, how many carbs were in what, making sure I had my snacks. It was overwhelming in the beginning. On top of that change, I now woke up not to a cup of coffee or breakfast, but to this little machine telling me to put my droplet of blood on the strip sticking out of it. I had to test my fasting blood sugar first thing. It was hard. I had trouble wrapping my mind around it to remember to do it each morning. Having been through the gestational diabetes machine four times now, I have found some things that no one really told me but became helpful to me and allowed me to work within this diagnosis without it becoming consuming.
*It’s a diagnosis, it’s not you. Don’t forget that amidst all the testing, extra appointments, medicines, and diet. You are still in the captain’s chair and you have the ability to optimize your health and well-being.
*Never underestimate the power of a good dietician. I thought it would be boring or unnecessary to see a dietician. Little did I know that she would become one of my best allies. I received so much encouragement and help from learning about what diet worked best for me. On follow-up visits, she helped me adjust my plan and reassured me about the healthy choices I was making. Some foods are hard to just stop. Dieticians have a grab bag of great substitute foods that can curb cravings like my salty/sweet addiction, and help you not feel like you had to give up everything you loved about food.
*Glucose Monitors have help numbers to call when you need assistance. Use them. Beginning a new diet, new routines, and now add checking your blood sugar can be an overwhelming time. I got the basics of my machine when they showed me in the office, but once home I went blank on some things. Use the number for customer assistance the monitor company provides. There is no reason to add stress to this situation when there are people ready and able to direct you in using your glucose monitor.
I hope this small list of tips and encouragement will help you go through the rest of your pregnancy with confidence. Here’s to normal sugar levels and happy, healthy new babies!
Type 2 Diabetes: Decreasing Your Risk After A Diagnosis
While gestational diabetes is a diagnosis unique to pregnant women; type 2 diabetesis a familiar plight for millions of Americans. However, important new research indicates that the link between these two types of diabetes may be closer than originally believed.
A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that:
“5 to 10 percent of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes immediately after pregnancy, and that women with a history of gestational diabetes have a 35 to 60 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within the next two decades”.
If you were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during your pregnancy there are certain adjustments you can make now to lower your risk of contracting Type 2 Diabetes in the future.
Evaluate your risk: Contact your family practitioner to arrange a consultation. They will evaluate your personal and family history to determine how high your risk is for developing type 2 diabetes.
Evaluate your lifestyle: Smoking, a high-fat diet, and obesity all put you at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Even though weight loss, quitting smoking and changing your diet may be difficult in the short term, the long-term benefits are well worth the sacrifices.
Evaluate your commitment to health: The easiest way to make a significant lifestyle change is by correcting one thing at a time. It’s overwhelming to consider changes in diet, exercise, sleep patterns, and smoking at all once. Remember that everything you do, from eating more fiber to walking an extra 1/2 mile a day, will benefit your health. Over time the small changes add up to a complete transformation in your lifestyle and, even better, your health.
Recent Report Shows That Gestational Diabetes Is On The Rise
According to a recent report by Fox News, more women than ever are experiencing gestational diabetes. This news report was based on data from the American Diabetes Association and claims that around 18% of all pregnancies currently result in this condition.
The reason for the increase in gestational diabetes is largely due to more women being overweight before they become pregnant. Poor nutrition along with the fact that more women are waiting until after age 35 to conceive are contributing factors as well.
Certain ethnic groups tend to be at higher risk than others are. The American Diabetes Association claims that Asian, Hispanic, Native American and African American women are more likely to contract gestational diabetes. Those who have previously given birth to a baby that weighed more than nine pounds are also at a higher risk during subsequent pregnancies.
Gestational diabetes can be dangerous for the mother because it can also lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease later in life. These mothers are also more likely to suffer complications during delivery and are at a higher risk of requiring a c-section. The disease can also cause problems for the baby, resulting in a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, or childhood obesity.
In order to reduce their odds of developing gestational diabetes, those who plan to conceive should try to maintain a healthy weight and perform a regular exercise before becoming pregnant. They should also avoid processed foods and opt instead for fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, as these foods are easier for the body to convert to sugar.
Research Shows Women Who Eat Red Meat Have A Higher Risk Of Contracting Gestational Diabetes
A new commentary published in “BMJ’s Evidence-Based Nursing” reports that women who eat high amounts of red and processed meats have a higher-than-average risk of contracting gestational diabetes than other women do. This commentary was based upon the information contained in several reports that have been conducted by researchers across the globe, some of which also claim that eating red meat leads to an increased risk of Type-2 diabetes as well.
Doctors have become increasingly aware of the link between eating red meat and the development of Type 2 diabetes for some time, but are just now becoming aware of its effect on pregnant women. Although there is a connection, scientists are still not sure as to the exact mechanisms that cause red meat consumption to pose an increased risk. As a result, more research is still needed in order to learn more.
This discovery is actually good news for women who plan to conceive, as it can help them reduce their odds of contracting gestational diabetes far in advance of becoming pregnant. Studies show that women who modify their diets either before or during pregnancy see their risk of developing gestational diabetes decrease significantly.
In order to reduce their risk, women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should substitute red meat for fish or poultry instead. They may also substitute red meat for other types of protein such as soy or nuts. According to the publication, eating half a serving of nuts per day can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes by 40%. Consuming more vegetables during pregnancy also helps to mitigate the risk as well.
To learn more about gestational diabetes and diabetes testing supplies, please contact us.