This is the most comprehensive page on some of the most frequently asked questions about GD. Let us know if we missed something and we will add it in our list of questions.
Note: GD means Gestational Diabetes.
What is GD?
When a woman is diagnosed with diabetes for the first time after 20 weeks’ gestation, it is called GD. Approximately 10% of women are diagnosed. It starts when a woman’s body is not capable of making and using insulin properly. Without enough insulin, which is responsible for letting the glucose into the cells, glucose builds up in the blood stream. This is termed hyperglycemia and effects mom and baby. (American Diabetes Association, 2014)
What are the signs and symptoms of GD?
One of the scariest parts of GD is the fact that there aren’t any obvious signs and symptoms. Pregnant women should always go to their prenatal visits and complete the tests that the doctors recommend. Sometimes pregnant women will feel thirstier or need to urinate more than usual, while this is bothersome to her, it is common in pregnancy.
What kind of weight gain should I expect with GD?
Weight gain is increased when you are diagnosed with GD. There is a great correlation between weight gain and uncontrolled diabetes. If you control your GD with diet and exercise, then your weight gain will not be significant. If it is left uncontrolled, your weight gain will increase and so will the babies.
Gestational vs type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is defined as a diagnosis of diabetes during pregnancy. It has to be greater than 20 weeks’ gestation. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when you are not pregnant. In both type 2 diabetes and GD, there is more glucose in your blood than is needed. The insulin, which helps glucose enter your cells, is not being used effectively. Therefore, you have insulin resistance. The only difference between the two are when you are diagnosed.
How does apple cider vinegar effect GD?
Apple Cider Vinegar lowers your blood sugar. It is thought to work by slowing down or blocking carbohydrates from absorbing. There is not a lot of research on how this affects pregnant women and the fetus. Make sure that you speak to your doctor before starting a regimen of this kind.
What are the cut off values for GD?
First you do a glucose screening. This consist of going into the doctor’s office and drinking a glucose solution. Your blood is checked an hour afterward for blood sugar. If the value is over 140 mg/dL, then you will be rescheduled for a glucose tolerance test. Before taking this test, you will have to go without food or drink for 8 to 14 hours prior. Once you come into the physician’s office, you will be asked to drink a glucose drink, then your blood sugar will be taken every 60 minutes for 3 hours. The values are:
- Fasting – less than 95 mg/dL
- 1 hour – less than 180 mg/dL
- 2 hour – less than 155 mg/dL
- 3 hour – less than 140 mg/dL
If more than one of your results are higher than normal, you will be diagnosed with GD. (United States National Library of Medicine, 2014)
What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
Most people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when they are young. This type of diabetes only accounts for 5% of the diabetic population. In type 1 diabetes, your body does not produce insulin at all. It must be taken daily. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in middle aged people, but can be found in children. This type of diabetes is started with insulin resistance, then the pancreas is not able to keep up with the insulin demand and that is when you need medication. (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2014)
What are the screening test for GD?
The screening test for GD includes a glucose screening, glucose tolerance and an A1C. The glucose screening test is used first. If the number is high, then a glucose tolerance test is done. The A1C is usually done with type 1 or 2 diabetics. (United States National Library of Medicine, 2014)
What should the fasting blood glucose be when pregnant?
Fasting is when you first wake up in the morning, before you eat or drink anything. The fasting blood glucose for a pregnant woman is normal below 95. (United States National Library of Medicine, 2014)
What is the correlation between GD and jaundice with the newborn?
When you’re diagnosed with GD, the baby is likely to have polycythemia (many more red blood cells than normal). Red blood cells break down quickly and newborns do not have mature kidneys to filter them out. The build-up of broken down red blood cells is what causes jaundice to rise. (Paul HIcks, 2000)
What foods should I avoid when I have GD?
When you are diagnosed with GD, you will have to clean up your diet. This does not mean you will have to go without all your favorite foods. This just means that you will have to limit carbohydrates and sugars. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar in the body, so they are treated the same. Fruits have a lot of naturally occurring sugar in them, so they will have to be limited. Milk has sugar in it, so limit milk to one glass a day. You will have to get used to reading labels and watching out for foods with added sugar. (Diabetes UK, 2016)
What is the correlation with gestational hypertension and GD?
Women who are diagnosed with GD are at greater risk of getting pregnancy induced hypertension. There is not a lot of research in this area, but the facts show there is a correlation between the two disorders.
When do you get tested for GD?
Usually the doctor will test you for GD between 24 and 28 weeks’ gestation. The testing will start with a glucose screening and then move on to a glucose tolerance test if the screening fails. (Health Central, n.d.)
What causes GD?
The hormones that the placenta releases during pregnancy tend to impair the action of insulin in mom’s body. This causes insulin resistance, which leads to GD.
Who is at risk for GD?
Gestational diabetes can sneak up on anyone at any time. There are certain things that will increase your risk. If you are over 30 years of age, obese or have a family history of diabetes your chances are increased. If you have had GD in the past or if you have had a large baby over 9 pounds, you are at greater risk. Just because you are at risk does not mean you will absolutely get it, healthy eating and moderate exercise will decrease the chance of developing GD. (Health Central, n.d.)
What is the risk of getting diabetes after being diagnosed with GD?
Studies show that women have a 3 to 7 percent increase in developing type 2 diabetes after having GD. This happens within 5 to 10 years. (Curry, 2015)
What is the risk of my child getting diabetes after I am diagnosed with GD?
If the fetus is exposed to too much glucose, it causes permanent changes at the cellular level. This can cause obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. Children born to gestational diabetic mothers are usually 30% heavier than other kids their age and height. (Dana Dabelea, 2006)
What are some healthy breakfast ideas for someone with GD?
Any kind of eggs, lean meats, fresh fruit, oatmeal, 100% whole wheat bread, almond butter, vegetables and low fat dairy are all good ideas. You want to stay away from white starches and sugar.
Is there a risk if taking Zantac with GD?
There have been studies that show Zantac taken by diabetics can cause an increased risk of pneumonia. This is dangerous while pregnant. (Net Doctor, 2013)
Does Zofran cause GD?
Zofran is an anti-nausea medication used often in pregnancy. It does not cause GD. (eHealthMe, n.d.)
Are Zone bars okay to eat while pregnant with GD?
There are many different flavors of Zone bars. They can make a good supplement to your diet. Always remember you should have 15 carbohydrates for breakfast and up to 45 for lunch and dinner. Watch your labels!
Is the Zone diet okay to do while pregnant with GD?
Dieting is not recommended at any time during pregnancy. The Zone diet is a pretty healthy diet. Dr. Sears, the inventor of The Zone Diet, states that it is the best diet to protect the baby from the effects of GD. Some OB physicians would not agree. They feel that women need all the different macronutrients. As with any diet, talk to your provider before starting one. Also, before taking any dietary supplements, speak to your doctor.
What is the prevalence of GD in New Zealand?
Gestational diabetes has been on the rise in New Zealand. In 2012 they were at 5%. With the United States being at 10%, this seems like a good number, but in 2001 it was 1%. That is quite the hike. (Catherine Coop, 2015)
Is yogurt okay to eat with GD?
Yogurt has dairy in it, which has sugar in the form of lactose. Too much sugar is bad for people with GD. Looking for a brand with low sugar and more protein is a good choice. Greek yogurt usually has more protein than regular yogurt.
Is it normal to have yeast infections with GD?
Yeast infections are more common with diabetes as the sugar in the urine allows for a breeding ground for bacteria. When there is excess sugar in the blood, it gets filtered out into the urine. If it sits in the bladder, it allows bacteria to grow. This will in turn cause urinary tract infections. (Diabetes UK, n.d.)
Is it okay to take Xylitol during pregnancy with GD?
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is added to food. When this is added, the food can say, “sugar free”, but it has carbohydrates that will quickly be converted to glucose in the blood. If the label does not show carbohydrates, it is okay to eat or drink with GD. (UCSF Medical Center, n.d.)
Is it okay to have a vbac when you have GD?
Women with GD are more likely to have complications with their labors. When they attempt vbac delivery, they tend to need forceps or vacuum to help them. Ultimately, they have poorer outcomes and need cesarean section. (Coleman TL, 2001)
Does vitamin D help people with GD?
Vitamin D is thought to increase insulin sensitivity and secretion. (Bird, 2013) Taking Vitamin D supplements is good for you, but your body can only absorb so much. Getting enough sunlight to fulfill your Vitamin D quota is better, since you cannot get too much with the sun. Sitting in the sun for about 10 minutes a day, just until your skin starts to feel warm is ideal. Also, be aware that sunscreen will block this action.
What are the considerations for vegetarians with GD?
Vegetarians tend to eat a lot more carbohydrates than non-vegetarian people. This is not good for women with GD as carbs turn into glucose. If they watch how many carbs they are eating every meal, then they may be okay, but that does not leave a lot of food. The biggest obstacle that vegetarians face is nutrient deficiencies and that can hinder delivering a healthy baby. (Brown-Riggs, 2013)
What are the risks if you don’t treat GD?
There are many risks if GD is left untreated. The infant getting more glucose from mom than it needs will make the baby big when he or she is born. This can cause mom to need a cesarean section or the baby to get shoulder dystocia. The excess glucose causes the baby to produce more insulin while in utero. When the baby is delivered, the same amount of glucose is not available and there is an excess of insulin. This is why the baby’s blood sugar is monitored so closely, as their blood sugar can drop significantly and fast. (American Diabetes Association, 2015)
Am I at greater risk of GD since I am carrying twins?
There is a greater risk of GD when you are carrying twins. There is a lot of evidence showing this. The risk is higher if you are young or of African American descent. These twins tend to be placed in NICU more frequently than twins from non-gestational diabetic mothers. (Rauh-Hain JA1, 2009)
What are the risks for the baby when mom has GD?
When a baby is born to a gestational diabetic mother, the baby is more likely to be big (macrosomia). Big babies have a hard time coming out naturally. If they do, they run the risk of tearing mom, which could lead to hemorrhage. They also run the risk of needing an operative delivery, which also increases the risks of hemorrhage and infection. A macrosomic baby has a greater chance of needing formula after delivery due to low blood sugars. This has its own risks. Shoulder dystocia is another risk that can lead to paralysis of the babies extremities.
What should I do about GD after I deliver the baby?
The doctor will tell you if you need blood sugar checks in the postpartum stage, otherwise, a blood sugar check 6 weeks postpartum will be all you have to do.
Is there any way to prevent GD?
Gestational diabetes can be prevented most of the time. With small lifestyle changes like staying active and watching what you eat, GD can be a thing of the past.
What is the pathophysiology of GD?
There are a few different theories on the pathophysiology of GD. One thought is that women with GD had beta cell dysfunction before getting pregnant. Another theory is that it is an autoimmune disorder. There is not a lot of research on these theories. What is known is that in the middle of pregnancy, women tend to be more insulin resistant due to their hormones. Women with GDM, have lower insulin responses to nutrients than women that are not GDM. (Risto Kaaja, 2009)
PCOS and GD.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition where large cysts are formed over the follicles, making it hard for the eggs to be released. Women are usually unfertile and their periods are irregular. The major hormone involved is androgen. (Diabetes.org, 2014) The exact reason for PCOS causing GD is unknown, but it is definitely a fact that it does. It is also thought that GD causes PCOS.
What is the prevalence of GD?
The CDC states that the prevalence of GD in the United States is 9.2%. (Carla L. DeSisto, Shin Y. Kim, & Andrea J. Sharma, 2010) The International Diabetes Federation states that GD is at 15% worldwide. 4 million people are diagnosed in India alone. (International Diabetes Federation, n.d.)
Does oatmeal help GD?
Oatmeal has a low glycemic index and is low in fat and sugar, but high in fiber. This makes it a great food to eat when you have GD. If you are anything like me, you like to add butter, brown sugar and milk, which makes it unhealthy. If you can stick to cinnamon, small amounts of fruit and nuts, this will remain a very healthy breakfast. (Gotter, 2016)
When is the usual onset of GD?
Gestational diabetes is defined as a high blood sugar during pregnancy for someone who has not been diagnosed previously. Typically, women are diagnosed between 24 and 28 weeks as this is when they are tested. For women with a greater risk, testing may start a little earlier.
Does obesity increase the chance of getting GD?
Obesity absolutely increases the risk of developing GD. There is a direct correlation to the two. Research has shown that fat cells have a protein that they release called pigment epithelium-derived factor. This protein causes the liver and muscles to become desensitized to insulin. This causes the pancreas to make more insulin and eventually slow down or stop making insulin. The more obese you are, the greater your insulin resistance will be. (LaMeaux, 2014)
When do I have to take Metformin when I have GD?
Insulin use in pregnancy is only used if absolutely needed. It can cause hypoglycemia, which can be very dangerous to mom and baby. Metformin is used by some without these side effects. Metformin has been shown to reduce the risk of operative delivery, maternal weight gain and improved insulin sensitivity. (Diabetes in Control, 2013)
What to do when I feel a low blood sugar with GD?
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) usually happens after over-compensating with insulin. Some of the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, shakiness and confusion. The best thing to do is to have 15 gm of carbohydrates. This could be 1 cup of milk, a tablespoon of sugar or 3-4 glucose tablets. Pregnant women who take insulin should always be prepared for a hypoglycemic event by having glucose tabs on them. Pregnant women are at a greater risk of losing consciousness than non-pregnant women. (Freutel, 2016)
Should I lose weight since I am a gestational diabetic?
Losing weight while pregnant is usually not recommended. Watching what you eat, on the other hand, is highly recommended. The more overweight you are; the less weight you should gain in your pregnancy. The Institute of Medicine says normal weight women should gain 25 to 35 pounds, overweight women 15 to 25 pounds and obese women should only gain 11 to 20 pounds during their pregnancy. (Institute of Medicine, 2009)
Will I need an induction of labor because of my GD?
Gestational diabetes can cause babies to be large (macrosomia) which increases moms risk of needing an induction. The World Health Organization recommends induction after 41 weeks if GD is the only risk factor. Many doctors will induce around 38 weeks, as your baby has mature lung function at this point and will not be so big. (World Health Organization, n.d.)
Does GD increase the risk of preterm labor?
Gestational diabetes does increase the chance of preterm labor. Women diagnosed before 24 weeks had a greater chance of preterm labor than women diagnosed after 24 weeks.
Does getting pregnant when older increase the risk of GD?
Advanced maternal age increases your chances of GD. Advanced maternal age is defined as over 35. If you are over 35, your doctor will watch you closer for GD and gestational hypertension. (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2015)
How does exercise help GD?
Exercise is very important to improve blood glucose levels in all diabetics, including gestational diabetics. The only time a woman should not exercise is if she has a medical condition, so it is important to check with your doctor before starting a program. When you exercise, the cells use up more of the glucose in the blood, which lowers your blood glucose levels. It is suggested that women with GD should get 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic and resistance exercise at least 3 times a week. (Coombes, 2015)
How do you develop GD?
During pregnancy, the hormones that are released blocks the action of insulin. This makes every pregnant woman insulin resistant to a certain degree. Some will have blood glucose levels high enough to be diagnosed with GD. Overweight and obese women have a greater chance of this. A healthy diet and good exercise plan will keep your blood sugar within a normal range.
How do you feel with GD?
Typically, women do not feel any different when they have GD. The effects are all internal. Many times the baby gets very large (macrosomic) and this can become uncomfortable for mom, but otherwise there aren’t any symptoms.
How do you know when you have GD?
Most women do not know when they have GD as there aren’t any outward signs and symptoms. All pregnant women will get a blood glucose test between 24 and 28 weeks.
How do you treat GD?
Gestational diabetes is treated with a healthy diet of low sugar and carbohydrates, but greater in vegetables and organic lean meats. Exercise is beneficial to treating GD also. If you cannot control it with diet and exercise alone, medication may be prescribed to you.
Can I reduce the risk of GD?
You can reduce the risk of GD by following a healthy diet and exercise plan. Seeing your doctor regularly for prenatal visits will help also.
How do you control GD with diet?
Limiting your sugar and carbohydrates is essential to keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Eating a diet with low glycemic index is good for you and the baby. Starches need to be eaten in moderation. Fruit has to be limited also due to the high content of natural sugar.
How to control GD with an Indian diet?
You can control GD with an Indian diet just as you can with an American diet. Limit sugars and carbohydrates. Eat low glycemic index foods, starch and fruits in moderation and exercise throughout your pregnancy.
How do I get my GD under control?
The best way to get GD under control is to watch what you eat. Limit your consumption of sugar and carbohydrates. Lower your consumption of starches and fruits. Exercise with weights and aerobically. Lastly, keep all of your prenatal visits to keep the doctor aware of how your GD is coming along.
How much insulin should I take for GD?
Your physician will tell you how much insulin to take. They base it off of your blood glucose numbers. Typically if you have two consecutive blood sugars over 105, then insulin will be ordered. (Kmom, 2000)
How to cope with GD?
When you are diagnosed with GD, it can come as a big blow. Every woman wants an uneventful pregnancy and delivery. When they are diagnosed with GD, their dream of the perfect pregnancy goes down the drain. Make sure that you have someone you can talk to, whether that be your spouse, mother or friend. Talking about how your feeling is the best way to cope with this diagnosis.
How soon can GD start?
Most of the time, GD starts later in pregnancy. This is why doctors check your blood sugar between 24 and 28 weeks’ gestation. Some women will start a little sooner.
Can I reverse GD?
You can completely control GD with diet and exercise, but once you are diagnosed, there is no turning back. This means that you can work hard and have a healthy baby, but the baby will still be treated the same after he or she is born. This means closer monitoring and blood sugars will be checked.
How can I pass the GD test?
There is no sure fire way of passing the GD test. If you enjoy a healthy diet and exercise frequently, then you are likely to pass the test. There is no cheating this test!
How often do I have to check my blood sugar when I have GD?
Your healthcare provider will tell you how often to check your blood sugar. It is important to follow these instructions carefully and log them so the doctor can review them. Typically, you will check your blood sugar in the morning before eating (fasting) and two hours after every meal (post prandial). (ObGyn.net, 2011)
How often should I eat when I have GD?
It is recommended that you eat three meals and two to three snacks every day. The healthier the food, the better. (UCSF Medical Center, n.d.)
Who can I talk to about GD education?
Firstly, you should talk to your Obstetrician. They can guide you in the right direction. It is important that you speak to a diabetes educator. These diabetes experts can work a program out for you with what you should eat, how to count carbs and ways to exercise that fits your lifestyle.
What can I eat when we are eating out and I have GD?
Salads are always a good choice. Ask for the dressing on the side, so you can monitor the amount of dressing. Always read the nutritional facts as this will show you what the smarter choices are.
Can I have desert when I have GD?
You can have desert when you have GD, but you have to limit the amount of sugar and choose healthier alternatives.
What about drinks when I have GD?
You want to cut out sugary drinks and juices. Diet sodas are okay and sugar free juices. You will have to learn how to read labels to watch for hidden sugar. If you look at the carbohydrates on the nutritional label, it will have the sugar included.
What are some of the complications for moms with GD?
Developing GD will definitely change things for your pregnancy. For starters, you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. You have to be much more careful about what you eat during your pregnancy. Your baby could be large and cause trauma during delivery or require a cesarean section.
How many carbohydrates should I eat in a day with GD?
Your doctor or diabetes educator will tell you how to monitor your carb intake. Typically, you want to eat 15 grams of carbohydrates during breakfast, 15 to 30 for snacks and 45 for lunch and dinner. (California Department of Public Health, 2013)
What should my blood sugar goal be since I have GD?
Your doctor will tell you exactly what your blood sugar should be. You want your blood sugar to be as normal as possible. Some guidelines to follow are 1 hour after eating, it should be 140 and 2 hours after earing, it should be 120. Fasting (first thing in the morning, before eating anything) should be between 80 and 130. (Moshe Hod, 2006)
Do I need to be on bedrest after getting diagnosed with GD?
There is absolutely no need for bedrest after being diagnosed with GD. As a matter of fact, exercise is encouraged to decrease the blood glucose level in the blood.
How does breastfeeding affect a gestational diabetic baby?
Breastfeeding definitely helps diminish childhood obesity that happens with GD. If you breastfeed for 3 months, the child’s risk of being obese is about 50% lower. Children born to gestational diabetic mothers are at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If they are breastfed and do not become obese as a child, their chances of developing type 2 diabetes when they are older lessens. (Chris Iliades, 2009)
What are some bedtime snack ideas for someone with GD?
Protein and a small amount of carbohydrates is usually a good plan for nighttime snacks. This ensures that your blood sugar stays stable through the night. You definitely do not want to eat sweets before lying down.
Does GD cause autism in children?
If you are obese and have GD, your child has four times the risk of developing autism. The only way to prevent this is to be healthy and normal weight before and during your pregnancy. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2016)
Can I eat pizza after being diagnosed with GD?
You can absolutely eat pizza after being diagnosed with GD, you just don’t want to do it every day. Once in a while is perfectly fine.
What are some organizations that deal with GD?
One of the best diabetes organizations is the American Diabetes Association. The International Diabetes Federation is the worldwide leader in diabetes education. There is the National Diabetes Education Initiative who governs the diabetes education in the world. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists is another that diabetic educators and endocrinologists go to for their information.
Does GD cause nausea?
Nausea is listed as a symptom of GD, although there usually isn’t any signs or symptoms of GD. Most of the symptoms listed are normal in pregnancy anyway, so it is hard to tell exactly what is causing it. Now, after you get diagnosed you might feel a little nausea from all the worry it brings on.
What are some nursing interventions for mothers with GD and their babies?
The nurse needs to make sure the patient has sufficient knowledge on the care of GD. Teach the patients how to administer insulin. Educate patients on education and diet. The nurse should go over the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia with the patient.
What are some of the medications doctors will prescribe with GD?
The main medications that doctors prescribe for GD are Insulin, Glyburide and Metformin. Insulin is an injection, whereas Glyburide and Metformin are oral pills. Glyburide increases insulin secretion by binding to the B-cell receptors and that increases insulin sensitivity. Metformin stimulates glucose uptake in the tissues by inhibiting glucose absorption. Insulin unlocks the cells, so they can take in the glucose. (Marianna Faraci, 2011)
Do I need to keep a log of my blood sugars while I am pregnant?
You do want to keep a log of your blood sugars. This will help the physician with the plan of care. If they see that diet and exercise alone are not keeping your blood sugar in the normal range, they may need to add oral medications to your regimen.
Do I have to check my urine for ketones?
Some pregnant women will have to test their urine for ketones. This will be individualized. Your doctor will let you know if this needs to be done. It’s an easy test to do, you simply need to dip a test strip in your urine. Ketones in the urine usually means that the body thinks it’s starving and you will need to eat more as this is dangerous while pregnant. (Amy Campbell, 2013)
How do I prep for my glucose tests?
The only thing that you need to do before a glucose screening test is not eat or drink anything for 8 hours before. They will provide everything you need when you get there. You do not want to alter your diet at all in the days before.
Are you more likely to develop GD with your second and third pregnancies?
If you had GD with a prior pregnancy, your chances are much greater that you will have it again.
Is quinoa good to eat when you have GD?
Quinoa is a great food with a low glycemic index. It does not spike your blood sugar which makes it a perfect addition to your diet. It is a protein and has fiber.
What are some questions I should ask the doctor after they diagnose me with GD?
I would start with the effects this could have on the baby and yourself. That is enough to scare you into listening when they talk to you about your diet and exercise regimen. I would ask how often they want you to test your blood sugar and what the levels should be.
What should my ketone levels be when I am a gestational diabetic?
You should not have ketones in your urine when you are pregnant. This indicates that your body thinks it’s starving and is using up your fat cells as energy.
Is a ketogenic diet good for GD?
The ketogenic diet is not good for GD. When you are pregnant you need all macronutrients. It is good for you to limit carbohydrates when you are diagnosed with GD, but not so much that your body starts eating up all the fats and your unloading ketones in your urine. This may be a good diet when you are not pregnant, but not now.
Is juicing good for GD?
Juicing is great for GD. You can get a lot of nutrients in an easy to digest drink. Although, you need to juice in addition to getting enough macronutrients. You also want to limit your fruit and add more vegetables.
Does GD cause headaches?
Gestational diabetes does not cause headaches. Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia does. So if your GD is not managed well, you can get headaches, but just having GD does not cause headaches.
Is GD genetic?
Gestational diabetes does seem to be genetic. This isn’t the only risk factor. Environmental is also important. Diet and exercise can fight off GD even in those that are genetically inclined.
What is Glyburide?
Glyburide is an oral medication that treats type 2 and GD. It is usually taken first thing in the morning. Everyone taking this medication should be aware of hypoglycemia and carry hard candy or glucose tabs with them. Glyburide works by helping your body release insulin and making your cells more sensitive to receiving it. (War on Diabetes, 2012)
Does having GD mean it will take longer to lose my baby weight?
Gestational diabetes does not make it harder to lose weight after you have the baby. It does make you gain more weight while you are pregnant if you are not careful and this will be harder to lose. Breastfeeding helps you lose the weight faster.
How much sugar can I have per day since I have been diagnosed with GD?
There is no clear answer about sugar intake when you have GD. Sugar must be limited as do carbohydrates, since the body converts them to sugar. When you are diagnosed with GD, you need to start reading labels. You will find there are hidden sugars in many different foods.
How long does GD last?
Gestational diabetes usually develops later in pregnancy and is typically resolved when the baby is delivered. Some women have symptoms after pregnancy, but they are usually short lived.
How long do I have to fast for the glucose intolerance test?
Before having your glucose intolerance test, you should fast for 8 to 14 hours. Your doctor or clinic will tell you exactly how long.
What is the earliest I can be tested for GD?
The test is typically done between 24 and 28 weeks. Some doctors will have you do the test a little early, but it is normally around this time.
How early can you be induced with GD?
The physicians always try to hold off until the baby is about 37 weeks, that’s when their lungs are mature enough. If the baby is large and your GD is out of control, the physician might induce earlier.
How common is stillbirth with GD?
Stillbirth is just a little more common with GD than with pregnancies not affected with it. Studies show that women with GD also tend to be more overweight and have other ailments, such as hypertension. This may be a factor in the stillbirth. (Melissa G. ROSENSTEIN, 2012)
How big can a baby get with GD?
Untreated GD can result in a very large baby. Usually the doctor will know this ahead of time and plan for a cesarean section. There was a big baby born in Germany in 2013 who was 13 and a half pounds. There was a baby weighing a little over 13 pounds delivered in Spain in 2013 also.
How to have a natural birth with GD?
You can have a natural birth after being diagnosed with GD. As long as you eat healthy, watch your carbohydrate intake and exercise regularly. You can actually have a very normal pregnancy.
How does GD affect the other organs of the body?
Gestational diabetes is a temporary problem that can lead to a permanent problem later down the road. Usually women do not have GD long enough for it to affect the other organs.
How do I know that my GD is gone?
Usually your GD disappears the second the baby is delivered. Your doctor may have you test your blood sugar for the first week after delivery. When your blood sugars are normal, then your GD is gone.
How do I know that my GD is under control?
With diet and exercise you can keep your GD under control. To tell how well it is being controlled, your blood sugar will have to be checked. If your numbers are within the normal range, you are controlling it well.
Does GD cause polyhydramnios?
Gestational diabetes is one of the causes of polyhydramnios. The reason for this is unclear. It is thought that with the baby having hyperglycemia, he or she is going to diurese and that will result in more fluid than normal. (A. Hamza, 2013)
How does GD go away?
Once the baby and the placenta are delivered, moms hormones go back to normal. This effect is usually immediate after delivery for these certain hormones.
Does GD make you hungrier than normal?
Anytime you cut carbohydrates down in your diet, you may feel hungrier than normal. Your blood sugar should normalize, so you shouldn’t go through bouts of extreme hunger when your blood sugar drops after a spike. Although, you won’t feel as satiated without a lot of carbohydrates.
How does the GD test work?
With the glucose screening test, you will drink a glucose liquid and then get your blood sugar taken. This allows the screener to know the exact amount of sugar and to see exactly how much your blood sugar rises.
Can I refuse a GD test?
You can refuse any test you would like. The only problem is this particular test can save you and the baby from major problems. This isn’t an invasive test, so it does not have any repercussions. If you refuse the test while pregnant, your baby will undergo the same tests after he or she is born that a gestational diabetic baby would.
Is GD caused by stress?
Gestational diabetes is not caused by stress, although stress can cause your blood sugar to rise. This is not good for any diabetic or pregnant lady for that matter.
Does GD make you crave sugar?
The only thing about GD that makes you crave sugar is the fact that you have to go without it. That will make anyone want it!!! Otherwise GD will not change your cravings at all.
Do large babies born to gestational diabetic mothers remain big?
Obesity has been linked to offspring from GD. When the fetus has too much glucose in utero, many changes occur. One of them is the greater risk of type 2 diabetes when they get older and the other is childhood obesity. (Dana Dabelea, The Predisposition to Obesity and Diabetes in Offspring of Diabetic Mothers, 2007)
Can I exclusively breastfeed when I have GD?
You can plan on breastfeeding exclusively and the healthcare staff will try their best to accommodate that. There are times when the babies blood sugar may drop too low and the baby will need to have formula unless you can pump enough breastmilk to sustain the babies blood sugar levels. Also, larger babies seem to lose weight more so than smaller babies and they may need to have formula if they lose too much.
Do you have rapid weight gain when you develop GD?
One of the consequences of GD is weight gain. In reverse, rapid weight gain can cause GD also. That is why you have to watch what you eat and drink very closely.
Why is my blood sugar so high in the morning, now that I have GD?
The liver sends out glucose into the blood through the night. If there is not enough insulin to send it into the cells, then the glucose remains in the blood stream. This is what makes your blood sugar sky rocket in the morning. It is called the dawn effect.
What kind of soft drinks can I have with GD?
Any drink with sugar should be avoided after being diagnosed with GD. Artificial sugars can be added to ice tea and coffees. Otherwise diet drinks are a great alternative. (Erika Gebel, 2012)
Can you develop GD after 28 weeks?
You can develop GD after you have tested negative. This is unlikely, but that is why they always test your urine during your prenatal visits. This way they can catch it if it starts later.
Can thyroid problems cause GD?
Thyroid problems may cause GD. However, this is poorly studied. It is known that pregnant women with hypothyroidism are more likely to develop GD. What does this mean to you? If you have hypothyroidism, start your pregnancy off right by taking the medication prescribed to you by your doctor, eating healthy meals and exercising. This will decrease your risk of developing GD.
Can the A1C diagnose GD?
The A1C is used to screen type 2 diabetics. It shows your average blood sugar over the last three months. Gestational diabetes is temporary, so we need the immediate test.
What year did GD testing begin?
Testing for GD started in the 1960’s.
When does GD start affecting the baby?
Gestational diabetes affects the baby after a while. The damage from the excess insulin causes problems over time. If you are diagnosed with GDM and manage your diet well and exercise, your baby will be very healthy.
When does GD peak?
It seems like between 32 and 36 weeks is when GD peaks. With eating healthy and exercising, some people still can’t keep their blood sugars where the doctors recommend. There are 2 reasons for this. 32 weeks is when the hormone Prolactin is at its peak and with the baby getting larger, the placenta puts out even more of its insulin blocking hormones. (Gestational Diabetes UK, n.d.)
Is the paleo diet good for GD?
The Paleo diet is lower in carbohydrates, so it would be good for a woman with GD. Although, any kind of weight loss diet is not recommended while you’re pregnant. Carbohydrates need to be added to every meal, they just need to be complex, good for you carbohydrates. Some examples of complex carbohydrates are beans, whole grains, peas and vegetables.
Are there any natural remedies for GD?
Along with a healthy diet low in sugar and high in vegetables, adding lots of fiber helps keep blood sugar stable. Fiber stops excess insulin from going into the blood stream. Vitamin C is a good one to take, as a deficiency in it can cause GD. It also lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Any kind of herbal supplements should be discussed with your doctor. (Organic Facts, n.d.)
Karella Juice is thought to lower and stabilize blood sugar. There are a few substances in it that work together to lower your blood sugar. It also contains lectin which decreases your appetite. (Diabetes.co.uk, n.d.) Always check with your doctor before starting any supplements while pregnant.
There are a few essential oils that have been found to help with diabetes. Ocotea, Ningxia Red and Omega Blue. Anytime you want to use essential oils, you should check with your OB doctor. While they are natural, they may cause harm to your unborn baby.
So those were the most asked gestational diabetes questions. I believe it will be helpful to anyone going through this.
TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Sergii Vasyliuk MD on June 10, 2020