how to control gestational diabetes
Metabolic Health

How to Control Gestational Diabetes

A type of diabetes that is seen very commonly in about 7% of all pregnant women is gestational diabetes. As the name suggests, this type of diabetes is developed during the gestation period (pregnancy) in women who have no prior history of diabetes. The statistics related to this are quite high and many women that are often affected feel bogged down by the added stress and complications of diabetes to their pregnancy. Since it is pretty common, it is something that you can surely be cautious about. The reason why this can seem so intimidating to many women is due to the lack of awareness about this. Even the fact that something like this can occur is not something many women are aware of. Knowing and having an understanding of the symptoms, causes, and what signs to look out for would definitely put your mind at ease as you would learn how to control gestational diabetes naturally in case of any unexpected complications.

The onset of gestational diabetes is similar to the regular T1D and T2D causes. The initial signs and symptoms are often noted in the latter half of the pregnancy.  It occurs when your body cannot make enough insulin. The primary reason for the insufficient production of insulin would be that during pregnancy, the body is already overworked by producing several different hormones that result in several changes that your body might go through. One of the major changes would be a gain in weight. A higher weight eventually causes the cells in the body and the bloodstream to use insulin less efficiently. This causes insulin resistance and gestational diabetes. Research suggests that almost all women are predisposed with some insulin resistance when they are in the later trimesters. Some women, however, can also experience this condition even before they conceive. Since their pregnancies began with an increased insulin requirement in the body, the likelihood of gestational diabetes will increase.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Apart from the traditional definition that this type of diabetes primarily occurs during pregnancy, it would be important before you understand how to control gestational diabetes to learn more about the basic signs that you need to keep a watch out for. Unfortunately, there are no warning signs or symptoms that you may experience beforehand that may indicate this disease, however, learning about the common symptoms experienced in the other types of diabetes would be a good starting point.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger and cravings (this may happen irrespective during pregnancy, therefore, it might go unnoticed and be passed off as a ‘pregnancy thing’
  • Blurry vision

While it does not have a preventable cause, you can try to learn how to control gestational diabetes with the Indian diet and maybe even be able to prevent the onset if you exercise caution and be careful from the beginning. A few risk factors that may lead to the onset of this disease, wherein you will have to be even more careful during your pregnancy would be – 

  • Overweight
  • No physical activity
  • PCOD/PCOS
  • Genetic predisposition or diagnosis of diabetes within the family, and some other.

 It is important to keep the blood sugar levels in check during this time as it can lead to several complications for the baby and the mother alike.

How to control gestational diabetes with diet

For all women trying to conceive, whether they have a genetic predisposition or existing insulin resistance or not, it would be important to understand and learn how to control gestational diabetes. This is because the diagnosis can get overwhelming if you are not prepared to deal with it. Having this knowledge will always come in handy as you might be able to feel more in control if you, or anyone else you know, would have to deal with this unfortunate situation. The best part about gestational diabetes is that it goes away once the pregnancy ends and the baby is born. However, the reason why gynecologists and endocrinologists ask you to pay much attention to this disease is that, if not treated well, it can develop into Type 2 diabetes and other complications. They often recommend that women learn how to control gestational diabetes with diet as it is one of the major factors that would largely be in their hands.

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What foods should you eat?

For avoiding or learning how to control gestational diabetes with Indian diet, it would be important to follow a strict diet plan and routine and stick to it. Of course, it is understandable that pregnancies can cause several, often unhealthy, cravings. However, indulging in these cravings in moderation is most often agreed by a majority of doctors. Deciding to visit a specialist and dietician would be ideal as they would be able to run the required tests and provide you with a meal plan tailor-made for you and your needs. 

  1. Eating a healthy and low-sugar/low-calorie diet would be ideal as it would not lead to any sudden spikes in the blood glucose levels
  2. Having smaller meals and snacks like – badam, fruits, poha, etc. can be opted for. 
  3. Consumption of food with higher protein levels like – daal, paneer, tofu, eggs, etc.
  4. Fibrous foods like salads, whole grain bread, cereals, oatmeals, etc.

What foods should you avoid?

While it is important to know the categories of food you can eat if you are learning how to control gestational diabetes naturally, it is equally important to understand what not to eat so that you can exercise the required control and caution. At times, it is understandable to want to have a piece of chocolate or your favorite ice cream, however, any of this should be done after consultation with your doctor

  1. Fast food like burgers, pizzas, French fries
  2. Alcoholic beverages – even beers
  3. Fried and starchy food like chips, crackers, 
  4. Sugary drinks, sodas, juices, etc

How to control gestational diabetes with the Indian diet should not be a tough task if you can stick to these food categories and provide your body with the essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins. 

How is gestational diabetes treated?

All doctors primarily recommend for the women to learn how to control gestational diabetes by themselves by indulging in a healthy diet and exercise routine. However, other frequently advised aspects would be – lifestyle changes like rest, routine, etc., constant monitoring of blood sugar levels to ensure no complications during or after birth, and medication, if necessary. Many doctors also recommend that women participate in yoga and non-tedious exercises and meditation to relax and reduce stress levels.

Bottomline

Gestational diabetes can occur among 7-10% of all pregnant women and the incidence is only increasing with the unhealthy habits and lifestyle of today’s modern age. Some of the best tips to control gestational diabetes are healthy eating, exercise regularly, monitor blood sugar often, take insulin, if needed, etc. Keeping a lookout for the common symptoms of diabetes and regular checkups with the doctor during pregnancy would help prevent the onset of this disease. Even if it occurs, you can easily learn to manage it at home, maybe without external medications with a controlled diet plan and exercise. It does not need to be more worrisome than it already is.

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