02 Jul Gestational Diabetes; the deets!
Getting into this pregnancy, I didn’t know what exactly needed to go down…having been followed by different doctors is a little confusing and since the majority of my pregnancy was spent in the Middle East, I was unclear about a lot of the complications and issues that could potentially happen during last trimester. Although I had done the glucose/diabetes test in Jericho and ended up receiving very high test results…I didn’t take it too seriously because I thought maybe it was just a mistake. Redoing the test was a must when I met up with my midwife here; I ended up doing the 3 hours glucose tolerance test and I wasn’t that pleasant. Basically this test is to be done with a 8 hours fast and once you get to your appointment, they take a blood sample the second you arrive and they then give you a glucose orange (super gross) solution to drink and make you wait for 1 hour. Then they take another blood sample and let you wait another hour and then for the last time, take another blood sample. Unfortunately, I ended up having horrible results and had high glucose level at all 3 blood draws, which sucks ass! That is called gestational diabetes and I still didn’t take it seriously until my midwife explained to me how serious and dangerous it could be for me and my baby if not taken care of immediately.
Basically gestational diabetes is when pregnant women end up having type 2 diabetes; the pancreas becomes a little dysfunctional and doesn’t process sugar well. This means the excess sugar you have goes through the placenta and directly to the baby. What is important to note is that if not taken care of, the excess sugar will make your baby overweight which will then lead to complications in delivery. Babies born to mothers with poorly treated gestational diabetes are at increased risk of being too large, having low blood sugar after birth, and jaundice. And to the most extreme, if diabetes is untreated, it can result in a stillbirth.
I then didn’t have too much choice but work on keeping my glucose level stable for the next 3 months. I am now followed by a nutritionist, a doctor and my midwife; seems a bit extreme, I know! I feel a little bit overwhelmed with the whole process but I am getting the hang of it, now that I am in it. I basically now carry a glucose monitor around and I have to check my sugar levels at least 5 times a day (before and after meals). Since I am not too much of a sweet tooth anyway, my nutritionist didn’t force me to extremely change my diet but rather to add more fibre and protein; which isn’t too complicated anyway.
It’s been a week now since I started this checking process and I am getting the hang of it. It’s not as bad as I thought and honestly anyone can get the hang of it too. You just have to be patient and it’s not about cutting every sweet thing off, it’s about balance. Everything in life is about balance.
Gestational diabetes/pregnancy diabetes is not like regular diabetes, results are a bit different because we have to be extra vigilant about the intake. Our levels should be less than 5.3 before food and less than 7.8 after food. My high glucose level is mostly related to stress…but also when I consume liquid sugars, which I wasn’t aware of. Drinking milk is one of the main reasons I end up with high results. My dietician explained to me that it’s okay to drink milk, but to do it in small quantities at a time. The same goes for anything sweet; such as dates or cake or whatever, it is important to try to avoid sweets, but if I have urges, I can eat them in controlled quantities.
Along with watching what I eat, my doctor and dietician both recommended that I work out at least 30 minutes or more daily. Since I lose my balance easily these days, due to my huge belly, I choose to walk and I try to 10 000 steps daily. So far, so good and I feel like it gives me more energy to be active. On days where my glucose levels are high, I feel it in my body and my energy; I feel disgusting and super lethargic…my body is achy and weak. So for the sake of being more active and happy, I choose to just keep up with this new routine.
With the help that I am getting, I feel less overwhelmed and I feel like this is not major anymore and that I can get through it. I think once you receive the help necessary, you automatically feel safe and content. The team I am with is super professional and very informative and what I love it that they take the time to answer my questions and put me at ease. So if you’re pregnant and suffer from gestational diabetes, you can do it!