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What is Gestational Diabetes?

Have you asked yourself this same question? You’re not alone. Gestational Diabetes is one of those prenatal complications that they warn you about but don’t actually explain. So let me help…Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy in women who do not currently have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. To understand gestational diabetes, let’s break it down further. During pregnancy, some women do not produce enough insulin (think of insulin and blood sugar as a lock and key. When we eat carbohydrates, the broken down sugar goes into our bloodstream. In order for that sugar to travel into the cells for energy, insulin is required. Insulin acts like a taxi cab, bringing sugar to where it needs to be). The hormones that are produced by the placenta can interrupt the mechanism of insulin throughout the body. Therefore, the sugar stays in the blood and blood sugar levels shoot up, increasing your risk of high blood pressure and preeclampsia.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes include enhanced thirst, blurred vision,

nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. Still, it’s important to remember that Gestational Diabetes doesn’t always have physical symptoms, so it’s important to follow up with your doctor to perform a blood sugar test. These tests are typically done at around 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. If you are at an increased risk of Gestational Diabetes (overweight, have hypertension, have diabetes, have had a previous Gestational Diabetes diagnosis), your doctor may test you as early as the first prenatal visit.

Gestational Diabetes can be managed by monitoring blood sugar daily, following a healthy diet, frequently exercising, and taking prescribed medication, as necessary. The goal is to control blood sugar levels to prevent pregnancy complications. If you are monitoring blood glucose levels daily, it is recommended to test two hours after eating and to keep blood sugar levels lower than the range of 130 mg/dl to 140 mg/dl (Taylor 2021).

Gestational diabetes typically resolves itself once the baby is born. However, it does put the mother at risk for developing type 2 diabetes in the future if not managed. Incorporating a healthy diet and maintaining adequate exercise can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. Limiting foods and drinks that are high in added sugar, and eating less

saturated fat and carbohydrates are always beneficial. Be sure to consume whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats while managing gestational and type 2 diabetes.

For more information on Gestational Diabetes, contact Ava!

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my email list (I definitely won't spam you, but I will send you exclusive content, tips, and insights you won't find on Instagram) and APPLY to my Prenatal Nutrition Program (PNP)!

Nourish By Ava, LLC with Danielle Pesavento


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