Is Sugar Dangerous In Pregnancy ?

Is Sugar Dangerous In Pregnancy ?

If you ask for a one-word answer, then it has to be “yes”, a high intake of sugar can prove to be harmful in pregnancy. But wait, there’s a lot more to know about the consumption of sugar during pregnancy. Pregnancy triggers certain substantial changes in the body of a woman. Apart from nausea and vomiting, there are a lot of symptoms that come along.

When you are pregnant, tiredness and dizziness will accompany you the whole day. You might notice sudden hair fall, that huge number of strings of hairs entangled in the teeth of your comb. Most of the symptoms are normal and no stringent precautions are required to curb them, but as talking of sugar levels, you must be attentive towards carbohydrates utilization rate during the pregnant term. There is no doubt in saying that higher sugar levels during pregnancy can lead to undesired and devastating results.

Changes In Body During Pregnancy

Before we proceed further, you need to know about some usual changes which your body goes through. Some of these changes are necessary for carrying out a successful pregnancy. They assist the body to bear the developing baby and deal with the parturition process.

1. Hormonal changes –

Estrogen and progesterone are the two most important pregnancy hormones. These hormones secreted by ovary on females acquire their peak levels when pregnancy sets in. Estrogen is necessary for stimulating the contractions in the uterus while progesterone is required for maintaining the good health of both mother and child.

2. Development of mammary glands –

Mammary glands are groomed up well through various hormonal influences in order to boost the milk production for breastfeeding.

3. Increased metabolic rate –

A sudden increase in all the physiological processes is observed as a result of accelerated hormone secretion.

4. Pregnancy glow –

This happens as a result of increased blood circulation in the body.

5. Frequent urination –

You are most likely to experience this bt the end of the first trimester. This also a consequence of increased metabolic rate to some extent.

6. Vaginal changes –

You may observe mild bleeding and white discharge. The common experiences can be painful cramps which are more or less normal.

Why Is Sugar Dangerous During Pregnancy: All The Negative Impacts At A Glance

Sugars are obtained by the body in the form of carbohydrates. The food that we eat, like potatoes, rice, chapatis and so on, are a potent source of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates get broken down into simpler sugars by numerous enzymes to provide energy to our body.

Of course, we need sugars to fuel up our bodies. The energy to perform all the vital life processes is extracted through them. But when the amount of sugar to be consumed increases too much, then it will act as a driving cause for certain health risks.

Gestational Diabetes

If proper care of sugar intake amounts is neglected while pregnancy, then it may cause gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes further develops many complications during the delivery time.

Preeclampsia

This is when blood pressures are abnormally raised up during pregnancy. It is more likely to happen when blood sugar levels are high. This can affect vital organs like kidney, heart, and liver.

Fatty Liver Syndrome

This disease generally sprouts up during the third trimester. A diet exceedingly rich in glucose can cause fatty liver syndrome. Due to malfunctioning of fatty acid metabolism in mothers, liver cells acquire too much fat. Moreover, this can initiate several abnormalities in fetal liver too. Acute fatty liver symptoms are more common in first pregnancy or when the expectant woman is thin.

Constipation and Dehydration

The problems of constipation and bloating are usual during pregnancy. But inflated levels of glucose in the bloodstream for persistent time frame worsen the conditions. Dehydration can be a direct consequence of hiked up blood sugar levels. This can be prevented by drinking a plentiful amount of water. Water is indeed an elixir for people with elevated blood sugars.

Weight Gain

Gaining body weight during pregnancy can be harmful in manifold ways. It opens the gateway to certain critical health issues.

Blood Sugar Spikes

If your input levels of glucose are increased beyond safe boundaries, then your blood glucose levels will rise up.

Heartburn Symptoms

Fast foods and caffeine are primarily responsible for invoking heartburn related symptoms. Foods containing fatty acids can also cause similar symptoms.

Autism

Researches find that women with gestational diabetes have 42% more probability of having a child with autism. Not only this, but the cognitive development of the child is also hindered due to high sugar levels left unchecked during pregnancy.

What Causes Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is said to occur when your body unable to produce extra insulin required during pregnancy. The insulin hormone plays a key role in carbohydrate metabolism. It compels body cells to take up all the extra glucose and lessens its amount in the bloodstream.

In this way, it keeps a check on the blood glucose levels. Now, you can imagine that can happen when the body is incapable of producing a sufficient amount of insulin. Mostly, the body of pregnant women acquires the tendency to elicit more insulin production in order to cope up with the additional demands.

But in some cases, this may not happen. Such women whose body fails to boost up insulin production upon commencement of pregnancy undergo through the disorder of gestational diabetes. Moreover, because of the variation in hormonal levels and other changes, the body develops insulin resistance.

This means that cells cannot utilize insulin to an optimal extent even when it is being produced in the right amounts. Not to forget, chances of acquiring gestational diabetes are more in obese people than slim ones. Obesity can reasonably contribute to the advent of insulin resistance.

How To Prevent Gestational Diabetes

The positive side is that women with gestational diabetes can to have a normal delivery. It takes a little bit of extra effort to set everything into the right place.

  • When you are planning a child, make sure you are having a healthy weight.

If not so, then immediately switch on to the weight loss diet routine.

  • Don’t be feeble with your blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels. Be watchful towards them with utmost precautions.
  • Visit your gynecologist regularly so that you are diagnosed at the earliest and avoid any upcoming problems handily.
  • Gestational diabetes is said to occur by the 24th week of pregnancy. You have a good time to get everything sorted.

If you find yourself in conditions that may favor gestational diabetes, instantly come up with rightful measures. You can take the help of the internet or consult your doctor regarding this.

  • Your doctor will check for gestational diabetes along with other prenatal tests.

Or else, you must prefer to go for an oral glucose tolerance test to assure that everything is well in control.

  • If you are prediabetic, your carbohydrates’ inputs need to be declined to the minimum limit possible for a risk-free pregnant term.

What To Avoid to Keep Blood Sugar Levels In Control During Pregnancy

Artificial sweeteners

Never go for artificial sweeteners while you are pregnant. Instead, opt for natural alternatives like coconut sugar and raw organic honey.

Caffeine

Caffeine is known to cause some bad impacts on the health of a growing fetus. Caffeinated coffee and cold drinks hinder the mental development of the baby and are responsible for low birth weight during delivery.

Alcohol

Alcohol can be the driving cause of miscarriage and stillbirths. Apart from this, the baby can suffer through facial disfigurement, mental deformities, and even heart-related defects.

Junk foods

Street foods can significantly pave the threat for developing gestational diabetes. They can result in the birth of an overweight child which in turn imposes long term health hazards on your child.

Unpasteurized milk

Raw milk often comes contaminated with numerous harmful bacteria that deteriorate your health. Before you consume milk in any form, make sure it is boiled for sufficient time to kill all the pathogenic agents.

Packaged Beverages and Bottled Juices

During pregnancy, even teeth and gums need special attention to protect them against enamel  erosion.  Furthermore, bottled juices come with extra added sugars and preservatives which are not at all a good choice. They just provide a large number of calories without any nutrition making you lethargic.

What To Adopt To Keep Blood Sugar levels In Control

Find healthy sugar alternatives

Natural fruits are an excellent source of natural sugars with ample calories that provide good nutrition. The fruits like mango, strawberry, apple, and pineapple can offer you immense benefits. Custard apple is another such fruit that is remarkably beneficial for both mother and fetus and helps to cope up with certain troubles arising during pregnancy. Avoid taking fruits in the morning when you are pregnant. It is not preferable during the term.

Vegetables And Whole Grains

Green leafy vegetables are the best thing to include in your diet. Whole grains contain healthy carbohydrates and not refined ones. They can help you to stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Probiotics

These are nothing but a living bacteria to boost up your health. They aid your digestion process without any side effects. Probiotics enhance carbohydrate metabolism and reduce the risk of preeclampsia to a fairly good extent.

One of the greatest sources of probiotics in day to day life is natural yogurt, made from dairy milk. But don’t add table sugar to it while eating. Its nutritional content will decrease by doing so, otherwise, it serves as a decent food choice for pregnant women.

Fiber Foods

Fibers offers multifarious health benefits. They deter obesity, regulate blood sugar levels and promote better digestion. Taking fiber-rich food along with your regular diet can prevent blood sugar spikes after meals.

Protein-rich diet

Your body demands somewhat additional proteins to sustain the changes accompanying pregnancy. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to level up the proportion of proteins in your meals through pulses, dry fruits, milk, and eggs.

Exercise

You don’t need to join big gyms or yoga classes for this. Just find a peaceful corner in your home. Place a mat there in the early morning or evening hours and perform simple deep breathing exercises.

While you are outdoors, you can try swift walking whenever possible. Besides, cycling and jogging for short distances along helps a lot. However, if you are really enthusiastic about fitness, you can join yoga classes especially meant for expectant mothers near your house.

Some Frequently Asked Questions Related With Sugar Levels In Pregnancy

Let’s have a quick sneak peek into the answers to the questions widely asked by most of the expectant mothers.

Q. Is eating sugar safe in Pregnancy?

Yes, you can eat sugar in pregnancy but to a limited range. You should completely avoid having foods that contain refined sugars. These can be processed snacks, packaged beverages, and caffeinated drinks.

Q. How much sugar is safe during pregnancy?

Normally, up to 30 grams of sugar is ideal during an expectant stage. For better clarity, you must get yourself diagnosed well regarding blood sugar levels, metabolic rates, and body weight.

Then decide your appropriate calorie levels accordingly. This is the best way to deal with sugar levels during pregnancy.

Q. How can excessive sugar harm the baby?

Extra sugar during gestational diabetes or other disorders crosses the placenta and entries the fetus’s blood. This causes increased insulin production in the fetus’s body. The size of the fetus grows larger than normal, the condition termed as macrosomia. This may require premature delivery or C-section delivery.

Q. Can I eat jaggery during pregnancy?

You can eat it in lesser amounts if you are perfectly healthy without any risk of developing diabetes.

But if you are prediabetic or diabetic, better to neglect it and keep it away from your plate.

Q. Are dates good for pregnancy?

Yes, dates are completely fine for pregnancy. Even though they are sweet, they don’t alter blood sugar levels. Besides, they aid healthy delivery by shortening the time of labor. But as it advised to limit sugar inputs in any form, be careful of the consumption amounts of dates too.

Q. Can high blood sugar in pregnancy lead to miscarriage?

No, high blood sugar levels in pregnancy are related to many health complications but no case of miscarriage due to hyperglycemia has been reported till date. However, both mental and physical development of your child can be disastrously affected.

Concluding Words

There are enough facts and figures to exemplify that high levels of blood sugars are harmful during pregnancy duration. It also depends on the previous history of your health. Whether you are already diagnosed with any other disease or not. Many women can develop diabetes during pregnancy. Those who are obese with cumbersome body weight are even more likely to fall prone to it.

The conclusion that comes out is –  the way to have a healthy pregnancy is by putting a limit on sugar consumption levels. Don’t follow all your cravings blindly as some of them might prove dangerous for your baby. Find a complete list of healthy menu and stick to it for the nine precious months.

The crux of the entire article is that sugar has to be limited in any form. Whether it is table sugar in your daily morning teas or refined undesired sugars in candies, both have their own health crises when consumed beyond secured lines.

Can I drink Milk with Gestational Diabetes?

Can I drink Milk with Gestational Diabetes?

To know if milk can be consumed in gestational diabetes, it is important to understand the concept of gestational diabetes.

Let us have a brief look on the mechanism of gestational diabetes :

Diabetes is the condition where there is high blood sugar levels in the body. Here the body either fails to produce enough insulin or fails to use the available Insulin thoroughly and efficiently for the normal functioning of the body. Insulin plays an effective role as it helps to absorb the glucose present in the bloodstream by the cells to produce energy for the proper functioning of the body. As in diabetes due to improper functioning of insulin the glucose gets accumulated in the body leading to risk factors .

Diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy is termed as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed by a glucose tolerance test. If gestational diabetes is untreated it could lead to many complications to the infant and to the maternal body.

Diagnosis of gestational diabetes is usually done in the later pregnancy .i.e. between the 24th week and 28th week of gestation. This is because the placenta starts producing more and more hormones that interfere with the mother’s insulin, that is making the maternal body insulin resistant.

Various factors raise the risk of a pregnant woman of developing gestational diabetes such as:

  1. Overweight,
  2. Prediabetes,
  3. Family history of type 2 diabetes i.e. brother or sister having type 2 diabetes,
  4. Over age of 25,
  5. Baby who was stillborn
  6. Baby weighing more than 4 kilograms or
  7. Polycistric ovarian syndrome.

Accumulation of blood glucose in the body or untreated gestational diabetes can lead to :

  • Excessive birth weight of the baby,
  • The mother having low blood pressure after birth,
  • Baby having Jaundice after birth.
    Thus, it becomes important to pay extra attention to women with gestational diabetes.

During pregnancy the normal range of glucose level in the body is found to be either below 7.8mmol/D or less than 100mg/DL. Before fasting. Anything greater than 11.0mmol/D or greater than 149mg/DL is termed as gestational diabetes.

To maintain a healthy pregnancy with gestational diabetes a healthy and strict diet plays a key role in achieving a healthy and safe pregnancy, along with regular exercises as it can help reduce blood sugar. All the nutrients that are to be provided to the maternal body and infant should be through natural foods only and not processed.

During gestational diabetes it is very important to know what foods spike up the mothers blood sugar level, for this the blood sugar levels need to be monitored regularly before and after every meal, also it is wise to measure the portion of intake of meal and of all the contents present In the meal before consuming so as to know which food when consumed in which quantity rises the blood sugar levels in the maternal body, if the meal involves any such food that spike up the blood sugar level it is advisable to cut down that particular food or is to be substituted with other nutritious food.

One of the important question that arises is that :If milk can be consumed during gestational diabetes

Milk has it’s own nutritional value that benefits the maternal body and the infant during gestation but for a woman with gestational diabetes it is important to balance the carbohydrate intake throughout the gestation in order to have a healthy pregnancy, intake of carbohydrates should be taken in limited proportions so as to avoid rise in blood sugar levels .

The minimal grams of carbohydrates that can be consumed for a woman with gestational diabetes in a day is 30 to 45 grams for meals and 15 to 30g for snacks. Milk contains nearly 4.8grams of carbohydrates in the form of lactose, lactose is a natural sugar that provides energy to the body .

Therefore for a woman with gestational diabetes it is necessary to measure the carbohydrate intake throughout the day. One glass of milk sums up to nearly 15g of carbohydrates therefore if one glass of milk is to be consumed the rest carbohydrate intake is to be spread throughout the day, drinking too much milk at once can spike the blood glucose level instantly, therefore it is advisable to consume only one glass of milk per day balancing the intake of other carbohydrate content for the day.

It is also necessary to consume carbohydrates per day so as to provide energy to the body, therefore it is necessary to supply the body with its carbohydrate content. Depriving the body of carbohydrate is not advisable rather a balance needs to be maintained between, excessive carbohydrates intake that could spike up the glucose level in the body and between the carbohydrates intake required by the body.

The amount of intake of carbohydrates and the time of intake usually depends on various factors such as; how often you feel hungry, the intensity of your hunger i.e. how hunger you get, blood sugar levels in the body.

Every women’s body is different from the other. Therefore the diet and body type also effects the nutritional value and benefits of milk consumed from woman to woman. Also the rise In blood sugar on consumption of milk may also differ based on factors such as; age, weight medical history and previous pregnancies.

There are various types of milk in the market that can be consumed such as ; soy milk, skimmed milk. Whole milk can be substituted with soy milk or skimmed milk. Although the carb content is same in both skimmed milk and whole milk the fat content and calories content varies, whole milk contains more fat and calories when compared to skimmed milk.

Almond milk is not a carbohydrate source and can help to limit the carbohydrate intake at a particular meal. But it is necessary to pick the unsweetened varieties of these milk in the market to control the carbohydrate intake .

Completely cutting down of carbohydrates is not recommended because the body requires energy for the normal functioning rather selecting a meal with carbohydrate that does not spike up the blood glucose level, should be consumed along with combinations consisting of proteins and fat.

The pregnancy hormones are at its peak, increasing the resistance of insulin making it harder for the body to handle carbohydrate intake in the morning therefore, consumption of milk and other carbohydrate intake should be avoided in the morning and before bed.

Caffeine alone can slightly increase blood sugar level ,therefore coffee is not advisable.

For a woman without gestational diabetes two to three glasses of milk per day is beneficial for the developing infant and maternal body as it provides calcium which is beneficial for the maternal body but for a woman with gestational diabetes the same is not advisable, direct consumption of large quantity of milk at once can spike up the blood glucose level due to the carbohydrate content of milk also this can also exceed the limit of carbohydrate intake for the day.

It also recommended to replace foods with higher glycaemic index by food with lower glycaemic index, but eating of too much of food with low glycaemic index can also cause blood sugar levels to spike.

During gestational diabetes the intake of sugary foods and drinks rich in carbs have to be limited because these spike up blood sugar levels quickly. The carb content should be spread thoroughly throughout  the day.

It is necessary to check on the fat intake too for a woman with gestational diabetes.

Although fats do not contain carbohydrates, they are very calorific so to manage the weight its wise to keep fat intake low.
Hydrating the body efficiently at regular intervals is also very important as this to drains out the excess sugar present in the bloodstream.

Milk has its own nutritional value and is necessary for every woman to consume it during gestation as it is necessary for the right nourishment of the infant, but every women’s body type is different therefore the effects also differ.

To know if milk is safe for consumption for a women with gestational diabetes it is recommended to monitor the blood glucose level before drinking one glass of milk and 1 hour after drinking one glass of milk , one glass of milk contains nearly 15g of carb so if there is any instant rise in blood sugar it is advisable to meet an endocrinologist and obstetrician to avoid any complications.

But for a women with gestational diabetes drinking excessive milk is not advisable due its carbohydrate content as this could spike the glucose level in the body rather one glass of milk per day is considered to be safe and healthy for the infant and the maternal body to meet its daily need of carbohydrate and nourishment.

Does Drinking Water Help In Gestational Diabetes ?

Does Drinking Water Help In Gestational Diabetes

Water is a magnificent thing when it comes to health and fitness. As of diabetes, it is no less than an elixir. Never underestimate it’s potential to curb certain health hazards. I repeat, NEVER!

The frequently searched question across various search engines is, “does drinking water help in diabetes?”.

Yes, it definitely can. It helps you much more than you think of. Water greatly favors the overall health of an individual. It is responsible for maintaining the osmotic and ionic balance of our body. Kidneys essentially need it to flush out all the excretory products.

It plays many more roles than just satiating our thirst. Not to forget, it is the savior of life on this planet. Okay, so let’s narrow down our focus solely on the topic of gestational diabetes and how drinking water helps in gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes statistics in India are closely parallel to that of type 2 diabetes. This is not so surprising because the people with type 2 diabetes are more at risk of developing gestational diabetes during their pregnancy.

However, even if a woman appears to be non-diabetic before gestational term, she can still fall prone to gestational diabetes. There are some common conditions which pave way for a person to be diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy;

  • Being over the age of 25
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being prediabetic
  • High blood pressure prior to pregnancy
  • Expectancy for twins
  • Ongoing type 2 diabetes during pregnancy

There are some critical complications linked with gestational diabetes which you need to avoid. The prime goal for treating gestational diabetes lies in preventing those complications to occur. These involve;

  • Having an oversized baby – macrosomia
  • Conditions not favoring normal delivery – cesarean delivery
  • Reducing birth defects like disfigured mouth and underdeveloped brain.
  • Avoid rising of blood pressure – preeclampsia.
  • The child might sustain some injuries during parturition – shoulder dystocia.
  • Miscarriages and stillbirths.

The symptoms of gestational diabetes are more or less similar to the ones experienced in type 2 diabetes.

  • Frequent urination
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Excessive thirst
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Weightloss
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Sleeping disorders

Water and gestational diabetes

Drinking water is one of the best parts of your routine, not only in diabetes but every time. Moreover, pregnant women are advised to drink extra water during the term.

If we elicit our common sense, we all know water is a tasteless substance. It does not contain any kind of carbohydrates or sugars which can destabilize our blood sugars. Therefore, one thing is crystal clear that water is going to have absolutely no effect on our blood sugar levels.

But wait, this doesn’t mean it cannot help us in fighting against diabetes. In fact, drinking a lot of water even when you are perfectly fine keeps your digestive system healthy by excreting out all the waste from the body with great ease.

When you are diabetic, dehydration causes sugars yo accumulate and get concentrated rising up the levels drastically. To prevent this from happening, you need to keep yourself fully hydrated all the time. All the excess sugar present in your bloodstream will be flushed out by the water.

Water assists kidneys to eliminate the waste and flush it out of your body in a timely effective manner, thereby, reducing the chances for a number of disorders to occur. For the expectant mothers who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, drinking 8 ounces of 200 ml of water must be a daily habit.

This habit needs to be rigidly inculcated by whoever is reading this. We are recommending it for the best of the best health of you and your future child.

Which other drinks are worth drinking in gestational diabetes

Seeing beyond water, we have compiled a list of healthy drinks you must consider consuming during the term, especially if your reports signify diabetes. We have kept in mind that you are both an expectant mother as well as diabetic too. Your diet needs beverages, other than water to blissfully comply with both the conditions.

1. Lemonade –

This means a combination of lemon juice and water. You can add a pinch of black salt to enhance the taste. This drink rejuvenates your body and no doubt, vitamin C does a lot of wonders for you.

2. Protein drinks –

you need to increase protein intake of your body during gestation. Your nutrients are now also shared with your growing baby through the placenta. It’s obvious you need more nutrients than normal.

All those physiological changes happening throughout the reproductive system from the maintenance of healthy uterus to increased lactation in breasts, everything needs an apt amount of proteins.

3. Milk –

With its innumerable nutritional properties, milk is undoubtedly the best choice for gestational diabetes. No one needs to be introduced to the countless health perks offered by dairy milk. It is often seen that elders in the family of expectant women also advise them to have a glass of milk with saffron and almonds during pregnancy. This is a great practice.

4. Apple cider vinegar –

Apple cider is the most sought-after drink for people with any kind of diabetes. Gestational diabetes is not at all an exception here. The most notable property of this drink lies in its ability to slow down the release of sugars in the bloodstream. This is exactly what you need for your body during diabetes.

5. Raspberry leaf tea –

Although light amounts of sweet tea and green tea are also preferable. But raspberry leaf tea has something exceptional to offer you during pregnancy. The leaves are bestowed with a natural compound called fragarine which has remarkable characteristics to strengthen the pelvic muscles.

This in turn aid your pregnancy health-giving your womb a strong and healthy environment. Other opulence includes the presence of antioxidants which are known to reduce nausea and vomiting. Women who consume this tea during menstruations also felt relieved from cramps and pains. It’s indeed the best choice to include in your lifestyle especially during the incubation period.

Which drinks should be avoided during gestational diabetes

Now, hovering on to the drinks which are the worst choice for women who have developed diabetes during pregnancy.

1. Alcohol –

Often in parties and other such celebratory occasions, people commonly go for alcohol consumption.
But during your term, even if you are not diabetic, you ought to avoid taking up all sorts of alcoholic beverages. This really has bad effects on your baby.

2. Bottled Juices –

We have been repeating this quite often. Bottled juices should be kept at a far distance when you’re going through diabetic medication. They come with empty calories only meant for sweet taste through added sweeteners and no single benefit is ever conferred to you.

3. Soda and candies –

These are also included among the unhealthy drinks for diabetic folks. The extra added sugars in them will take no time to rise up your blood sugar levels to disastrous heights.

4. Caffeinated drinks –

Anything that contains caffeine needs to be avoided. This can be coffee or whatever else you might prefer drinking till now. All that stuff has to be put to a haul.

Few bits of advice for a healthy pregnancy during gestational diabetes

We want to make one thing clear, admits all the negatives, there always exists a positive. You need to shift your focus on that. Since you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you need to look out for better curing options rather than panicking over your situation. There are some tips you can follow for ensuring a good and healthy well being of yours and your growing little angel.

FOOD: All what you eat matters a lot

Take a chart paper, write down all the vegetables and fruits that are considered healthy during gestational diabetes and paste that chart in your room. Note down the proper time to eat that particular food too (if any). All green vegetables are going to be part of your lifestyle, at least till the time of childbearing.

You cannot think of neglecting them if we glare at the abundant benefits that they bring along. It’s no less than a blessing. Vegetables list must also add peas and carrots. These prove to be very fruitful at the moment. Try to include complex carbohydrates like millets, whole grains, etc. in your meals.

On the other hand, simple/refined carbohydrates like white rice, white bread, and other such stuff have to be limited. Best fruits during time would be apple, oranges, dry fruits like avocados and nuts.

Exercise: Yoga, meditation and many more

Yoga is a heart of Indian Ayurvedic culture. There are numerous yoga practices and poses. Each disease is cured with specific yoga asana performed and taught by specialists and professionals.

Even brisk walking for 30 minutes in natural surroundings can refresh you with the solacing mindset and revived energy. There are swimming classes and gyms built especially for expectant mothers.

Weight loss is an essential element of the treatment of gestational diabetes. Obese women face more hardships during labor. Options are vast, the choice is all yours. All we want to say is exercise helps a lot to recover and fight any disease, particularly the one we are discussing. It promotes a healthier pregnancy for sure.

DEALING WITH SOMOGYI EFFECT: Low blood sugar in the morning

It is a very common observation. You may experience low blood sugar levels in the morning after waking up despite being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Don’t worry, it’s not a chaotic consequence and can be tackled down easily. Just have a bowl of sugar-free greek yogurt before going to bed. Your sugar levels will be maintained well by the morning.

 Regular Check-Ups: A stitch in time saves nine

Gestational diabetes generally augments during the 24th week of pregnancy. You get sufficient time to turn the circumstances to your side. Many troubles can be kept away through continuous checkups and prenatal care plan routines.

Keep in touch with your gynecologist regularly. Build up an effective communication and clear all your dilemmas at the earliest schedule possible. Keep a close check at your sugar levels too. Maintain a record of your readings along with the kind of food you ate.

Moreover, you can notice what effect the particular food is having on your blood glucose levels. You will come to know about foods that are favoring your health the most. Then, make your diet chart accordingly with better clarity.

If any kind of obscurity is observed with the glucometer readings, you will be able to deal with it in minimal duration. This is the advantage you receive through regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.

Build up a optimistic environment: Let the positive vibes surround you

Inner peace of mind is like a cherry on the cake. The cake which you are making through your persistent efforts to mock down the disease. This cake will be ready once you conquer the disease blissfully, after the healthful childbirth.

A healthy mind synergizes a healthy body. Most of the people often seem to be panic and depressed with the thought of their disease. But happiness matters. It is as important as medicines. Not to forget, laughter is the best medicine. Everything will go even better once you develop a positive mindset.

Concluding words

We very well understand the fact that pregnancy already imposes a huge burden of responsibilities on you. Plus, on top of that, getting to hear that you have developed diabetes too. It’s a bit scaring and daunting thing. But, in the last what all matters are your mindset and will power. “Where there is will, there is a way” is a very rightly quoted dictum. We already mentioned a wide plethora of ways to curtail all the possible complications that gestational diabetes puts forward.

Drinking a lot of water helps you to a great extent. You can also involve all the other beverages mentioned, undoubtedly. Do not take hydration of the body for granted. Ignoring it will make things worsen in ample ways.

Hydration is the key to well-governed blood sugar levels. This can be enhanced by providing the body appreciable amount of vitamin C and other beneficial nutrients through preferable drinks.

You now know very well what all is recommendable for you. If still not sure, go through the article once again to get a proper picture of it. You will be having a perfectly fine baby. Just be positive. Wishing to see you in the pink of health, always.

Top 5 Good and Bad Fruits for Gestational Diabetes

Did your doctor tell you that you have Gestational Diabetes? First of all, a huge CONGRATULATIONS on your pregnancy news!! We are just as excited as you are! And well no need to worry we got you all covered in this article about what is gestational diabetes and the top 5 good and bad fruits for gestational diabetes. And on top of it as it is said worrying is bad for the little one. So, stop worrying let’s get on with it!

What is Gestational Diabetes?

A raised blood sugar level above the normal values while you are pregnant is called gestational diabetes. It just means you did not have a raised blood glucose level before being pregnant and the condition was diagnosed after the pregnancy. This usually goes away after the pregnancy is over but in very few cases, it might lead to a life long Type 2 Diabetes.

It usually develops after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Normally gestational diabetes is quite symptomless except for the few typical symptoms of diabetes like an increased compulsion to urinate, increased thirst and uncontrollable hunger.

Pregnancy itself is tiring but this might just get you tired even more. There is no absolute cause for gestational diabetes but certain factors like prior history of another gestational diabetes, family history, being overweight or having high blood pressure are found to increase the chances of gestational diabetes according to studies.

For the diagnosis of gestational diabetes, a laboratory diagnostic test called OGTT or Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is done. This test is usually done in the 24th to 28th week of your pregnancy. In this test, you would be required to take a blood test in the early morning after 8-10 hours of fasting and then you will be given a glucose drink.

Subsequently, after 2 hours another blood sample would be taken to check the way that glucose drink was taken care of in your body. And if the glucose levels exceed a certain range you can be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Expecting a baby and still did not take the test? Do it now after consulting your gynecologist!!

Why eat certain fruits and avoid others for Gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes occurs when your body is unable to utilize the insulin properly or enough insulin is not available according to the requirements.

This leads to an increased level of glucose in the blood which travels via the placenta to reach the growing baby and the baby’s pancreas tries to produce more insulin to counter this. But that is not enough and the extra glucose is stored as fat in the baby, thus making it grow large in size and is called ‘Fat Baby’.

This also increases the risk of premature birth and increased amniotic fluid which can interfere with a smooth delivery. As for the baby, it might even lead to permanent diabetes later in life.

In extremely rare cases that might even lead to a stillbirth (baby born dead) and we do not want to take any chances.

So, it is absolutely essential to bring that level of blood sugar down for the well being of you and your beloved little one and for that, you need to keep track of what are the good fruits and what is best avoided.

Some fruits have a high glycemic index with means they raise the blood sugar more than the ones with a relatively low glycemic index.

A glycemic index above 70 is considered high, between 69 and 56 normal and 55 or below is considered low. Here we will discuss the top 5 good and bad fruits to check that blood sugar level in gestational diabetes. Let’s get started!

Top 5 Good fruits for Gestational Diabetes

1. Cherries

Cherries reportedly have a glycemic index around 22 which is really low glycemic index and is among the fruits with the lowest glycemic index. So, have plenty of cherries.

It will not only help with the hunger issue but cherries have other properties as well. They help to lower your blood pressure in case you have high blood pressure, lowers the weight in overweight people, helps you to sleep well and also lower the chances of heart diseases and a heart attack which is increasingly seen in people with high uncontrolled blood sugar. And most importantly, being a woman, your first priority must be to look younger and cherry possesses anti-aging properties and is just perfect!

2. Apples

 “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”

Seems like this age-old saying is not completely untrue after all! Apples have a glycemic index of 36 which is a low glycemic index and hence safe for you to eat. Also, apples have good amounts of fibers in them to ease your bowel movement, and plenty of antioxidants to help defend your body better by promoting a good immune response.

Apples lower your blood pressure, lower the chances of you developing cancer and cardiovascular complications. So, grab that apple and take a bite now!

3. Oranges

Oranges

 Next comes oranges with a glycemic index of 40 which is a low glycemic index as well. Oranges are found to decrease that blood sugar level effectively so it is highly recommended in gestational diabetes.

It has vitamin C, raises the body’s immunity level, keeps that high blood pressure under control in hypertensive individuals, decreases cholesterol level and hence prevents heart diseases. Also, it is good for the skin and so indulge yourself in orange without delay!

4. Strawberries  

Who doesn’t like these pretty red fruits? We all do! And now you have a reason to eat them even more. Strawberries have a glycemic index of just 41 which is quite low. In addition, they have more actually more vitamin C content than even oranges! And not only that they also have vitamin B9 and antioxidants.

Being so packed with nutrients and still managing such a low glycemic index makes it a huge favorite among diabetics!

They up your body’s immune game and also watch that sugar level. So, what are you waiting for? Grab them now while they are still fresh!

5. Grapes

Next in line comes grapes with a low glycemic index of 53. This particular fruit item has got so many benefits that it’s so much difficult to state all of them at once. Grapes are rich in so many vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants.

In short, they help reduce the cholesterol level, reduce the blood sugar level, protect against certain infections, strengthen your bones, protect against cancer and so on and on.

They are also good for your eyes and delay your aging. Do you need any more reasons as to why you should finish that bowl of grapes immediately? I guess not.

That concludes the list of top 5 good fruits for gestational diabetes.

Top 5 Bad fruits for Gestational diabetes

1. Watermelon

Yeah, nothing better than a juicy ripe and preferably chilled watermelon on a hot summer afternoon. I am inclined to totally agree with you here. But on a more serious note, watermelons have a glycemic index of around 76 which is quite high and hence absolute moderation is essential when it comes to watermelons.

They level up the blood sugar level quite a bit and quickly and hence are best avoided in gestational diabetes. But if you really must eat then do keep a check on the portion size you intake and club it with other fiber-rich and healthy foods.

2. Pineapple

 Just the smell of a ripe pineapple even gets the mouth-watering. Everyone loves this juicy and sweet fruit.

Pineapple has a bitter side to it too and that is, it has a moderate glycemic index of around 59, which makes it a zone diabetics do not really want to enter. It might have Vitamin C but the sugar content is high enough to cancel the beneficial effects.

Frozen pineapple though has a lower glycemic index and is a good substitute if you compulsorily want to eat it. But again, let me remind you that moderation is essential even here. So, you have to watch the portion sizes and eat it with other healthier options.

3. Overly ripe mangoes

 Summers are incomplete without this king of fruit! We wait all the year for this particular fruit. But if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes then it is better if you just let this summer go without consuming this fruit.

Overly ripe mangoes have a moderate glycemic index of around 56. The riper the fruit the more is the sugar content and hence more glycemic index.

Mangoes in general also have very high carbohydrate content and as such, it is in the best interests of a diabetic to avoid them. So, make an effort and say NO to ripe mangoes for just one summer. It is pretty much doable, right mommy?

But there’s no harm in indulging in the unripe ones! Have that spicy mango pickle no problem and give us a smile.

4. Overly ripe bananas

 Bananas are an irreplaceable component of a healthy morning breakfast along with that buttered toast and boiled egg. Yeah and I cannot blame you! But overly ripe bananas that are bananas having brown spots over them have a wide range of glycemic index values and minimum is 54.

The glycemic index varies widely and can be even 70 or more. So, it is better avoided in diabetics or preferably ate in moderation. You can also substitute overly ripe bananas with those that have a green outer cover and make sure to eat them before they turn yellow and get those brown spots. That is just an indicator of increased sugar content and so eat wisely!

5. Dried apricots

 Dried apricots may seem all sweet and good but diabetics should really steer clear of dry fruits and most importantly dried apricot. The glycemic index of dried apricot is around 53 which is moderately low. But the problem lies elsewhere.

Dried fruits just are devoid of the water content which tends to make us eat more of them to feel full and as a result that might significantly increase the blood sugar level and it is particularly dangerous if you have gestational diabetes.

It is always better not to take any risks when you are pregnant so we have to cut these off for a bit too. And if you really must eat them then please consciously make an effort to limit the number of dried apricots you choose to consume. That is all about the top 5 bad fruits that should be avoided as much as possible in gestational diabetes.

Bottom line

Gestational diabetes is nothing to be worried about. It will automatically go away once the gestational or pregnancy period is over. Rarely it does lead to life long diabetes but again that is just extremely rare and we need not worry about it now and let us hope for the best.

That being said, let me tell you a relieving fact. Gestational diabetes does not take away all your fruit freedom though. You can of course occasionally indulge in the fruits with high glycemic index but again WATCH IT! Nothing is good in excessive amounts and nothing is that bad when taken in a small amount.

Moderate your eating consciously. Since being gestational diabetes commonly occurs in overweight women so it is always better if you try and lose those extra pounds. Consult your doctor and also check out some fun exercises on the internet! Additionally, physical activity also maintains that good blood circulation and it is really helpful for the little one, so why not?

So, follow the do’s and don’ts and stay safe and healthy during the remaining months of your pregnancy. I wish you all the best and yeah congratulations once again on your pregnancy!

I hope you found this really helpful and informative and see you soon in our next article!

 

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What is the Best Diabetic diet during Pregnancy for Indians?

Diabetic diet during Pregnancy

Diabetes during pregnancy can have two major forms. Either it can be gestational diabetes which develops particularly during diabetes and doesn’t have any past history or it can be ongoing diabetes of type 1 or type 2 with which the person is already diagnosed and that further creates the need for more intense care throughout the term.

In India, people mostly have meals rich in carbohydrates and less in protein. Contrary to this, an ideal diabetic diet during pregnancy should be more in proteins and less in carbohydrates, that is why Indian women need to put special emphasize on the kind of food they eat during pregnancy. This proportion gets even worse in rural areas. The prevalence of gestational diabetes in India is somewhere between 15% – 40%, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh being major contributors every year. Now that is something to worry about and all these poor ratios directly correspond with improper diet and lack of other healthy habits in expectant mothers.

Complications linked with diabetes during pregnancy

If a woman is already suffering from diabetes, her concerns bloom up as pregnancy puts more demand on the body for healthier nutrients and increased stamina.

On the other hand, the majority of women are likely to develop diabetes during pregnancy duration itself somewhere between 24 – 30th week. Gestational diabetes arises when the body’s insulin production is not enough to counterbalance with placental hormones. To give you a better illustration of the problem, the placenta is an organ that specifically develops during pregnancy and forms a bridge between the developing fetus and your body.

Apart from its major functions of providing blood, oxygen and essential nutrients, it does produces some hormones necessary for good growth and development of the fetus. As the baby grows, the placenta produces more and more hormones and ultimately, a stage comes when these hormones of placenta surpass the amount of insulin triggering a rise in blood sugar levels.

Here is the basic synopsis of the complications that may occur as a result of gestational diabetes :

  1. Miscarriages – the condition which is the worst nightmare for every mother but however, the truth is that high blood sugar levels during pregnancy can cause birth defects, miscarriage, and severe other complications.
  2. Macrosomia – babies born to diabetic women are bigger in size and possess more weight, a condition called “macrosomia“. As mothers have high sugars in their bodies, their babies also acquire excessive sugar through the placenta. This stimulates the baby pancreas to produce more insulin and excess of sugar is absorbed by cells of the liver and entire body converting them into fats and it is a well-known fact that more the amount of fat in the body, more will be the weight of the body.
  3. Need for cesarean delivery – such kind of babies will be too large to be delivered through the birth canal. Consequently, normal delivery is not possible and doctors go with the decision of performance cesarean or C-section delivery.
  4. Premature delivery – early births or premature deliveries are other common conditions linked with gestational diabetes. Doctors also recommend it as when normal delivery through the birth canal can not be possible due to the larger size of an infant.
  5. Respiratory disorders – lungs aren’t mature enough and strong which makes breathing difficult for newborn babies. Doctors assist the newly born with extra care and medication.
  6. Hypoglycemia – babies born to women with diabetes are more often prone to low blood sugar levels after parturition, probably because their insulin levels are already much higher. Intravenous intake of glucose is recommended by doctors under such situations.
  7. Shoulder dystocia – this is when the baby sustains several injuries during labor because the head of the infant gets stuck inside the mother’s pelvic region. The most affected area is the collar bone of the baby.
  8. Type 2 diabetes – babies born to mothers suffering from diabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes in their later life.

Prevention and control of diabetes during pregnancy 

Women with pre-existing type 1/type 2 diabetes as well as those with gestational diabetes can still have healthy and smooth pregnancies provided that they persuade the strict adoption of all necessary measures and medications as instructed by their specialists and dieticians.

Gestational diabetes generally develops around the 24th week of pregnancy yet to substantiate the good health of mother and child, doctors conduct all the compulsory tests as a part of the prenatal care plan. Increase your visits and consult your physician more often during the gestation term even when you feel comfortable because sometimes the symptoms appear delayed but our small careless acts can cost us a lot. Be extra alert if you are meeting any of the following criteria;

  • Age greater than 25
  • Family history of someone developing similar issues during their pregnancy
  • You are obese or have more weight than usual

The risk of gestational diabetes increases four folds under the above-mentioned factors. Make sure you are able to abolish all such things or else be well-prepared for crucial health precautions for your pregnancy period.

The symptoms that appear are common as in type 2 diabetes, for instance, you will feel thirsty more repeatedly with regular trails of nausea, vomiting, headache, and frequent urination follows. If you have increased blood sugar, then there is a fair probability that you will be having high blood pressure too, particularly during the pregnancy term. Preeclampsia is when pregnant women suffer from high blood pressure accompanied by protein deficiency, change in vision, fierce headaches extending the threat to malfunctioning of organs like kidney and liver.

Doctors preferably execute with HbA1c test to check for diabetes during the gestation period as this accurately gives an overview of blood sugar of body over the time period of the preceding three months. Some more inclusions can be made towards successful monitoring of hyperglycemia in expectant mothers;

  • Turn on to healthy food low in saturated fats and calories to curb obesity and blood sugar spikes
  • Eat more of fruits rich in fiber and green leafy vegetables
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes daily. If you find it troublesome to continue for 30 minutes then take regular breaks in between the short term workouts. Even simple deep breathing mediation therapy is a promising therapy to alleviate your health.
  • Weight management is the key to governing your blood sugar levels, especially during pregnancy. Although weight loss is something not considered for expecting women you may have to lose some calories if you are already obese or overweight to lessen the chances for the arrival of further complications.
  • Consult the doctor as early as possible while diagnosis for other childcare check-ups.

Ideal diet for diabetic Indians during pregnancy

People with diabetes require continuous medication and spanning of disease with a perfectly balanced diet coupled with good humor and a healthy mind. Only then, diabetes can be triumphantly controlled by the patient. The conditions get more convoluted when diabetes synergizes pregnancy. Now, obviously, the body will demand extra care and nutrition to cope up with the multifarious changes happening in the physiological system of human beings. Each and every expectant woman must know about all that to indulge as well as what to eradicate from the diet.

Get a glimpse of the best nutrients and food to perfectly satiate your diabetic needs during pregnancy.

Folic acid more commonly known as vitamin B9 is a vitamin with multiple benefits the body requires for healthy growth and development. If you consume it during your term, it will protect your baby from neural tube defects, therefore, you must add it to your diet chart.

folic acid Diabetic diet during Pregnancy

Additional protein demand is put forward by the body to maintain the hormonal imbalances and a lot of other biological phenomena happening in the body at the time of expectancy. Normally, your body demands 60 grams of protein a day but this amount is further extended to 80 grams per day in pregnant women. An additional 20 grams of protein is going to play a significant role in providing you the strength to survive the changes your body is going through. These changes prominently consist of the widening of the uterus, strengthening of the myometrium to carry the baby inside the womb, development of mammary glands, proper functioning of glands which synthesize and secretes essential hormones for favorable pregnancy.

Milk, pulses, kidney beans, legumes, and lentils are excellent sources of proteins, especially vegetarians. Non-vegetarians can go for seafood as well. Besides, protein has the remarkable property of curbing the postprandial rise in blood sugar levels which makes them the most dominant nutrient to inculcate in pregnancy diet charts.

Switch to complex carbohydrates rather than simple and refined ones.

Some of you might not be aware that carbohydrates also come in compositional variations among them. Complex carbohydrates are just like strings of myriad sugar molecules bundled together as long entangled chains. These carbohydrates are appreciably good to eat for controlling hikes in blood sugar levels as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibers much exclusively needed by the body. Instead, simple and refined carbohydrates accelerate the blood sugar to threatened aspects. He best sources of complex carbohydrates are peas, whole grains, vegetables, millets, and beans.

Never skip meals because this can make you obese. Also, do not eat too many calories at once. Divide your calories among the interval of three meals appropriately and make sure you are not eating more carbohydrates than the permitted amounts.

Orange Diabetic diet during Pregnancy

Low Glycemic Index (GI) foods with value no more than 50 should be given preference. These can be whole-grain cereals (not starch cereals), vegetables like peas and raw carrots, fruits such as apples, oranges, and strawberries.

Unsaturated fats are deemed as the most healthy type among all the fats. These assist the body to meet the extra burden which pregnancy and diabetes together impose on you providing you sufficient stamina and energy. After all, fats are known to be a storehouse of energy and provide strength in times of emergency and long term needs. To get enough of unsaturated fats, eat nuts, olive oil, avocados, and peanut oil.

Diabetic diet during Pregnancy

Must have bedtime snacks as a part of the diabetes management routine. You might be wondering why doing this is so important? This is to curtail the crisis of low blood sugar levels in the morning literally termed as ” Somogyi effect” for which the reasons are not so apparently known. The most suitable bedtime snacks list encompasses milk, fruits, nuts, cucumber slices, roasted chickpeas, sugar-free Greek yogurt, popcorns, boiled eggs, and apples. 

Foods to avoid for diabetes during pregnancy

Refined carbohydrates need to be entirely eradicated out of your diet chart for better health management. These are extremely hazardous for people with any type of diabetes. Highly processed foods, ketchup, alcohols, and fast foods are some potential foods containing such undesired carbohydrates.

Starchy foods are another unwholesome diet for the same problem. Rigidly distant away potatoes, white bread, white rice, and pasta.

Eatables with extra added sugars which possibly are cakes, biscuits, puddings, pies, candies, soda and of course, readymade juices for which we often have cravings but right at this moment health is more important than anything else not just for yourself but also for the sake of your young one which is perhaps the incredibly valuable to you.

Concluding words

Diabetes is becoming an ever-increasing disease day by day grudging numerous victims each year. Moreover, diabetes during pregnancy is even more deplorable situation. All the medications and remedies need to be doubled up to meet the heightened burden raised by pregnancy bonded with the disease. As far as talking about diabetic diet during pregnancy, particularly for Indians, they need to improve a lot upon their diet primarily when we know that rice is the staple food of the majority of people here but this rice is something not at all an adequate choice for diabetics.

A lot of more refinements are needed for precisely tracking and tackling diabetic impediments during pregnancy. A healthy diet through balanced regular meals integrated with continual exercises and checkups along with other medications will altogether help to conquer the difficulty. The bottom line is that women with diabetes can definitely have hurdle free pregnancies once they retain correct insights of the problem so that they can be prepared in advance and follow all the right measures in a disciplinary intact manner.