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.

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.