I was just diagnosed last week with gestational diabetes and I felt bloody awful about it. Still not feeling particularly great about it but it is what it is.
What happened with me (UK Bee so may differ):
I went the day after diagnosis to see a specialist diabetic midwife. She explained about GD being caused by hormones and not in anyway by diet. The pancreas basically can’t function properly with the added pressure of the hormones the placenta is producing.
If your sugar levels remain uncontrolled this can lead to an overly large baby which has complications for birth. It can also lead to low blood sugar levels in the baby after birth. There are also risks of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus later in life for you.
After she explained all that she have me a blood sugar monitor. I have to check my sugar levels in the morning before eating, and 1 hour after breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a prick on the finger and the drop of blood goes on to a test strip. This goes in a machine which gives my reading 5 seconds later. I was petrified about this but actually it’s really not bad at all.
I am diet controlled at the moment and that has basically meant I’ve cut down significantly on carbs. I have no sweet things at all and small amounts of whole grain/brown carbs. I always always pair any carb with protein and fat. I.e. A small slice of toast I will eat with avocado and bacon or halloumi for breakfast. Strawberries I eat in a smoothie with spinach and Greek yoghurt and coconut milk.
The idea behind pairing is that protein and fat slow the release of the sugars from the carbs.
It’s been tough to do. Carbs were my go to for everything and so the adjustment week was hard. But I’ve managed to keep my sugar levels within normal limits with this.
The other thing I do is a 10-15 min brisk walk IMMEDIATELY after all meals. I.e. I have my last bite and immediately get up and go. This increases my insulin sensitivity and helps keep the levels down. I also stay reasonably active for the rest of the hour before testing I.e. Do some chores after the walk like the dishes, or folding clothes.
I had my first clinic yesterday and they were pleased with my levels. I had a scan at the appointment to check on baby’s size and it was all fine. I can continue controlling it with diet.
The insulin resistance ramps up after 32 weeks because of the hormone surge so I may not be able to keep it under control with diet going forward.
I’ve been told that the next steps are tablets to stimulate the pancreas (metformin) and then insulin injections if that doesn’t work sufficiently.
I will not be allowed to go over my due date and may be induced early dependant on how my sugar levels are closer to the time. I also have to give birth in the hospital because of the possible need for extra tests and monitoring. This didn’t bother me as I was planning to go to the hospital rather than a midwife centre anyway.
I will also have to stay for 24 hours at least afterwards as the baby will need monitoring for sugar levels.
I hope that this helps a little. Please remember that this is manageable, and it’s so much better that’s it’s been diagnosed now.
I found the following website really really helpful http://www.gestationaldiabetes.co.uk if you’re in the UK, they have a linked Facebook group. I suspect there will be similar if you are in a different country.
Hugs…. It will be ok.