Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Diet
Gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM is a condition among pregnant women who have high levels of blood sugar. The elevation of the blood sugar usually occurs during the other half of the pregnancy period. This usually happens when the insulin produced by the pregnant woman is not enough for the pregnancy. There are multiple ways to screen and diagnose for GDM. The most common of which is through fasting for 4-8 hours. Blood sample may then be drawn to determine blood glucose levels.
Symptoms of GDM
Symptoms experienced by women who are positive for GDM would include blurred vision, fatigue, frequent infections like yeast infections, increased thirst and urination, nausea and vomiting and weight loss despite the increase in appetite. Some women, however, are asymptomatic. These symptoms also disappear the moment the woman has given birth and blood glucose levels return to normal.
Most pregnant women who tests positively for gestational diabetes mellitus would follow a treatment plan along with their health care provider. Treatment plans would usually include monitoring blood glucose levels, following the proper gestational diabetes mellitus diet, engaging in regular physical activity and keeping a healthy weight. Other treatment plans would require the supplementation of folic acid just like in any normal pregnancies and also through the use of anti-diabetic drugs or of insulin.
Management through Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Diet
The first step in following a gestational diabetes mellitus diet is to seekreferral for nutritional counseling by a licensed dietitian. Together with the dietitian, the pregnant woman would work on achieving weight control during the entire pregnancy. In addition, she would be advised on how to meet the guidelines and the nutritional requirement expected of her during her pregnancy. The dietitian is also the best person who can provide sample menu lists regarding diabetes meal planning guides. Individualization of the gestational diabetes mellitus diet is also necessary. This would be based on the woman’s physical condition, the kind of diabetes present and the levels of sugar the pregnant woman has.
Most gestational diabetes mellitus diet would include eating 3 meals and 1 to 3 snacks in between meals. Snacks at bedtime are also necessary to prevent hypoglycemia. High fiber foods are encouraged as they help in controlling blood sugar by promotingdetoxification. Fatty foods especially saturated fats and protein-rich foods should be taken in moderation. Fruit and vegetables are greatly approved.
Other methods would include engaging in physical activity as it helps promote lowered blood glucose. Keeping a meal plan is also greatly encouraged to be able to continuously monitor food intake alongside blood glucose levels. The use of oral hypoglycemic agents, however, is not advised because of the possible complications it may bring toward the fetus. Studies and research are continuously on-going regarding this aspect of GDM. Insulin is still the drug of choice but requires the prescription of a physician before usage.
A carefully planned gestational diabetes mellitus diet is therefore necessary for the GDM to be properly managed. With luck, a pregnant woman and her baby can go unscathed after the pregnancy if the woman carefully follows the treatment plans.
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