What is gestational diabetes and how do you deal with it? In this episode, Dana shares her personal GD story and the ladies discuss what GD is, the risk factors involved, how to deal with it and tips for all those mamas out there if you find yourself in Dana’s shoes! || Full show notes & chicken zoodle recipe at the theladiesdish.com/ldp38 | Get in touch:firstname.lastname@example.org
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Interview Game Question (4:44) Tell us your earliest childhood memory.
Dana and her childhood friend Kate got into some trouble with snails….listen to find out what they did! Oh, kids!
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What’s Cookin’? (8:32)
Kate shares a recipe for Chicken Zoodle Soup this week. Doesn’t that look delicious?! It’s a great way to get in your bone broth – even in the summertime! Get the recipe here.
Today’s Topic: Gestational Diabetes (10:00)
Dana was recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes. In this episode we’re going to discuss what gestational diabetes is and how she’s managing it in her pregnancy.
Even if you aren’t pregnant this episode can be helpful because blood sugar control is something that an incredibly high number of people struggle with and don’t really aware of it. Blood sugar control problems manifest themselves in different ways - you could get hangry between meals, you could have cravings for sugar, mood and energy problems. It’s all connected and if it’s not addressed, it can turn into insulin resistance and then into type 2 diabetes.
How is gestational diabetes different from type 1 or type 2 diabetes and how do they diagnose you, Dana? (14:00)
At the 28-week mark in your pregnancy the doctor will register you for what they call the Glucose Challenge. This is an initial screening to see if you might have GD. What they have you do is drink about 10 ounces of a syrupy beverage that contains about 50 grams of sugar. Then an hour later, they draw your blood and test how high your blood sugar is. If you are over a certain threshold they send you for a 3-hour glucose test, which is what Dana experienced.
The 3-hour test is the same thing, however you have to do it fasted and drink MORE sugar (100 grams) and they draw your blood 4 times: fasted, 1 hour, 2 hours and 3 hours. So if you are over the threshold that they set for two of these three readings, then they automatically diagnose you with GD.
What is GD? (18:34)
Essentially it’s insulin resistance during pregnancy; also called carbohydrate intolerance. What that means is that your body stops responding as it normally should to the insulin hormone, which is in charge of storing glucose (blood sugar) in your body.
The weird thing about pregnancy is that even without GD, it naturally induces insulin resistance. This is because of our natural evolution and being able to survive during periods of famine and starvation - especially during when foods rich in carbs were scarce. Moms bodies adapted to not take too much energy and divert nutrients to the baby as a mechanism for survival. Even though we live in a world with an abundance of food NOW, the adaptation now works against us.
Also, as pregnancy progresses we ladies release an ever increasing amount of hormones (estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, placental hormones) and insulin resistance can get worse.
Controlling Gestational Diabetes (22:34)
One resource was very helpful for Dana: Lily Nichols’ book called Real Food for Gestational Diabetes. She’s an RD and worked hundreds of pregnant women and trains medical professionals on how to address diabetes during pregnancy.
Diet • Need to keep blood sugar steady throughout the day - include carbs at every meal, but not too much. Conventional docs recommend 45 g of carbs at each meal and 15-20 gram snacks. This was TOO much for Dana! (# of carbs and sheer amount of food) • For Dana, snacking was key - especially my bedtime snack. • Meal timing and spacing
Exercise • Walk or low impact workout AFTER a meal to help use up glucose and keep blood sugar levels low.
Medication • Some women need insulin or other prescription drugs to help them manage their blood sugar during pregnancy.
Risks of not managing GD (39:40):
• Birth defects • Large babies • Birth injuries - shoulders of large babies can dislocate or become stuck during delivery - can lead to neurological damage to the infant and injury for the mom • Hypoglycemia - baby’s blood sugar too low at birth • Jaundice • High rates of C-sections • Higher risk of preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure) • Permanent changes to a child’s metabolism - elevated blood sugar can “turn on” genes that predispose the baby to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in their lifetime.
So how are you doing now and what advice do you have for moms who are dealing with GD or who want to make sure they have healthy pregnancies? (43:20)
• Test your blood sugar before you get pregnant or in early pregnancy. Find out how your metabolism works. • A GD diagnosis isn’t a death sentence for you or your baby. Look at it as a chance to really focus on yourself and your self care and the health of you and your baby. • Talk to your doctor and do what works for you and your body. I DO NOT eat the recommended 195g of carbs per day. It’s too much for me. But I made a deal with my doctor to send over a food log along with my blood sugar readings each week. • Ask questions and seek out professional guidance!
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