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Gestational Diabetes Treatment

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Gestational Diabetes Treatment
You can manage your gestational diabetes with healthy meals plan, physically more active and drug or insulin treatment.

Gestational diabetes treatment

To keep your baby healthy and avoid complications during pregnancy and delivery, it is essential to control your blood glucose level.

Studies have shown that 70-85% of women diagnosed with gestational diabetes achieve successful glycemic control with lifestyle modification only [Diabetes Care 2017; 40(Suppl. 1):114–119.].

Your treatment strategies may include:

  1. Monitoring your blood sugar - you may need to check your blood sugar four to five times a day; first thing in the morning and after meals to maintain blood sugar within a healthy range.
  2. Healthy diet - Eating the right kinds of food in a correct portion is the best ways to control your blood sugar.
  3. Exercise - Regular physical activity plays a key role in every woman's wellness before, during and after pregnancy. Aerobic and resistant training combination is considered to be effective for women with gestational diabetes.
  4. Medication - If diet and exercise are not enough, then you may need insulin injections to lower your blood sugar. Between 10 and 20 percent of women with gestational diabetes need insulin to reach their blood sugar goals. 
  5. Close monitoring of your baby - An important to closely observe your baby's growth and development with repeated ultrasounds or other tests.

Medical nutrition therapy for Gestational diabetes 

Nutrition intervention for women with gestational diabetes has been recognized as the cornerstone of therapy. 

Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is the primary therapy for 30 to 90% of women diagnosed with gestational diabetes. 

Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) plays an important role in the management of gestational diabetes, it has a significant impact on mother and newborns. Ref: Diabetes Care 21(Suppl. 2): B91–B98, 1998 & Current Diabetes Reports 4:377–386, 2004.

Goals for Medical Nutrition Therapy in gestational diabetes

  1. Optimal nutrition for proper development of the fetus.
  2. Optimal nutrition for mother’s health.
  3. Maternal normal glucose level.

The nutritional requirements of gestational diabetes are similar for all pregnancies, but special attention is paid to carbohydrates. MNT was defined as a carbohydrate-controlled meal plan that promotes adequate nutrition with appropriate weight gain, normal glycemia, and the absence of ketosis. 

To define carbohydrate-controlled, you need to define the total amount of carbohydrate, use of foods with sugar, carbohydrate distribution, glycemic index, fiber, and artificial sweeteners.
Stop tasting sweets (occasionally you can enjoy sweet with a limit). Eat three small meals and 1 to 3 snacks per day. Maintain your meal’s time. Include fibers in your meals in the form of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains.

Exercise for Gestational diabetes

Exercise is an obvious adjunct therapy to MNT for women with GDM. One study of the acute effect of exercise on glucose levels showed a 23 mg/dl (1.3 mmol/l) drop in glucose values at 30 min. Ref: The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 10:52–58, 2001.

Women should monitor fetal activity and blood glucose levels before and after exercise limited to 15 to 30 min. Women who have been physically active before pregnancy can continue an active lifestyle.

Exercise has a powerful potential to assist with blood glucose control. Due to the uncertainty of risks and benefits of exercise during pregnancy, women tend to avoid exercise. But, exercise is both safe and beneficial in the treatment of gestational diabetes. 

Gestational diabetes recommended to do both aerobic and resistance exercise at a moderate intensity for a minimum of 3 times a week for 30 to 60 min each time.

Regular walking and swimming help maintain the health of mother & baby as well as help reach your blood glucose targets.

Insulin therapy for Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes who's Medical Nutrition Therapy failed to achieve a 2-hour postprandial glucose level of less than 120 mg/dL, need insulin therapy.

Some with gestational diabetes need insulin to reach their blood glucose targets. Insulin is not harmful to your baby but high blood sugar level is harmful. 

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