Easy Gestational Diabetes Treatment Options For Pregnant Women

According to the American Diabetes Association, gestational diabetes is discovered during routine testing during the 24th week of gestation – and impacts approximately 18% of pregnancies each year. The diagnosis of this condition can be overwhelming for expectant mothers and fathers-to-be. Questions about the health of the mother and baby during the pregnancy and the safety of diabetes treatment options come to mind, in addition to other factors such as delivery and health risks after pregnancy.

See this post for conventional (non-gestational) diabetes treatment options for women.

About Gestational Diabetes

Very little is known about the factors that cause gestational diabetes, but it can occur at any point during a pregnancy. It causes a condition called hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar which is triggered by the development of the placenta. As the placenta grows, it releases hormones into the mother’s bloodstream preventing the breakdown and absorption of glucose.

Why Treatment is Essential

Untreated gestational diabetes can endanger the health of the mother and unborn child. The mother’s body will be left unable to break down the sugars needed to sustain vital body functions, and this condition becomes increasingly dangerous with moderate to high untreated forms of hyperglycemia. And while the risk of birth defects is minimal, it can increase the threat of other health dangers for the baby such as:

  • Low blood sugar at birth
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Increased risk of diabetes type 2 during childhood and into adulthood
  • Increased chance of developing obesity

Are Diabetes Treatments During Pregnancy Dangerous?

The gestational diabetes treatment options offered today are safe for both mother and baby. In fact, not all cases will require medication.

Treatment Options for Gestational Diabetes

The diabetes treatment options used are very similar to those used to treat the type 2 form of this disorder. In otherwirds they kind of mimic pre-diabetes treatment options to some degree. In fact, many of the remedies for this condition do not use insulin. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your physician may recommend some (or all) of the following suggestions to be used in a treatment plan, including:

  • Medication – In some cases, the use of insulin injections or oral medications will be required to control high sugar levels associated with gestational diabetes. However, this solution is only used in less than 20% of cases.
  • Constant Monitoring of Sugar Levels with a Glucose Monitor – All diabetes are should monitor their glucose levels on a regular basis. But pregnant women will be prescribed a regimented routine with increased testing frequency. In most cases, a glucose monitor will be used on waking, after meals and before bedtime. This may mean tests are performed 5 or more times a day. Because performing finger sticks can be painful or irritating to fingers after repeated testing, consider purchasing a monitor that offers alternate site testing or AST. This blood sugar monitor is our recommended monitor for many reasons.
  • Eating a Balanced Diet – Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in processed sugars will keep you and your baby safe from the risks associated with high blood sugar. Also, it will end up improving your overall health and reduce the risk of your unborn child from developing obesity as they grow. Loosing weight is not recommended during pregnancy – but if weight is an issue, your physician will help you develop a plan to encourage weight management or healthy weight gain.
  • Routine Exercise – Developing a safe exercise plan with your doctor will reduce the complications gestational diabetes cause, and help the body become less insulin resistant.

With the help of a physician, fining the best gestational diabetes treatment options is easy. Most parents will find comfort in the fact most of the methods are natural and only require moderate lifestyle changes. When medication is used, studies have proven insulin is safe to use for both mother and baby – with treatment discontinuing after delivery.

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