Frequently Asked Questions

Gestational Diabetes diagnosis and treatment

If in a nondiabetic lady, blood glucose level increases during pregnancy, this is called Gestational diabetes.

Yes, it must get glucose level checked once with detection of pregnancy, and subsequently, screening for Gestational Diabetes should be done.

Most females have no symptoms of gestational diabetes. For its diagnosis, a laboratory test is necessary.

To detect gestational diabetes, Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) has to be performed. This is done during 24 – 28 weeks of pregnancy.

The most widely practiced recommendation followed is given by American Diabetes Association. All pregnant women should come empty stomach for this test. A blood sample to be withdrawn for fasting glucose test. Then 75 grams of anhydrous glucose should be given in a glass of water. Blood samples for glucose tests should be collected after 1 and 2 hours after glucose ingestion. Thus, three models are ordered that is 0 hour, 1 hour, and 2 hours.

Increased levels of sugar during pregnancy are harmful to the baby. It must be controlled by diet modifications and, if required, insulin therapy.

Diet should be balanced with 50 % Calories contributed by carbs or starches, 30 % Calories from fat, and 20 % Calories from protein. Indian diet, mainly vegetarian diet, is loaded with starch; hence significant diet modification is to cut down carb intake. This is further discussed in detail in our article: Diet modifications for diabetes and pregnancy

Though few oral pills like Metformin are used off-label to treat GDM, as per recommendations of most international and national guidelines, GDM should be treated with Insulin as this is considered the most effective and safest option.

Insulin is given with a beautiful needle, which is almost painless. Every patient is given Insulin according to their requirements, from once daily to 4 times daily. To adjust the Insulin dose, glucometer testing is needed. The treatment aims to have fasting glucose between 60-95 and post-meal sugar between 100-120 mg.

Pregnancy, Diabetes, and Diet

When diabetes coexists with pregnancy, a change in diet can help in the control of sugar levels. Thus diet changes are an essential aspect of managing pregnancy with diabetes.

This depends on weight gain during pregnancy. In general, most normal-weight patients require Calories in the range from 1800 to 2200

Diet composition should be such that Carbs provide up to 50% of total calorie intake, while 30% Calories are from Fats and 20% from proteins. In addition, all pregnant women should prefer a high fiber diet and consume food items with a low Glycemic Index, that is, with less glucose-raising properties.

Following are such food items

  • Sugar
  • Jaggery
  • Sweets
  • Sago (Sabudana)
  • Banana
  • Sapota
  • Sitaphal
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Poha, etc.

. Following food items with Carb Calories contributing to 50 % or less to be preferred :

  • All types of Pulses
  • Sprouts
  • Chickpeas or Chole
  • Kidney Beans or Rajma
  • Besan
  • Egg Whites

Food items like Paneer, Cashews, Almonds, Pistachios, Walnuts, and Peanuts should be added to the diet. It's essential to add green vegetables and all types of Salads to your diet.

During pregnancy, it is recommended to divide your day into six meals. The important meals are – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Between these meals, there should be a time lag of five to six hours. Apart from that, it would help if you took a small meal three hours after every principal dinner.

Suppose that your fasting sugar level is higher than 100mg and post-meal sugar is higher than 140mg even after diet control. In that case, it is essential to consult a diabetes expert and initiate treatment