Prevent and Manage Gestational Diabetes
The prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing among women worldwide prompting most hospitals to include it as part of maternal antenatal care profile. Gestational diabetes mellitus is a RISK condition for the Abnormal glucose metabolism that initially occurs, or is first recognized, during pregnancy. Expectant women who develop Gestational diabetes are at risk for pregnancy complications, including Hypertensive disorders, obstructed labor and preterm labor.
Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM).
Known risk factors for gestational diabetes mellitus among expectant Women are genetic and epigenetic factors. Of genetic factors, research evidence shows that about 15% of pregnant women diagnosed with GDM had a history of diabetes in their family.
Of epigenetic factors, unhealthy dietary patterns and lack of exercise are considered known risk behaviors for developing gestational diabetes. OVEREATING is the main cause of developing GDM among women. Excess energy turns into body fat thus affecting insulin sensitivity and beta cell dysfunction. In addition, Insulin resistance during pregnancy promotes developing of GDM among overweight and obese pregnant women. Women who usually consume sweetened drinks, desserts, and processed foods are more likely to develop GDM. These unhealthy foods contain high advanced Glycation end products (AGEs) values. AGEs molecules disturb glucose Homeostasis and cell metabolism.
Management of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.
- Medical Nutrition Therapy.
Complex carbohydrates found in whole unprocessed foods, such as brown rice, legume, seed and nuts, are recommended including fruits and vegetables. I advise you to avoid refined carbohydrate, such as sweetened drinks, fruit juice, carbonated drinks, and drinks containing fructose. You should prioritize good quality protein, such as egg, fish, poultry, nuts, and tofu. Red meat and processed meat should be avoided. Foods containing fat should be limited to not more than ¼ of your diet. Foods that contain high quality fat, such as omega-3 and 6 are the best in preference to the usual fatty foods.
Exercise during pregnancy is valuable in lowering blood glucose levels and prevents excessive weight gain. Normal Pregnant women and those with Gestational diabetes should be advised to do regular exercise 20-30 minutes at least 3 times a week.
Prevention, early detection and management of GDM is an effective strategy to improve Pregnancy outcomes.