Gestational Diabetes

You may already know… or maybe have been wondering why I’ve been trying new recipes with soy milk or using agave sweetener and looking at nutritional information at restaurants but a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a relatively common condition where I am either not able to produce enough insulin or have developed a bit of insulin resistance.

First I did a 1 hour glucose tolerance test where I had to drink an extremely sweet orange flavored 50gm glucose drink and test my glucose 1 hour after. Since it came back higher than normal, I had to do a 3 hour glucose tolerance test where you fast for at least 8 to 10 hours then go to the lab to have your blood drawn before eating anything, drink another extremely sweet orange flavored 100gm glucose drink and have your blood tested at 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours. Three out of four of my numbers were high so I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (usually two out of four being high is enough).

So I went for diabetes and nutritional education and have been testing my blood sugars four times a day. Right before breakfast, 1 hour after breakfast, 1 hour after lunch, and 1 hour after dinner. I’ve been following a low carbohydrate diet consisting or small meals and snacks throughout the day. The first week was really tough as I just didn’t know what to eat and it was just hard to be eating so frequently.

The recommended carbohydrate diet is as follows:
(1 serving of carbohydrates = 15 grams)

8am Breakfast = 2 servings
10am Snack = 1 serving
12:30pm Lunch = 3 servings
3:30pm Snack = 1 to 2 servings
6pm Dinner = 3 servings
9:30pm Snack = 1 to 2 servings

Of course mixed into all of this includes proteins, vegetables, fruits, and fats.
And to give you an idea on how much 15 grams of carbohydrates are:
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 8oz cup of milk
1 small apple
1/3 cup cooked white rice
2 small tangerines

I’ve never been a rice lover (my family will back that up) but since I haven’t really been able to eat any, I feel like I’m craving it. I know that I can’t tolerate white rice well but brown rice has been working out a bit better for me. I’ve been learning a lot about “low glycemic index” carbohydrates as these tend not to make your glucose levels spike as high or as fast.

So far everything has been going well. I lost a few pounds the first week because I as having trouble finding the type of foods I wanted to eat but have finally had time to shop and found myself some things I enjoy eating. Dinner is still the hardest meal of the day because I want noodles or rice but the portions I’m allowed are so small that it’s not satisfying.

My best find for a snack is FAGE Greek yogurt which per 8 oz (1/2 cup) has 7g carbohydrates with 15g protein. Protein is more filling and with the low carbohydrate content, I can still add my slightly sweetened granola for my mid-morning snack.

I am monitored by a diabetes nurse weekly by telephone and since my numbers have been good and within range, I am now allowed to decrease the number of glucose checks. Now I have to perform daily morning before breakfast checks but only three times a week do I have to do the whole sha-bang (checks 4X/day). Yay for me! Per my nurse practitioner, baby seems to be growing normally and been kicking vigorously (15-20 mins to kick 10 times) so I hope I’m on my way to having a healthy baby.

Since I still like my baked goods, I’ll be experimenting more in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for some trial (and error) recipes!

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