Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Halle Berry: I had diabetes during pregnancy

Here's another super-skinny celeb who has admitted to having gestational diabetes: Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry. Yet more proof that the 1 in 20 women who develop diabetes during pregnancy aren't always overweight women with bad eating habits!

To read the full story, click the link below:

Halle Berry: I had diabetes during pregnancy

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Want to prevent gestational diabetes? Try brushing your teeth more often

If you're trying to prevent or manage gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, here's some news you'll find interesting... A study done by a team of researchers at NYU has discovered a link between gum disease and gestational diabetes. Of the 256 women who participated in the study, 22 contracted gestational diabetes (that's a rate of 8.5%!). And of those 22 woman, ALL of them had significantly higher rates of gum inflammation and bacteria than the women who didn't get gestational diabetes.

... So, does this mean that brushing your teeth regularly and visiting your dentist will help you avoid gestational diabetes? Well, the jury's still out on that one... but paying extra attention to your oral hygiene certainly wouldn't hurt! At the very least, it'll give you a brighter smile -- and with that baby growing in your belly, you certainly have a lot to smile about! To read more about this story, please go to: Gum disease linked with gestational diabetes risk

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pill effective against gestational diabetes

Just in case you don't want to treat gestational diabetes naturally, or your diagnosis is so severe (and your blood sugar levels are dangerously high) that you absolutely must have some prescription help, a new study gives more options to moms worried about gestational diabetes

Pill effective against gestational diabetes
By Gene Emery

BOSTON (Reuters) - The diabetes pill metformin is just as effective as insulin injections in treating women who develop diabetes during pregnancy, researchers in New Zealand and Australia reported on Wednesday.

So-called gestational diabetes surfaces in one out of every 20 pregnant women, and there has been concern that metformin might affect a fetus because the drug can cross the placenta."
Gestational diabetes help is available for everyone, and if this drug allows moms to skip injections of insulin, that's sure to help reduce stress levels for moms and their babies.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Got gestational diabetes? You're in good company

It's not just us "regular" moms -- turns out the famous, the fit and the fabulous can ALSO develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

It's a known fact that award-winning Mexican actress (and sexpot, heh) Salma Hayek had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy in 2007.

So did Mariska Hargitay of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" fame, when she was pregnant with her first child in 2005-2006. (In addition to having gestational diabetes, Hargitay has also publicly admitted to gaining -- and losing! -- 54 pounds during her pregnancy, so there's hope for us too, ladies! )

Finally, it's also been rumoured that Angelina Jolie is also dealing with gestational diabetes with her current pregnancy, although the famously private Jolie hasn't officially confirmed it. (No surprise there -- she hasn't even confirmed whether she's carrying twins or not!)

So if these women -- with their own personal chefs and physical trainers -- can develop gestational diabetes, then WE certainly shouldn't feel bad for developing it!

Sure, factors like diet and pre-pregnancy weight can play a huge role in whether a mom-to-be gets gestational diabetes... but they're clearly not the whole story. Random chance must have something to do it with, too -- at least in some people's cases.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

So you passed the gestational diabetes test? Doesn't mean you're in the clear

When I got the results back from my gestational diabetes test, I was overjoyed to learn I'd passed.

... But then I discovered that I'd just BARELY passed -- the cut-off was 78, and I scored 75.

Suddenly I didn't feel so great. Especially since I'd spent the week before the test scrupulously avoiding all refined wheat and sugar, and kept my overall carb intake to a bare minimum.
If I hadn't been eating such a carb-restricted diet, I would have failed the test for SURE.

Still... since I'd officially passed the gestational diabetes test, that meant I was free to resume my gummy-bear-munching, cereal-crunching ways, didn't it?

Um, nope.

Acting on my midwife's advice, I kept on avoiding refined wheat and sugar for the rest of my pregnancy. (And whaddya know, the horrible swelling I'd been experiencing in my hands and feet went away.)

Turns out that was a good thing -- a recent international study on gestational diabetes has discovered that babies born to women with even slightly higher-than-normal blood sugar levels are at increased risk for a range of pregnancy-related complications.

The study looked at more than 25,000 pregnant women from nine countries around the world, and focused on women who had blood sugar levels that were elevated, but not high enough to qualify as actual gestational diabetes. Here's what it discovered: even slightly elevated blood sugar levels led to greater risk of experiencing complications such as high birth weight, c-section deliveries, and pre-eclampsia.

You can read more about the study and its findings by clicking here: Gestational diabetes test might not tell the whole story.

SO... If you're like me and manage to just squeak beneath the cut-off point on your gestational diabetes test, that doesn't mean you're in the clear! Make sure your carb choices are wise ones. Choose healthy whole-grains over refined wheat or sugar, and eat lots of healthy veggies protein. Your body will thank you -- and so will your baby.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pre-pregnancy diabetes on the rise, gestational diabetes stable

Last month CBC Canada reported on a new study that showed how the number of women diagnosed with pre-pregnancy diabetes has more than doubled.

The rates for gestational diabetes, on the other hand, have remained steady. While the most common number cited for gestational diabetes is about 8%, this study found 7.5% in 1999 and 7.4% in 2005.

The highest incidence of diabetes was found in teenage moms aged 13 to 19 years old, a group in which the incidence increased fivefold over the course of the study.

Diabetes also doubled among women aged 20 to 39 and increased by 40 per cent among those women 40 and older.

These numbers fit with the tremendous increase in diabetes in North American society, but they also point out that gestational diabetes is still about 5 times more common.

For the full report, read the story link below:

Diabetes diagnoses before motherhood have doubled

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another sign of Gestational Diabetes

In the April issue of The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, there was a study linking gestational diabetes with a mother's weight gain before pregnancy.

From the looks of it, it seems to indicate that women who were gaining weight for any reason (lack of exercise and poor eating habits being the most common) were shown to be at a higher risk of gestational diabetes.

The good news is that these two factors are easy to control -- follow your healthy eating plan and get more exercise to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes!

Gestational diabetes linked to pre-pregnancy weight

By Joene Hendry

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women planning to become pregnant may decrease their likelihood of developing gestational diabetes by not gaining weight, study findings suggest.

Women who gained about 5 to 22 pounds per year during the 5 years prior to pregnancy were 2.5 times more likely to develop gestational diabetes, Dr. Monique M. Hedderson and colleagues report.

Gestational diabetes, marked by glucose intolerance that is first experienced or noticed during pregnancy, may require daily insulin injections and is associated with fetal complications. The condition usually resolves after childbirth.

Hedderson, of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, in Oakland, California, and colleagues assessed weight change during the 5 years prior to pregnancy using medical records from a large group of multiethnic women enrolled in a prepaid health plan in northern California.

From this group, the researchers identified 251 women who developed gestational diabetes and 204 who did not to serve as controls. The women all delivered a live infant between 1996 and 1998, the researchers report in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Hedderson's group compared how weight change, as opposed to maintaining a stable weight (plus or minus 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds per year), altered risk after allowing for factors known to be associated with developing gestational diabetes, such as age, ethnicity, number of previous births, and high body mass index.

"The association between weight gain and gestational diabetes was stronger among women who were not initially overweight or obese," Hedderson told Reuters Health.

As noted, women who gained from 2.3 to 10 kilograms per year had a 2.5-fold increased risk for gestational diabetes compared with women with stable weights. Gaining 1.1 to 2.2 kilograms a year (2.4 to 4.8 pounds) was associated with a small increased risk, while losing from 1.1 to 12.2 kilograms (up to nearly 27 pounds) per year did not significantly alter risk.

These findings suggest that weight gain within 5 years of pregnancy increases the risk for gestational diabetes, Hedderson and colleagues note. But the findings of this small study should be confirmed in larger groups, Hedderson added.

SOURCE: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, April 2008.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Diabetes in Pregnancy is on the rise - US News and World Report

Gestational Diabetes in the news: Here's a snippet of a great article in US News and World Report about how the growing diabetes epidemic is affecting pregnant mothers.

It's important to remember that Gestational Diabetes and diabetes during pregnancy (type 2 diabetes, or prepregnancy diabetes) are different.

Nonetheless, there are risks for mothers and children, so don't delay your testing and be sure to follow up on your treatment plan and diet!
Diabetes in Pregnancy Is on the Rise - US News and World Report: "Diabetes in Pregnancy Is on the Rise
By Lindsay Lyon
Posted April 28, 2008

"Having poorly controlled diabetes while pregnant can cause all sorts of harm, from stillbirths and miscarriages to birth defects. So experts are concerned that the number of women who already have diabetes by the time they conceive is rising rapidly: Between 1999 and 2005, the group doubled in size, growing significantly across all age, racial, and ethnic groups examined by Kaiser Permanent Southern California researchers, who report their findings in May's Diabetes Care. Different from gestational diabetes, a temporary type that some women develop well into pregnancy, prepregnancy diabetes can pose more of a threat to a developing fetus.

'A baby's organs form during the first five to eight weeks of pregnancy,' says Steven Gabbe, dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and an obstetrician who specializes in diabetes and pregnancy. 'If a mother's diabetes is poorly controlled, she can have up to a 25 percent risk of delivering a baby with a major malformation of the heart, brain, or skeleton."...

...Since gestational diabetes usually develops late in pregnancy, it doesn't cause the birth defects that pre-existing diabetes can. However, "there are risks associated with having gestational diabetes as well," cautions study author Jean Lawrence, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente. Marked by a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream, it can fatten babies, making them difficult to deliver and possibly necessitating a cesarean, and it can also set them up for future health problems. Even though gestational diabetes tends to disappear following delivery, women who have it are much more likely to do so again in later pregnancies; they're also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes down the road."

The Basics: What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is when your body has high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. It usually appears, if it's going to, during the second trimester, or early in the third.

The numbers vary, but overall, between 2-4% of pregnant women get diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Women who are older and have a history of diabetes in their family are at greater risk, and overweight women are far more likely than others to be at risk as well.

If you had gestational diabetes in your first pregnancy, it's a good bet you're at risk again.

Gestational diabetes can have serious effects on both the mother and baby. Although it can be an ongoing condition, around 90% of women see their symptoms clear up after birth.

During pregnancy, your body produces hormones (in the placenta) that disrupt the natural insulin levels in your body. This can lead to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and type 2 diabetes.

To ease your worries, go get tested. Health authorities in many areas, and most doctors now advise mandatory testing anywhere between 24 and 28 weeks of your pregnancy.

Women who experience more fatigue than normal, extreme thirst and frequent trips to the washroom (lots of bathroom trips and tiredness is normal, but only to a point!) should ask their doctor to get tested immediately.

Untreated gestational diabetes can lead to serious complications for the mother and the baby.

For example, you've got a greater risk of infection, mothers may have an excess of amniotic fluid, which can lead to premature birth, and you may need a C-section to deal with an overweight baby.

Children can be much larger than normal and can suffer from low calcium levels. They'll be more prone to obesity later in life. They can be hypoglycemic when they're first born, and they're more likely to suffer from jaundice if they were born early. There's also a greater risk of respiratory complications.

It's important to test for and treat gestational diabetes early.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Worried about Gestational Diabetes?

I was worried about gestational diabetes. And if you're pregnant, you probably are too.

But after the mountains of gestational diabetes help and information I've sorted through, I'm ready to share everything I know so YOU won't worry as much as I did.

Stress is not good, for you or your baby. And a stress-free mom who eats right and exercises is the best possible start to coping with gestational diabetes.

If you have any questions or concerns about gestational diabetes, I'd love to hear them -- I'm just finishing writing, editing, and getting medical reviews for a huge resource I've developed and it could always use a bit more information. (Might as well do SOMETHING with all this info in my head!)

So if you're looking for gestational diabetes recipes (or want to share yours), meal plans for gestational diabetes (or complete diet plans for gestational diabetes), information on how to pass the gestational diabetes test or treatment for gestational diabetes after you've been identified as at risk, stick around, because there's lots to come!