Diabetes during pregnancy is also called as gestational diabetes and is more common than you think. There are instances where women with no apparent family history of diabetes develop it during their pregnancy. The most profound reason for the incidence of diabetes during pregnancy is the effect of the circulating hormones during pregnancy.
These tend to affect the supply and production of insulin in the body and may temporarily make the woman insulin resistant. As a result, she develops gestational diabetes. Uncontrolled gestational diabetes is harmful for the mother and her unborn child and can lead to birth defects and complications. Some steps can, however, be taken to prevent it.
Tips to Prevent Getting Diabetes During Pregnancy
Eat More Fibre
Women who are on a high fibre diet before and during their pregnancies are less likely to develop gestational diabetes. This is because the high fibre in the food has a low glycemic index i.e., it releases sugar very slowly into the blood. High fibre foods include all kinds of fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, ragi, jowar, bajra, oats and multi-grains. Have big portions of these fibrous foods to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Exercise is beneficial for all potential diabetics. Exercise works by burning off excess calories and prevents sugar from accumulating in the blood and putting strain on the pancreas. Aim for 30-40 minutes of exercise in the form of a brisk walk, 4-5 times a week. The exercise will also prevent you from gaining excess weight during your pregnancy and we all know that obesity is linked to diabetes.
Eat Small Meals
A pregnant woman has to change her eating habits. Having smaller meals throughout the day will not only help her to overcome digestive discomforts but also prevent sudden spikes in her blood sugar all of which are dangerous for potential diabetics. Eat small meals that are high in fibre throughout the day.
Water is a good substitute for calorie-laden drinks and juices, which women tend to have during their pregnancies. Water also helps to flush out excess sugar from the body in the form of urine. High calorie drinks on the other hand will raise your blood sugar levels and predispose you to diabetes.
Monitoring Sugar Levels
If you are pregnant and have a strong family history of diabetes, make sure your doctor carries out regular physical checks to monitor your diabetes. Early detection of borderline diabetes can help the doctor to chalk out lifestyle changes and remedial measures for you and the baby.
Seek the Services of a Dietician
Borderline diabetes can be easily treated by speaking to a dietician and chalking out a meal plan for yourself. Coupled with exercise, full-blown diabetes can be prevented.
Monitor Your BP
If you are a high blood pressure patient, this can have a significant impact on your diabetic condition so make sure your blood pressure levels do not stay elevated and are well within control.
With the help of the above steps, along with healthy lifestyle changes, diabetes can be prevented especially during a critical time like a pregnancy.
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