Gestational Diabetes

Just a quick recap…A few weeks ago, I < barely>  failed my first glucose test.  My OB-GYN and I assumed the high number was a fluke (and likely caused by the ton of fruit and some chocolate I had eaten right before the test).   I found out last week that it wasn’t a fluke because I failed the 3-hr test (which requires fasting).

So what does this mean for me?  I am now on a strict diet and starting today, will be checking my sugar levels 4x/day (when I first wake up and 2 hours after each meal) to ensure that I can keep the numbers in check.  If I can do that, then I will not need any medication.

My primary OB-GYN (midwife) has shown some concern about the diet given my lack of weight gain recently.  At my last appointment, I had put on a total of 16 pounds (about 6 pounds less than I had put on by this point in my first pregnancy).  And I actually have lost a bit of weight the last few weeks.  Note: I believe that the loss of weight is likely tied to my lack of exercise – six weeks of ZERO running has caused my muscle mass in my legs to decrease).  However, my midwife is concerned because the diet I need to follow severely limits what my diet mostly consists of – fruit and carbohydrates.  So I need to closely monitor my weight as well to ensure that it doesn’t start drastically dipping. 

Finding out that I had GD was a MAJOR shock and a knock to my self-esteem. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had always thought that only unhealthy, inactive or overweight females developed GD (which I learned is totally NOT true).  You are at a higher risk of developing GD if you:

  • Have a family history of diabetes (only one that pertains to me -> my mom’s dad had diabetes)
  • Gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds or had a birth defect
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have too much amniotic fluid
  • Have had an unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Were overweight before your pregnancy
  • Do not exercise

I met with a high-risk OB-GYN Tuesday for my initial consultation.  After speaking to him, I learned a bit more about GD.  First, while women who fall into one of the above categories are at a higher risk, it’s very common for a normal weight, active female to develop it.

Secondly, my OB-GYN believes that the reason I developed GD is likely connected to my inability to run or exercise for the last six weeks.  I took BOTH tests during my hiatus from running.  According to my doctor, my body is used to metabolizing food a certain way with the presence of exercise (given that I have been running 4-6x/week for the last 10 years).  So when I completely stopped running (or exercising/walking/biking), my body got confused and all out of whack and didn’t know how to metabolize food the way it normally does.  (Note: I didn’t change my diet in any way when I was inactive for those six weeks).  The sudden lack of exercise coupled with pregnancy likely caused my case of GD.

Talk about a double whammy.  So not only can I not run, but my lack of running is now affecting my health?  Awesome.

But don’t worry – there is some good news in this post!  Today is the second day that I have had a successful gym workout.  Yesterday I biked for 30 minutes (6.5 miles) – pain free.  Today, I biked for an hour (12 miles) and ran 1 mile – all pain-free.

I’m extremely hopeful that the diet and exercise will keep those numbers below the set amount.  Fingers crossed!

Did you have / know anyone who had GD when you/they were pregnant?  

Did the diet keep their numbers in check? 

 

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    32 thoughts on “Gestational Diabetes

    1. É muito motivacional ver páginas como esta, pois podemos ter esperanças. Eu mesmo enfrentei muitos problemas procurando como montar um cardápio para diabéticos. Obrigado e boa sorte!

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    6. aww! I would probably have felt the same way – self-esteem wise even if I knew deep down it isn’t due to lack of fitness! You are so fit, so SO fit, and now getting in some good workouts too. I need to follow your lead whenever this is my turn 😉
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    7. Sounds like you and your doctor have a good grasp on what is going on and you are almost at the end. I’m sure everything will be just fine – you are fit and healthy and there is nothing more any of us could ever do in these type of situations. You take care of yourself and try to enjoy the last remaining weeks … it will be over before you know it and you will have a healthy baby and your body back for you! :)
      Christina recently posted..Fitness, running, and health favorites updatesMy Profile

    8. I’m sorry that you’re going through this Michele in addition to the pain and not being able to run. I definitely wouldn’t think that you’re a candidate for GD and must assume that it’s tied to the fact that you can’t exercise normally right now. But I have no doubt you will be OK – you are strong and smart and oh so close to welcoming pumpkin into this world. And I am absolutely thrilled to hear that you’ve had two pain-free workouts. YAY!! Thinking of you.
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up and The Mizuno Mezamashii Project GiveawayMy Profile

    9. You always take a positive spin on things! What a bummer you tested positive, but I’m glad you’re near the end, and that you’ve been getting some more exercise in. My sis-in-law had GD with her first, but it was gone as soon as she had the baby, and she’s never had it since.
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Five ways to refresh your runningMy Profile

    10. I had GD with my son. Although I wasn’t as active during my pregnancy as you are during yours, I was also not the “typical” candidate for GD. No family history of diabetes, not overweight, etc. So I was shocked as well. I followed my diet to a T. I tracked everything and hit all my numbers. I took it very seriously. And in hindsight, I think I took it too seriously. My son was born at 6 lbs 3 oz. Not a preemie, but definitely on the small side, and definitely small for a mother who had GD. He was perfectly healthy and scored a 10 on the APGAR, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I didn’t eat enough; was he supposed to be bigger, but I deprived him of nutrients because I was on a diet that was supposed to be for the benefit of both of us? I’m curious as to what your numbers are supposed to be. I was told to keep my levels under 90 in the morning, and under 130 after every meal. But doing some research I discovered that many women had been told to keep their blood sugar level under 140 after every meal. Why the difference? Also you are asked to test 2 hours after every meal. I was asked to test 1 hour after every meal. Again, why the difference? Frankly, I think the issue of GD needs to be revisited by the medical profession. As a previous poster mentioned, the test itself can render results positive because you are consuming such a large amount of sugar so quickly, you’re body can’t process it. Sorry, this is less of a helpful answer and more of a reflection on my own personal experience with GD. If I did have any advice, I would say follow your diet, but don’t stress yourself out over it. If your numbers slip every once in a while, its no big deal (seriously, its not. The dr. told me this a week before I delivered, after I had spent the entire third trimester stressing about my levels). Eat well, exercise, and ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR PREGNANCY. Before you know it, you will be holding your healthy, beautiful baby in your arms.
      ama_runs recently posted..The Anniversary RunMy Profile

    11. Boo! Fingers crossed you won’t need medication. I thankfully passed the GD test with both pregnancies. However, I remember my midwife telling me they have a lot of woman who don’t take it because their diet is so low in sugar to begin with that the actual drink itself can cause them to test positive because their body is not used to the glucose. I found it interesting.
      Jenny @ simply be me recently posted..It’s a girl!My Profile

    12. Michele, I’m so sorry to hear about the GD test results. I wasn’t the “typical” GD patient, either (not overweight or obese, no family history of diabetes or HBP), so I was also shocked and a little let down when I failed my first test on the first pregnancy. I believe the OB-GYN told me that I was borderline, so I got the 4-hour test (maybe it was three, but it sure felt longer!) and passed that one okay. I wasn’t anywhere near as fit as you are–nor as fit as I am now, after returning to my old love of running–but I still struggled to gain weight with the first and second also. I think I topped out at about 23 pounds, but in both pregnancies, thank goodness, we had happy, healthy little ones [not low birth weight or anything] and relatively smooth sailing. All I can offer to you is encouragement that your healthy lifestyle and follow the recommendations of medical experts will get you (both) through this temporary adversity–kind of like running a marathon, eh? There are some bad patches and some good, then the fantastic feeling of finishing strong! : ) Best wishes to you, Michele!

    13. :( I know this is easier said than done but don’t be so hard on yourself or embarrassed. you are so so healthy and it is not a knock on you at all. i know not so easy to do or think :(… i am glad you have been able to get those bike exercises in and i think you are right that things will begin to fall into place now and before you know it pumpkin will be here!
      Stephanie recently posted..Baby B – Weeks 24 & 25My Profile

    14. I barely failed my first one. And my 3 hour was borderline. Unlike you, my pregnancy was not “healthy” I sat a lot and ate whatever was in front of me. I gained over 80lbs. After the tests I realized how bad I had been treating my body and I was using pregnancy as an excuse to eat more.
      Even though I wasn’t official with GD the doctor gave me a strict diet also. In the end my son was a perfect weight of 7lbs 7oz, and he does not have Diabetes. Developmental wise, he tests above average.
      I know it is difficult right now, getting the news is never easy. BUT it’s just a slight barrier I know you will overcome.
      Wishing you all the best! <3
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    15. My sister-in-law had it during her pregnancies. She, like you, really didn’t have many risk factors, but was able to keep her numbers in check with her diet.
      Renee recently posted..79 days!My Profile

    16. That sucks that you ended up with GD!! I haven’t had it, and passed my tests for this pregnancy, but have also had a very low weight gain through this pregnancy – I’m at 36 weeks almost and have been hovering between 14-16lbs gained. Over the last month I’ve had lots of bouts of unexplained illness, which finally revealed themselves as a abscessed tooth last week! I’m finally feeling better and able to eat more normally.

      I do understand the frustration of not having your body do what you want, and worrying about how it’s effecting the life growing in you! At least now you have a diagnosis, and odds are if you follow the recommendations that the rest of your pregnancy can be healthy and surprise free!!

    17. You have just NOT had an easy go of it this time! I’m really sorry this happened and I can totally imagine how shocked you must have been. You are not the typical candidate for developing GD.

      All I can figure is that this baby is going to be a little fighter after all he/she and you have gone through!

      Very happy you’ve had two good workouts now. That’s progress!
      misszippy1 recently posted..So far, so OK, with glycogen depletion runsMy Profile

    18. Sounds frustrating to be going through all of these things. Try to stay positive, things will be better soon :) You are being smart about everything and just try to take it one day at a time. Hope things look up for you soon!
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    19. Sounds like a frustrating cycle for you.
      My mother had GD with her 2nd out of 3 pregnancy’s and my grandmother had diabetes later in life. I just had my glucose test done, early in my 2nd pregnancy, and luckily, I don’t have it. But I sure do worry. I haven’t been able to run since 18 weeks pregnant without any pain. At 23 weeks pregnant, I’m walking 30 minutes and doing a DVD workout (weights, lots of squats etc)…it’s nice but a really, REALLY miss running.
      With getting active again, I’m sure your body will bounce back to normal levels fast.
      Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted..Low Fat Zucchini BrowniesMy Profile

    20. sorry about the diagnosis. my wife was diagnosed w/ GD with our first child and was able to control her sugars with diet. and had no issues with diabetes after giving birth or with her second pregnancy.