Type 2 Diabetes is a result from insulin resistance, a condition which cells fail to use insulin properly. If you have a family history of diabetes, it is recommended that you undergo glucose tests every 3 months.
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Educational Toys For BabiesKeeping your baby entertained is a lot of fun but yet it can be challenging at the same time. Nycki Etherington was shocked when she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Etherington was given an oral glucose tolerance test between 24 and 28 weeks, and, like almost 10 percent of pregnant women, received a positive result. Enduring yet another procedure during pregnancy can seem like an unnecessary inconvenience—the oral glucose tolerance test takes several hours to complete—yet it’s essential to catch and treat this condition. When she was diagnosed, Etherington fretted about everything from what foods to eat to whether her baby would make it to term (premature birth is another concern with GDM). Etherington became diligent about reading food labels, counting carbs and eschewing high-sugar foods for lower-sugar ones.


But despite the occasional elevated level, diet and exercise were enough to keep Etherington’s GDM under control during the pregnancy, as well as when she was pregnant with her second child. Tara Peel, a 43-year-old mother of two from Winnipeg, had a trickier time with her recent second pregnancy. Having to take insulin pushed Peel into the category of a high-risk pregnancy, which meant she had to abandon her natural at-home birth plan in favour of a hospital delivery and add monthly consultations with an endocrinologist to her schedule. A version of this article appeared in our September 2015 issue with the headline, “No sweets for two”, p.
By clicking "Create Account", I confirm that I have read and understood each of the website terms of service and privacy policy and that I agree to be bound by them. Insulin and some oral medications can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugars), which can be dangerous if severe. A slim 29-year-old, Etherington had no risk factors for the disease, which occurs when a woman’s pancreas isn’t able to produce the extra insulin needed to keep increased blood sugar in check during pregnancy.
Left unchecked, high blood sugar levels increase the risk of developing pre-eclampsia, which is life-threatening to both mom and baby. She knew she needed to adopt a healthy eating plan and incorporate more exercise into her routine to help manage her glucose levels.
Through trial and error, she found that potatoes, her favourite food, spiked her glucose levels so much that she had to cut them out completely, along with her beloved pasta and baguettes.
Having many risk factors for GDM (she’s over 35, had GDM in her first pregnancy and has a family history of diabetes), Peel was expecting the diagnosis, even though she had adopted a diabetes-friendly diet and boosted her exercise level early on. The disease disappeared within weeks after the birth (as it does for almost all women with GDM), but she and her children are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life; one in five women who had GDM will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within nine years of giving birth, and their children are six times more likely to develop the disease than their peers. Since GDM has no real symptoms (common complaints of people with diabetes, such as tiredness and frequent urination, are often normal parts of pregnancy), she had no warning signs.
As well, women with GDM may give birth to very large babies, which can get stuck in the birth canal and require intervention, such as a C-section.


In fact, one Ontario-based study by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Mount Sinai Hospital found the rate of GDM and pre-GDM (diabetes that existed prior to the pregnancy) doubled from 1996 to 2010, largely due to lifestyle changes. To ease the transition, she attended free diabetes courses at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, where she learned about nutrition, obtained a glucose meter, and was taught how to prick her finger and interpret the results. Because Peel’s blood sugar rose while she slept, no matter how perfect it was during the day, she had to give herself insulin injections every night before bed. As a result, both Etherington and Peel are maintaining their healthy lifestyles, and they both schedule annual checkups to ensure they keep the diabetes at bay.
Pancreas transplants have been tried with limited success in type 1 DM; gastric bypass surgery has been successful in many with morbid obesity and type 2 DM. The keys were eating well, resisting temptation (parties were tough) and exercising frequently (she favoured going for brisk walks and dancing). Please check your email, click the link to verify your address, and then submit your comment.
In fact, if women with GDM are properly monitored and work to keep their blood sugar levels in check, most go on to have healthy pregnancies. Peel even found ways to work well-loved foods into her diet: When craving a hamburger, she ate it open-faced and opted for a salad instead of fries. If you can't find this email, access your profile editor to re-send the confirmation email.



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