Help with Gestational Diabetes

Updated on February 22, 2011
M.B. asks from Eugene, OR
11 answers

I am pregnant with my 3rd child and I have Gestational Diabetes. I had GD with my second pregnancy and everything seems to go off without a hitch. I was able to control my one hour readings with diet. I was put on insulin at night to help control my morning fasting blood sugar and that worked well too. Throughout my pregnancy, I don't think I went over needing 30 units of insulin.

This pregnancy started off the same. I changed my diet and I am able to control my 1 hour readings. Once again, I was started on nightly insulin injections to control my morning fasting blood sugar but this time around, it doesn't seem to be helping. I started at 10 units a little over 3 weeks ago and we have been increasing the dose ever since. I am currently taking 41 units and it just doens't seem to be making ANY difference in my readiing in the morning. I have spoken to my diabetes educator about this and she says we just have to continue increasing the dose. I asked her if there was anything else I could do like increase water, cut diet soda or coffee, a bedtime snack and she again said that the only trick she has up her sleeve is increasing the dose.

I spoke to my doctor too and she said that this was normal, that between the 2 pregnancies I have developed insulin resistance and not to worry. We will just have to continue increasing the dose. It just seems to me that if I have developed insulin resistance, than maybe insulin is not the only answer. I am just frustrated and of course worried about the baby. Any of you out there have any ideas?

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answers from Eugene on

Cut out all milk products. Use substitutes like rice milk or almond or coconut milk. Get whole grain rice milk without sugar added. Or just go without any milk product or facsimile.
It'll help very much. Also take long walks or go swimming. Exercise is a big benefit in reducing insulin needs.

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answers from Portland on

You could look into sources of endocrine disrupters in your diet and lifestyle, as these are known to contribute to diabetes. Google "endocrine disrupters and diabetes" for a real eye opener.

I had GD with my first boy, but not my second, go figure. I A. also pre-diabetic while not pregnant. Loosing weight (I'm no longer even considered overweight) has not made any difference. I have ZERO family history of diabetes, which got me looking into environmental factors.

The mom who mentioned metformin is onto something. I'd ask about it. It's a very cheap drug to buy. I have taken it for PCOS as well.



answers from Eugene on

this may sound radical but: i would consider altering your diet even more, going on a raw vegan diet (or at least greatly increasing the amount of raw veggies in your diet). check out these 2: dvd simply raw, reversing diabetes in 30 days. and book there is a cure for diabetes



answers from Seattle on

Just an idea to check with them about, but how about a small middle of the night snack?



answers from Washington DC on

I had GD with my second daughter. Like you my 1 hours were always fine the only number ever high was my morning fasting number even with insulin. My OB & nutritionist both told me to eat a bedtime snack of peanut butter on celery. The body works harder & longer to process the protein which helps keep your numbers lower. Keep in mind your hormone levels will also be changing throughout the pregnancy. The diabetic nutritionist told me that can also effect your numbers so what worked one week may not work the next. I was able to be on a pill from the beginning of my 3rd trimester and didn't require the insulin until the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy when nothing I did seemed to control the morning numbers. I can relate to your fear and frustration. I was so afraid that the high morning numbers were damaging my little girl and I just wanted so badly to control them. Good Luck and God Bless.



answers from Portland on

Hi M.,

I am diabetic, thought I did not have GD. I am also a doula nd I work with Mom's who are experiencing GD. I might suggest a few things and offer one tidbit my endocrinologist shared with me. I was told that your body has more catecholamines floating around overnight and in to the morning. That said, I was told, and he recommends this to his patients who are diabetic and pregnant, to keep your carbs lower in the a.m. I would also suggest a high fiber snack if possible combined with exercise as your provider allows. The high fiber will help digestion and avoid some of the spikes as it keeps your sugars more stable, and the exercise is useful for lowering those sugars as well.

Best of luck,

T. Nelson CD (DONA)



answers from Louisville on

Make sure that you have some protein and/or fat with the bedtime snack to make the carbs digest more slowly, and do not miss the bedtime snack. What can happen is something called the dawn effect. Your sugar goes low about 2-3 am while you are asleep and your liver pumps out glucose to compensate. Then your morning reading is high. I am an insulin dependent diabetic who struggles with this. During pregnancy, my insulin needs were much higher and it is due to the pregnancy hormones. So I would not worry about the amount of insulin as long as the sugars are where your doctor wants them to be.


answers from Dover on

Insulin (whether injected or created naturally) is required to control your glucose level. If your body isn't creating and processing it correctly (which is the case if you have GD) and diet hasn't worked, insulin is needed. As your pregnancy progresses, it is harder and harder to control your glucose readings.

My problem was my readings right after lunch and dinner but morning and after breakfast was fine. I had to take the long lasting insulin in the morning and it helped but towards the end it was less effective.

You could maybe try more protein in you evening snack and less of whatever else you are eating at that time. Or maybe making the snack a little earlier. Becareful though because if your diet change does work and you have taken the insulin as scheduled, your number could drop too low during the night.

How far along are you?



answers from Seattle on

I had gestational diabetes with all 3 of my pregnancies. The best trick I found to keeping my numbers down was protien. A small protien snack before betime (like an ounce of cheese or a cooked hot dog) worked best.

Making sure your meals are regular, drinking plenty of water, and going on walks can also be of great help.

Best of luck to you!



answers from Medford on

Has your doctor suggested that you could take any insulin sensitizing drugs like Metformin? I have PCOS, which means that I have an ongoing insulin resistance that interferes with my menstrual cycle. I currently take Metformin to maintain my cycles. I took Metformin during the first trimester of my pregnancy to keep me from miscarrying. I did not have blood sugar issues or develop GD, but it was definitely a possibility. I have no idea if that would be something that could help you, but it's certainly something you can discuss with your doctor.



answers from Seattle on

I am seeing a nutritionist right now, I don't have gd, but my sugars are on the high end of normal. She said exercise is really important and helps with controlling insulin. I would also cut out the diet soda. Your baby doesn't need the extra chemicals in that.

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