Diabetes is a condition that occurs when you have too much sugar in your blood than is normal. The levels of sugar in your blood can rise when your body isn’t producing enough of a chemical substance called insulin.
Insulin helps the organs in the body to convert blood sugar into energy. It also helps your body to store excess blood sugar. When you are pregnant, your body has to produce extra insulin. This is because hormones from your placenta make the body less responsive to it.
If your body can’t meet this extra demand, your blood sugar level will go up and you may develop pregnancy- induced diabetes.
How serious is This Condition?
Getting diabetes whilst you are pregnant can increase your risk of getting other medical conditions such as preeclampsia, which causes high blood pressure and can be fatal if you are not treated quickly.
In addition, the disease is associated with macrosomia, a condition in which the baby grows very big in your womb, increasing the risk for a caesarian delivery.
If this disease is so serious, what can you do to prevent it? You can prevent diabetes after pregnancy if you eat a healthy diet and exercise.
Eating a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is a great way to prevent diabetes when you are pregnant. The Glycemic Index (GI) of a food substance is used as a standard for measuring that. GI basically refers to how quickly sugar is released into your blood after you have eaten it.
Foods Low in GI
Foods that are low GI are rich in fiber are an important part of a diet a pregnant woman should eat as they help you to prevent getting diabetes after you get pregnant.
A study was conducted that looked at the diet of women before they got pregnant and found that each daily increase in fiber reduced their risk of getting diabetes after pregnancy by 26%.
Examples of foods with a low GI are:
1. Whole grain breads and cereals.
2. Dried peas, beans, pulses.
3. Fresh fruits and vegetables
You may also take fiber supplements to help you meet your fiber intake needs.
Foods High in GI
These are foods that are low in fiber and should be avoided at all cost during pregnancy. Some examples of foods in this category are:
1. Baked potato.
3. White rice.
The healthiest diet for a pregnant woman is to mix low GI foods with high GI foods for the best results. This will lower the rate at which sugar is released into your blood.
Examples of such a mixture are:
1. Baked potato with baked beans.
2. Peanut butter on toast.
3. White rice and vegetables.
4. Bread and fresh fruits.
Scientists have discovered that women who exercised about 4 hours a week lowered their risk of getting diabetes whilst pregnant by about 70%.
Therefore, you must avoid being still for long periods of time as this can make your blood sugar levels rise. Take to the treadmill as often as you can or simply find a proper exercise plan for you as this will will help to reduce your blood sugar level.
Here are other few exercise suggestions you may try:
• Walk briskly for fifteen minutes a day.
• Walk up and down your stairs for ten minutes a day.
• Swimming and cycling are also exercises that will help you.
Preventing pregnancy-related diabetes is not a Herculean task but like anything else, it requires due diligence and strict observance of what a woman eats and how they maintain their overall fitness.
*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.