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UP/UC with Gestational Diabetes?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Some of you may have seen my thread about a potential UTI. I was worried back then that I had high or low blood pressure (but mine is perfectly fine), gestational diabetes, or something, but I figured it was just a UTI. I didn't want to worry myself. Well, I was drinking cranberry juice and felt better for a few days, so I figured that was that. Now I've gone back to feeling the same.

I feel tired and wiped out. I get nausea spells. I feel dizzy and faint sometimes. I pee a LOT, so much more than I did with my son. I'm very thirsty and craving sweets. Sometimes my vision is a little weird, not blurry, but I'll just have this weird feeling about my sight, it'll just feel off, like I have to focus more to see right. I haven't gained any weight in a few weeks. I'm 28 weeks now and have only gained 15-20lbs, but with DS I gained 50. All this started recently, mabe two or three weeks ago. At least my pee isn't cloudy anymore, and I don't get that funny pressure feeling either, so I think maybe I could have had a touch of UTI that cleared up.

I was thinking nutrient deficiency, dehydration, something like that...but even after eating, drinking, taking the prenatals for a few days... I still feel bad. I'm ok to get through the day, but so tired. I really think it might be gestational diabetes. I'm not real scared of it. I know it could make things a lil harder on me, but I'm not going to freak out. I just want to feel better so I can go back to enjoying my pregnancy!

I was thinking of maybe calling the midwife I'd interviewed, for possible back up, to have her check me out, but I don't want to involve anyone if I don't have to. I'm probably going to go to the store and get one of those monitors for people with diabetes, to prick my finger and just see what my blood sugar is like for the next few days.

As for treatment, I know I need to cut down on sweets if I do have GD. I was wondering what other kinds of foods I should cut down on and what other actions I should take. Does this sound like GD to you? Would you be concerned? What would you do in this situation? I really think I can handle this okay with some dietary changes, if it is indeed GD. (I mean, heck, it could just be normal third trimester stuff, amplified a bit maybe to make up for the fact that I didn't throw up throughout thewhole pregnancy this time like I did last time. Anyone got anything for me?
post #2 of 21
i don't know. there may be some form of home test for GD that you can do--so perhaps you want to ask about that? the GD test that is commonly done seems like it's set up in the most ridiculous way such that you'll definitely get a positive result (eg, positive for GD), so i don't know if i'd go that route.

also, i know another UCer around here managed her GD with diet, etc. perhaps she'll chime in soon.

i hope you're feeling better soon! and, if you feel it would be helpful to see someone, definitely do!
post #3 of 21
I have GD and am UCing but not UPing. GD rarely gives any symptoms other then high blood sugar readings. High BS will make you much more thirsty and make you urinate more, but only if it's really high. What CAN make you feel off is low blood sugar. Symptoms generally included dizzyness, shakeyness, fatigue. You may be having some GD or insulin resistance issues esp if you feel lousy an hour or so after eating (esp if it's after eating sweets)

If you want to test for sugar, the best way to do it is check a fasting number and see if it's under 100. 2 hours after meals should be under 120.

For diet control you'll want to keep your meals under 60g of carbs and snacks should be 15-30g each. Low glycemic index foods are best, but if you must have some sweets watch the carbs and make your serving accordingly. You should have 7-11 servings of carbs a day for a healthy singleton pregnancy (15 carbs is one serving). Just spread them out accordingly, but try to eat frequent smaller meals to keep your insulin from getting wonky. Balence is key for a diabetic diet since if you are hyperreacting to sugar it will make you feel yucky, if your insulin levels stay pretty even, you feel better.

You may also find some foods make you feel bad. I for example cannot eat pizza or drink OJ because it spikes my sugar. I have no problems with Ice cream however (all the fat and protein counteract the sugar ). YMMV. If you have access to a glucometer it's worth having to check what you can tolerate. If not def check your urine for sugar, but if it shows you're spilling sugar then your blood sugar is VERY high and you probally want to be seen.

Hope that helps, and let me know if you need any other help.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
It's mostly when I wake up, usually after eating breakfast, that I feel like crap, basically all afternoon, and it kind of wears off later in the day. I noticed though that the past few days I was having eggs and water for breakfast and feeling fine, but when I started having juice, cereal, fruit, etc. again, then I'd feel like crap that day.

I dealt with dehydration and low blood sugar with my last pregnancy. Eating and drinking would usually perk me up. With this, I don't perk up. That's what alarms me. Exercising sometimes helps, like getting out of the house. Today that didn't work. I threw up, felt fine for a few minutes, then felt like crap during my whole trip to Walmart. I'm having myself some sausage and water right now, sitting down, and I feel better except for a bit of dizziness.

They have a cheap monitor and strips at Walmart, but we only have enough in the bank to cover our bills -exactly- I can get it on Friday when we get paid. I think it will be a good idea to monitor my blood pressure at least for a while.

I bought some eggs, sausage, cereal, and whole wheat bread to have for breakfast (will be limiting the portions of cereal and bread though). I'm gonna drink water, maybe flavored with some lemon or lime, and teas that aren't sweetened. I'm gonna try to cut back drastically on sweets, especially in the morning and afternoon, since that's when I feel this way. Instead I guess it's vegetables for me! And if I do want something sweet I'll eat a piece of fruit like a banana. I guess I need to also make sure I eat often enough. Basically I'm going to try to avoid sugars, limit my carbs, and increase my protein, fat and fiber.

So I'll see if I'm feeling better the next few days, and on Friday, I'll start testing my blood sugar. It could be something else, but I really think it's GD.

Does that diet plan sound good? I really appreciate those guidelines on carbs,fyrebloom. I was reading about watching the carbs on the net, but I couldn't find any guidelines as to what to do specifically. All the sites just say to see a dietician.
post #5 of 21
I say check your blood sugar but not necessarily for GD. I have low blood sugar AND low blood pressure naturally. When either dips below my normal range of lows I experience all those same symptoms and if they both dip than it really takes its toll on me. I know for my diabetic MIL and boderline diabetic husband they both need to avoid corn (and their flours) and potatos and in my MIL's case her rice portions need to be small.

In regards to being tired I would be more apt to say that one IS from a deficiency somewhere. We have started doing smoothies everyday and I noticed that when I added flax seed and/or spinach to the mix there was a HUGE difference with my energy, and not in a false way like with a coffee. Given that I was noticing it more from the flax seed I have a feeling I was low on my omegas.
post #6 of 21
I also wonder if anemia couldn't be playing a factor in this too. Just a thought.

I would get a glucose testing machine and check it for a few days. Take it upon waking before eating, then 15 minutes after eating and then again one hour later. This will give you an idea of where it is at and how you are reacting.
post #7 of 21
Here's a sample diet plan from earlier in my pregnancy (mind you this is for twins, so it's higher in protein, but if you modify the servings you'd be fine. Check out the blue ribbon diet for some good guidelines)

1-2 eggs
2 pieces of toast

tuna salad sandwich (sometimes 2)
lettuce, tomato, pickle
carrot sticks
fruit to boost to 60g

crackers and cheese
veggies and dip

chicken parm
Pasta (very good for diabetics )

yogurt and granola

These days I'm just trying to eat what I have room for so it's more scattered but I try to eat some protein with any carbs (helps offset the sugar). Test 2 hours after eating something and if you are two high, adjust or omit. I seem to tolerate some foods better then others. At first I was testing first thing in the morning and then 2 hours after each meal for a total of 4 a day. Do that for a week or two and if everything is normal the you're probably fine. If your fastings are a little high then try eating something right before bed. This helps bump insulin levels at night (when liver enzyme levels are highest and counteract the insulin). Also try excersize before bed or when you wake in the morning. If your after meal readings are high adjust the foods you are eating and the amount (maybe you only can tolerate 45 g per meal... which is also fine). If your levels are very high and unresponsive to diet and excersize then you may not be able to treat it at home.

I agree also with the iron.... Anemia can make you feel MISERABLE. I was so tired and had terrible vertigo all the time from it midpregnancy. I found If I didn't have enough iron taking a day or two of extra iron pill perked me right back up within a day or two. Much easier to deal with anemia then GD!
post #8 of 21
You've gotten some good responses so I'm only going to chime in on one point.

Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
...I bought some eggs, sausage, cereal, and whole wheat bread to have for breakfast (will be limiting the portions of cereal and bread though)...
Be wary of WW bread and anything with added wheat germ or wheat bran. It can mildly (or dramatically) inflame the pancreas. I've seen many clients (myself included) who've had to eliminate all juices (even carrot!) and fruits due to sugar cycling. When they've eliminated the WW and germ/bran, over time (it takes a while to heal a chronically damaged pancreas) they've been able to add the fruits and then juices back to their diets.

I wanted to add that in because WW has *such* a healthy reputation most would never suspect it.

post #9 of 21
How's your protein intake? Sometimes a protein deficiency can cause you to crave carbs, I've heard. Shoot for 75+ grams a day, and try to avoid simple carbs completely (white anything, sugar). Whole grains (not "with whole grains" like everything in the grocery store says these days, but 100% whole grains), brown rice, whole wheat bread, etc.
post #10 of 21
I mostly lurk here, because I'm still on the fence about a UP/UC this time around, but I wanted to offer some GD tips that helped me.

Breakfast: I found that I could NOT eat a lot of carbs for breakfast or my numbers would shoot through the roof. (I had to stay under 15g). I could occasionally sneak a bite or two of toast, but juice (as a PP said) was a big no-no. I ate lots of eggs

I could tolerate more carbs as the day went on, and I believe I had about 40g at lunch and dinner.

Snacks before bed: A snack that included a glass of milk or nuts/nut butter seemed to help my sugars stay stable overnight. (So morning reading was ok.) Even with peanut butter cookies

Exercise: If I ate something questionable ( ), I found that walking at a moderate pace for about 15-20 minutes after the meal was a HUGE help in keeping my numbers below 120. (I had some higher-carb cravings and found that when I caved in and ate them, I could compare the days when I walked vs. days I did not and the numbers were always in my favor when I exercised.)

Tracking: I kept an Excel spreadsheet with my diet and blood sugar readings. This helped when I was trying to find something to eat and about to do something "bad"

Good luck to you!

P.S. I wanted to add: I felt like you describe, but kept putting the idea of GD out of my mind because the only risk factor I had was age (I was 29 at the time). Cutting my carbs back made me feel MUCH better. It took about a week, but I had much more energy and felt like a healthy person again!
post #11 of 21

Off topic...

Originally Posted by anthasam View Post
P.S. I wanted to add: I felt like you describe, but kept putting the idea of GD out of my mind because the only risk factor I had was age (I was 29 at the time)...
Oh, dear Lord! I really hate to find out but was being 29 years old considered a risk factor for being too young or too old?

post #12 of 21
Originally Posted by bryonyvaughn View Post
Oh, dear Lord! I really hate to find out but was being 29 years old considered a risk factor for being too young or too old?


Dare I say old?!
Over age 25 is considered a risk factor...

This pregnancy I have 2 risk factors: 1.) I'm even older now and, 2.) I had GD with my DD...

The government is not my usual source for info, but this sentence seems to sum up all the risk factors nicely:

"The risk factors for gestational diabetes are being older when pregnant, African or Hispanic ancestry, obesity, gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, having a previous baby weighing over 9 pounds, an unexplained death in a previous fetus or newborn, a congenital malformation (birth defect) in a previous child, and recurrent infections."
post #13 of 21
Don't forget multiple gestation... I was given the diagnosis this time without the test and I've never had a bad reading (even when I do eat garbage). I "had" it when I was preggo with my son... got 145 on my 1 hour test and they didn't repeat it. My son was over 9 lbs, but he was really long (23 in) and not typical chunky GD baby. He had hypoglycemia and was in special care for 2 days but he was postdates and I was on an IV for 33 hours (yeah, pump sugar water into the diabetic... smart). This time I wanted to check BSs but they never tested for GD, they just assumed because I had it last time (even though it was super mild) and because twin moms "always" get it. I've been fine and the babies are normal sized LOL.
post #14 of 21
I have a whole wheat bread recipe that is a diabetic bread--it doesn't cause the blood sugar changes that breads usually do. I make it for a neighbor friend who is diabetic and he has tested it and LOVES it. He can eat bread, which he loves, and it doesn't effect his diabetes! To say the least, he is thrilled.

If anyone wants the recipe let me know!

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'll be honest, I probably could use more protein. I don't eat much of it. But I don't think iron is an issue. I eat a lot of food with iron in it and take my prenatals.

I do know that if I avoid eating much sugar, especially in the morning, then I feel much better.

I don't eat much whole wheat stuff, just a little bit maybe a piece or two of bread per day.

I don't have any risk factors for GD at all, and yet all this has come about right at the time GD usually hits and is sooo similar to GD.

fyrebloom, wouldn't I realize by now if it was twins? I haven't gained much and am measuring right on track, and I think I only feel one babe.

earthmothergypsy, I'd love that bread recipe.
post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by anthasam View Post
Dare I say old?!
Over age 25 is considered a risk factor...
ARGH!!! I talked to the best, most natural birth supporting, progressive OB in the county. I thought he was a complete idiot when he said *under* 25 was an age risk (skeleton still growing... some get wisdom teeth late) and *over* 35 was an old uterus risk. : He added 1st were risk due to "unproven pelvis" as was 2nd as 1st might have been a fluke. Also said after 5 was a risk from exhausted uterus. As an obstetrician covering ONLY high-risk pregnancies he carved out a pretty good market for himself.

BV, who's happy to be a high-risk UCer
post #17 of 21
I have not read the replies yet, so I apologize if I repeat other replies!

Last pregnancy, I had GD (I UP/UC'd). I had symptoms very similar to what you describe, and I was getting hot, sweaty, sick, heart pounding, can't stand up episodes. So I borrowed a glucose monitor from my friend and found that my blood sugar was quite high. It was running over 300 typically. I got my family doc (OK, I cheated cause she's my sister, so it wasn't too hard) to call in a script for the glucose strips~ they are very expensive otherwise, but you really don't have to have a script. When I called the office, the nurses were insisting that I "needed" to do the glucose tolerance test, but there was no way I would be swayed into doing that. I think it's ridiculous and bad for babies and mamas. They called me back after "discussing it with the doctor" and then called them in.

So I monitored my sugar myself. Whenever I felt weird, I measured my blood levels. What I found was that I could not touch the following: white flour, sugar in any form whatsoever, including honey. I literally noticed a difference and then found my sugar actually going up when I ate even the tiniest amount of any of those. I ate very very well~ only whole grains, agave nectar or stevia to sweeten (in small amounts). I had to eat lots of protien as well. Just getting too little of that made a difference.

I really should be eating like that still, but I've fallen off the wagon a bit.

Good luck! You can definitely figure this out yourself.

Oh! And exercise. That helps, too
post #18 of 21
I had a homebirth with my son. I began dumping sugar in my urine(at 28 weeks) and got a blood test after a normal meal- 1 hr after. It was 154- which is considered GD. Other than that- and my gigantic baby and placenta(3lbs),I had no risks and no other classic GD signs. My son had no signs of hypoglycemia either and was not the typical GD baby. He was very long and VERY fat. I ate a near perfect diet- but the sugars from fruits(esp after it was modified) and occasional "splurges" really effected things.
We kind of denied it and played it up to my kidney stones and I limited my sugar. GD is kind of a controversial condition in itself- however sometimes it's real and it can be serious.
But I had a 12lb 12oz baby- a 5.5 minute shoulder dystocia and he required resuscitation and had a broken arm. I am very very glad I had my midwife there and her assistant. It was pretty scary and my partner especially was very frightened by it- although we discussed the possibility of the dystocia prenatally. It was handled beautifully and expertly. I was in the best hands possible.
I don't regret having a homebirth, but I wish I would have done more to prevent his size. We really didn't think he was as big as he was. I didn't take it seriously, but probably because I knew it was true and that scared me- mainly because a GD risk is fetal demise and I'd just been involved with a stillbirth. It was always in the back of my mind.
What I would do is buy a blood test and test your blood sugar after a normal meal- try one hour and if it's elevated do it after two hours. Then, if it is still elevated, I'd seriously modify your diet- like the pp suggested- and exercise. I'd probably stop the whit flour foods, fruit and fruit juices, sugars in general and see what that does.
So, that is my experience and my advice. I think if it is handled well...and now, things can still be pretty normal.
post #19 of 21
I've had diet controlled GD twice, and I'm pretty sure I've got it this time - I can feel when my blood sugar is peaking or crashing.

Most recommended diets have WAY too many carbs. If you find your readings are high then cut back even more from the carbs. No white anything - rice, flour, bread, cereals, pasta, etc.

If you must eat something bad (and sometimes we must!) make sure to eat protein w/it. It will help level out your blood sugar.

I could eat ice cream if I had a couple of slices of lunchmeat or a boiled egg first. It's really pretty easy to control most GD w/diet. Also, instead of pasta I've used steamed spahetti squash. It forks up like spaghetti and even my teenagers prefer it to pasta. Make lettuce wraps instead of a sandwich. As one of the PP recommended, agave nectar is yummy and doesn't affect your levels.

I've been successful using diet but I would prob'ly seek professional help if diet wasn't controlling it. I wouldn't want to endanger the babe w/out of control readings!
post #20 of 21
I'll be honest, I probably could use more protein. I don't eat much of it.
Well, get thee some protein mama! And listen to barefoot mama. She's wise.

BV & anthsam ~ you rebels! I've got no room to talk because I'm another 'high risk' UCer. : Can you imagine what they would have done with a 42 year old with high BP & a 13 pound babe inside? I'm sure they'd be screaming for the knife....
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