Is "gestational diabetes" bullcrap or not? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi everyone. I am 28 weeks pg with my 4th baby, and have felt for years now that the GD test is a bunch of crap. I have read up fairly well on why this test itself is not only pretty dangerous and icky, but also how it can lead to a bunch of "managed care" stuff w/ the doctors. They usually tell you to eat in a healthy manner which I feel I do right now.

I "passed" the test with my first 2 babies when we used OB's. I did not take it last time as I had a midwife, and now this time we are doing U/P.

Ok, so here is my possible, I hope not, issue: I am incredibly, horrifically thirsty. Like I will pour a huge huge Glass of water and literally throw it down the hatch. My mouth is dry.

this is the only thing I am experiencing that is "wierd". I do not have any other "symptoms". I know pregnant women are suppossed to drink alot, and I do, but this is different.

So what should I "do"? I dont want to do anything! I am not necessarily afraid of a big baby, if that is the whole deal because our last one was 11 pounds. (But on a google search of GD symptoms one was previous large baby) But I am six foot one, 200 pounds and so is DH.

??????????????????????
herbs?
recipes?
relax?
go to doctor?


Please help, mamas. thanks
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#2 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 02:10 PM
 
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I don't think it's crap at all. In fact, I had ds 5 weeks early and he was 6 lbs 2 oz. I had a glucose meter and checked it all the time. I could see with my own eyes that something was wrong unless I kept it in check. If you have insurance, check with them and see what they would cover on a meter. They don't cost a horrific amount and most insurance will pay for them too. My doc let me borrow one though. Just a thought.
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#3 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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JMO but I would get the test. I had GD with 2 of my 4 pg's. On the 3rd, it was managed with diet but I had a raging case with my last baby and had to make meds. Even then, the numbers were awful. I felt like crap. I was so so tired. There are other dangers of GD. I don't consider a big baby a bad thing, especially if you have had one already BUT it can be an issue. Garrett was 9.13 but we had a tough time (relative to my experience) getting him out. He was bruised pretty bad. If he had been anouther lb or 2 I am not sure what would have happened. Umbilical cord and placental deterioration are the more concerning effects. I am not saying you should take meds but IF you don't want meds, I think you would need to have some way of monitoring those things towards the end. I did not want to be induced so I did the NST and I had a biophysical (?) U/S and they monitored the blood flow in the cord. Again, just my experience. I can't imagine what my pg and labor would have been like if I had not had treatment. I almost refused because my case with Noah was so mild. In the end I was induced but I am ok with it now.
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#4 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! that is big for 35 weeks!!!

What (sorry to sound dumb) exactly do you do with the meter? Does it come with instructions? You check your blood sugar after you eat or at certain intervals?.........

And what if it does register something bad, should I start in with a doctor? What did you do?

Thank you in advance!
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#5 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 02:21 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry personally. It's summer. It's hot. You're pregnant. It's normal to be thirsty.

-Angela
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#6 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you guys think the thirst is enough to be worrysome? I am not horribly tired.

So.......has anyone on here started going to an OB in the third trimester? I am terrified of how they will treat me!
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#7 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 02:28 PM
 
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I'm thirsty constantly. I don't have GD. I think the testing system is very poor and very inaccurate. If I took that test, I'm sure I'd fail with flying colors as I don't eat a lot of sugar, so my body obviously wouldn't know how to process a megasugar drink.

Don't worry yourself. I drink at least 5 quarts of water per day, and I'd drink more if I wasn't so tired of getting up to refill!

Obviously growing big babies is something that is fine for you. Your body knows itself and knows what you can handle! Trust yourself and skip the OB.

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DS - CJ :, the love of my life
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#8 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 02:40 PM
 
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I'm thirsty A LOT, too. I wouldn't worry about it.
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#9 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 02:41 PM
 
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I have seen other posts on MDC where mamas have posted the diets they have been asked to follow and numbers they are to acheive. I too would be leary about starting with an OB in the third trimester, unless there was a clear need. mabey as a first step you could get a hold of a meter, the meter itself is not expensive, I think the companies make thier money from the strips, and see what your numbers are before going in. There is always the chance that you are just busy and thirsty in the hot summer. what would you do if you went to the OB and everything was normal? or they wanted to do a bunch of other tests? http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org has lots of well researched info about GD. I to am a tall (5'10") obese mom with big babies, (9, 9lb 8 oz and 10 lb 7 oz) and no history of GD but OB's seem to not believe that I have no history of GD and test extra for it.
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#10 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 02:56 PM
 
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I would NOT go to a doc as a *First* course of action for this, but that's JUST ME!! Most docs would totally freak out at a woman coming in for the first time at 35 wks. They'd probably start from scratch, ordering a pap, vag. exam, "counselling", etc. before even getting to the reason why you are then in the first place. OBs just usally don't work like that, to just go in for a specific problem. Maybe if you have a good family practice doc you trust and won't treat you like you're a ticking timebomb.

I would contact a good, experienced midwife and talk to her about it. I know mine would be interested and helpful. You could also ask to look in her reference books for more info. That was VERY helpful to me when trying to understand the whole glucose test issue. What a pain in the butt!!! Also, the Henci Goer "Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" is very thorough on the topic and is usually available to "browse" at bookstores. You could also PM someone at MDC that is a reliable, informative source. (I know of a few I'd ask and have!) But going to a random OB at this point would probably just be traumatic. Not trying to scare you, I've just read too many mamas' stories here....

Good luck w/ this. The GD issue is not an exact science, although docs like to treat it like it is. The research is all over the place.
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#11 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 03:09 PM
 
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it is augest and hot. maybe you do have a healthy thirst.

but,if you do have GD, it's really important to treat. and can be as easy as
changing your diet and monitoring your blood sugars. side effects of
high/low blood sugars can be much worse than a large baby and difficult
birth.

the meters to check blood glucose are pretty cheap. maybe you
could find normal value ranges for a pregnant woman (i think they are
different than for a non pregnant woman....?) on say
the american family physician website -- or at the library? and appriopriate times to test your blood sugar.

i wonder too if there is a midwife with hospital privilages near you?
i was lucky enough to have one for my dd -- for us a good fit. a lot less
invasive, much more responsive to our needs/concerns, took lots of time
with us etc. and i'd hope if you were finding your blood sugars were worrisome a midwife would be willing to take you in without the attitude many ob/gyn's would give.
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#12 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 03:34 PM
 
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The last time I was preggo during summer I drank SO much. The doc tested and retested and no diabetes. I was just thirsty. In fact the OB said to try not to drink so much as I was developing a problem and was retaining too much water. I think some people are just thirsty . MAybe you process the water quicker.
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#13 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 03:38 PM
 
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Again,bloomingmom, I know you're new- a lot of people don't think GD exists as a condition. I would not go near a dr. or hospital. If you're really concerned and think you should see someone I'd see a midwife.

babysx9- if you were retaining water you should have been instructed to drink MORE not less.

-Angela
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#14 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 03:45 PM
 
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#15 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 04:03 PM
 
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No, I think she was right, I was drinking 64 oz an hour. At least. I was so thirsty and it wasn't all passing. I slowed down and felt much better. I wasn't working so wasn't as active as in the past. That whole pregnancy was crazy at the end.
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#16 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 04:24 PM
 
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Since it is the heat of summer, there are other symptoms to look for in GD, and not just thirst...I would not go to a doc at this stage, if you want to find a midwife you can consult with, that would be good. Just someone to bounce ideas off....you are a tall lady and I would expect a small baby for you would be about 9 lbs + so I don't think size would be an issue. But if you went for a OB visit, you can better believe they would MAKE it one....eat salt to taste, and drink plenty of water...you may have just been dehydrated, and didn't know it.
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#17 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks to everybody for the helpful responses!

(I dont have a midwife, the only ones in town that I like were almost $3000 and we couldnt afford it, and so have come to U/C and U/P, first out of necessity and now out of a very enthusiastic belief that this is good and right for us. )

Since my only "symptom" is thirst, and not to the extreme of some of the stuff you all have posted, I think I am ok! thank you so much.

To be on the safe side, I am going to R EA L L Y watch what I eat as far as any refined carbs, and it is 97 degrees out so I am not going to "excersize" per se, but I do enough around the house all day w/ the 3 little kids and housework and running errands that I am certainly "active".

I am still looking forward to hearing everything that is being posted on this issue, because it is sort of an unresolved "topic" from what I am gathering.

I never meant to "make light" of the actual disease of diabetes, I was just more wondering if thristy alone was some horrible sign.

gonna sit back and read more............thanks to everyone for all these responses already!
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#18 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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I would think you'd still be able to call the $3000 mw and ask her some questions. If she's a CNM, you could probably just pay $40-50 for and "office visit" and talk about your concerns and all. She may be very happy to talk to her over the phone! If you still have lingering questions, I would encourage you to just call and see what she says. This is just based on my experience w/ my CPM and CNM (who don't work "together" but do back eachother up). But both worked w/ UC moms for prenatals or just questions in general.

Glad you're feeling better about all this!
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#19 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 05:36 PM
 
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ah, i'd missed the u/p u/c part. thought you had a midwife who didn't
believe in GD......
sounds like you have a good idea how to watch your diet etc.
but as emmajean said, i would think the mw would consult with you
if you tighten up on diet and still feel worried. at least i can't imagine
the mw's in our community turning you down! they are an amazingly
supportive bunch. some work sliding scale too......
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#20 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately, when I told the midwives I was leaving, they got real antsy and mailed me a bunch of cold paperwork about "we do not recommend unassisted birth....etc etc we no longer can be in contact, we cannot counsel you over the phone and will not be able to communicate any longer etc etc"

I guess I understand legally but it was more than a bummer 'cuz they were so "cool". Maybe they got burned in the past.......

ANYWAYS

There is one MW in the area who I might be able to call for a consult, though.

BTW, when I told DH about my posting this today, he was like "Oh my god I am so thirsty too you are a spaz" :LOL

that might sound insensitive but it made me feel better, for now.

Anyone with any more "warning signs", or mythbusters or anything, let me know!
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#21 of 36 Old 08-02-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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I am so thirsty as well, and do not have GD, for sure.

It's not a bad plan to watch your refined carbs, anyway, just to be sure that you are eating the best you can during the last couple of months. When my blood sugar is wonky, which happens occasionally, I really feel awful and there's not much mistaking it. (It goes the other way sometimes, hypoglycemia, not diabetes).

Good luck to you on you UP/UC! How exciting for you!
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#22 of 36 Old 08-04-2005, 10:59 PM
 
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My recommendation is to try not to eat so much cooked food; go for way more raw fruit and veggies for their water content. Cooked food takes alot of water to digest.

Invest in a $20.00 glucose monitor at the drugstore. Most of them come with 10 free strips.

Watch for excessive fatigue.

Are you drinking any herbal concoctions on a daily basis? I find that the nettles, mint, raspeberry tea dries me out a bit!

Good luck!

Jess

Finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel...:
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#23 of 36 Old 08-05-2005, 06:50 PM
 
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Michel Odent, someone I think most alternative-childbirthers like us can respect (despite his malehood! ), recently wrote a short article in the Journal of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health (vol. 19, no. 2, winter 2004) titled "Gestational Diabetes: A Diagnosis Still Looking For A Disease?" in which he pretty much agrees that GD is "bullcrap" as the OP said (obviously he didn't use that word, lol )

One thing he says near the end gets applause:

Quote:
After reaching the conclusion that the term 'gestational diabetes' is useless, one can wonder if it is really harmless. Today we understand that our health is to a great extent shaped in the womb. (www.birthworks.org/primalhealth) Furthermore we can interpret more easily the effects of maternal emotional states on the growth and development of the fetus. In the current scientific context we can therefore claim that the main preoccupation of health professionals who meet pregnant women should be to protect their emotional state. In other words the first duty of midwives, doctors, and other practitioners involved in prenatal care should be to avoid any sort of "nocebo effect."

There is a nocebo effect whenever a health professional does more harm than good by interferring with the belief system, the imagination, or the emotional state of a patient or of a pregnant woman. The nocebo effect is inherent in conventional prenatal care, which is constantly focusing on potential problems. Every visit is an opportunity to be reminded of all the risks associated with pregnancy and delivery. The vocabulary can dramatically influence the emotional state of pregnant women. The term "gestational diabetes" is a perfect example.
I'd be happy to send a copy of the whole article to you if you are interested - email or PM me.

edited to add: a better place to look, imo, than the link he quoted above is:http://www.birthpsychology.com/primalhealth/index.html
The whole birthpsychology.com website is worth reading, if you can make the time.

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#24 of 36 Old 08-05-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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I've had Gestational Diabetes/Glucose Intolerance with both of my boys. In 2000, when I was pregnant with Alex, I had CNM's. I took the GD test. It was positive, so they CNM's sent me to consult with a GD Dr. She put me on a typical Diabetes diet - you start off figuring out how many carb grams you need, then build your meals around them. I controlled quite easily with that diet, but it was a PITA to have to eat that way. I wound up with a 4lb10oz. baby, though that was in part due to the fact that his umbilical cord was on the side of the placenta (marginal insertion).

In 2003, when pregnant with Robert, I ate closer to the D'Adamo Blood Type diet for my blood type (O). I found that, as long as I had enough protein and fat at each meal/snack and ate very little grain, my blood sugar #'s were always low, I felt great, and I could eat almost anything. That diet was much easier to stick to, and the results were much better. I never took the glucose test. I had a home birth with a Family Practice Dr. Robert was 10lbs. at birth.

With both pregnancies, but esp. with Robert, I felt out of balance/woozy when my blood sugar was high.

I suspect you're probably just extra thirsty because it's such a hot Summer this year. Use a blood sugar monitor for a couple of days if you like, but I wouldn't worry too much about it.
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#25 of 36 Old 08-06-2005, 05:06 AM
 
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I once worked with a client who refused GD work up. Wel, she had GD WHo abby was 11 lbs, suffered very traumatic birth and was born with brain damage and sugar peoblems of its on. Ended up in ICU. talk about interventions.
You can see a doctor jsut for GD work upa dn youcan refuse eceythigne lce. Or, like others say, go to Pahramcya nd buy a glucometer for $19,99, it ocme with a container of strips. Test yourself and see
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#26 of 36 Old 08-06-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka
I once worked with a client who refused GD work up. Wel, she had GD WHo abby was 11 lbs, suffered very traumatic birth and was born with brain damage and sugar peoblems of its on. Ended up in ICU. talk about interventions.
You can see a doctor jsut for GD work upa dn youcan refuse eceythigne lce. Or, like others say, go to Pahramcya nd buy a glucometer for $19,99, it ocme with a container of strips. Test yourself and see
Alex's blood sugar was all over the map for his first few days, because I was given a glucose IV while in labor, something that should NEVER be done to a woman with GD/GI. Maybe that's what happened with your client.

Is it certain that the baby's brain damage was not from the traumatic birth or other factors unrelated to the GD? Also, do you know what her diet was like? If it wasn't very low in simple sugars and grains, that could have been the problem.

In any case, I don't believe that one has to take the test and get an official diagnosis to know they have GD/GI. A diet adjustment (cutting waaay down on simple sugars and grains, and getting adequate protein and fat at every meal/snack) should keep blood sugar #'s even.

Current medical thinking says that it's okay for blood sugar #'s to peak and fall, as long as they don't go over certain points (90 fasting - before the meal; 120 2 hours after the meal, but before the snack). IMO/E, it's better to keep the blood sugar even and low, without all the peaks and valleys. I felt much better during my second pregnancy, and it was also less stressful. (The Michel Odent article referenced earlier suggests keeping stress to a minimum, which the medical approach to pregnancy does not do.)

Peace.
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#27 of 36 Old 08-06-2005, 05:44 PM
 
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My client was not ont he right diet becuase she did not get diagnosed with GD untill she was admitted to the hospital. She refused c-section, and the hospitla honored her request even thought the baby was huge. The client refused all IV's and her requests were honored. The birth was truamatic and prolonged becuase the baby was huge. IF the client had work up, proper diest etc, many of those complications would have been avoided simply becuase baby would not have been so big. Not all doctors are evil inteventionsit whoare there to get your baby and your $$$. Some disorders are for real . And diet does not alway control GD. For some women meds are nesssary. How can you actually know what you blood sugar is wihout taking some sort of test? One can be thirsty and urinate oftne for many other reasons. There also studies whcih show that baby's of mom's with untreated GD have higher risk of dibetes themselve. ANd women with GD have higher risk of developing dibetes later in night and need to be folowed.
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#28 of 36 Old 08-06-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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Anecdotal evidence is meaningless.


For example, studies have shown the the GTT test is not reproducibel, which tests need to be to be scientifically credible. Also, studies have also shown that those who are treated for GD and those who aren't do not have different outcomes in terms of macrosomia (sp). Lastly, and most important for me, even having the test even if it comes back negative is correlated with a high c/s rate.

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#29 of 36 Old 08-06-2005, 06:59 PM
 
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#30 of 36 Old 08-07-2005, 01:21 PM
 
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(sorry - this posted twice)
dang computer :
(a moderator can delete this)

Kelli, radical unschooling mama to four beautiful homebirthed lovies (ages 14, 9, 5, and 19 months) 
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