Between weeks 24 and 28, nearly all pregnant women in America are tested for gestational diabetes (GD), a form of diabetes caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy. It often has no obvious symptoms, so the glucose test is the only way to find it. Yesterday we got positive results for Jenny’s glucose test, indicating that she has the condition.
Obviously, this isn’t what we wanted or expected, but as far as pregnancy problems go, it’s certainly not the worst outcome, either. GD elevates both the mother’s and baby’s blood sugar and insulin levels. The mother needs to change her diet to reduce carbs and smooth out her food intake throughout the day to keep her blood sugar levels both lower and more stable. Some mothers require insulin shots. For the baby, GD causes him to store the extra blood sugar as fat, which can lead to higher birth weights, earlier births, jaundice, and other problems. Long-term, baby is more likely to be overweight, and both mother and baby are more likely to develop Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes later in life. GD in mothers usually disappears on its own around 6 weeks after birth.
Jenny is handling the diagnosis well. The hardest part for both of us will be modifying our very carb-heavy diets, but we are up for the challenge. We have an appointment with a nutritionist Thursday afternoon and a diabetes specialist on Monday afternoon to discuss diet, blood testing, the need for insulin, and other issues. Please pray for us as we get some answers and work out a new eating plan. Also pray that Jonathan remains healthy and doesn’t get too big. I’m doing my part by scarfing down the half-gallon of Blue Bell that Jenny bought the day before she got the news.
For more information on GD, check WebMD.com.