Even though my glucose test is still many weeks away, I am already dreading it, and I’m nervous about what the results might reveal. My fear is that, because I have PCOS, and because my blood sugar levels are usually a bit high, I will develop gestational diabetes.
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a condition in which women who have not previously displayed high blood glucose levels display such levels during pregnancy.
Why is gestational diabetes a big deal?
- It occurs in 3-8 out of every 100 women.
- It can increase the risk of having a large baby.
- It increases the risk of cesarean sections.
- It can increase your risk for developing Type II Diabetes later on in life.
There are no natural remedies that can guarantee freedom from gestational diabetes, but evidence does exist that the following treatments may reduce the risk, and help guard against the condition.
- Vitamin D: Women with PCOS are Vitamin D deficient, so making the extra effort to get enough Vitamin D is especially important for those of us with PCOS. While the use of Vitamin D supplements has not been shown to reduce risk for gestational diabetes, Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risk for gestational diabetes. Click
here for a list of the best natural sources of Vitamin D.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C deficiency is also linked to increased risk for gestational diabetes. But again, it has not yet been specifically determined that Vitamin C supplements decrease the risk, although this would make sense, at least in my mind. Click here for a list of the best natural sources of Vitamin C.
- Astragalus: Astragalus is an herb that may hold promise in the treatment of gestational diabetes. Be aware that using certain herbs during pregnancy may not be safe, so you would want to have a chat with your doctor before incorporating astragalus into your diet. Click here to learn more about astragalus.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugars, and can be eaten or taken as a supplement.
- Eat a proper PCOS diet: This means avoiding processed foods and foods that are high in sugar. It means eating a moderate-carbohydrate diet, but pairing your carbs with fats and/or proteins. It means eating every several hours in order to stay ahead of extreme hunger.
- Exercise: Exercising helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Research has shown that walking 15 minutes before breakfast, 15 minutes before lunch, and 15 minutes before dinner will help stabilize blood sugar levels in women with PCOS, who are pre-diabetic, or who have diabetes or gestational diabetes. Any safe exercising is great, no matter when you do it! Just get moving a bit!
If any of you have experienced gestational diabetes, I would love to hear how it impacted your pregnancy, labor, and delivery!