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Gestational diabetes-anyone else?

(85 Posts)
ElleSarcasmo Sat 03-Sep-16 08:31:26

I've been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and I'm finding it really nerve wracking! Anyone in the same boat and want to share war stories and food tips? I'm 27 weeks and this is my first pregnancy.

I've only been monitoring my blood glucose for a few days and so far the readings have been ok-I have to aim for 5.3 fasting (before breakfast) and 7.8 after meals. I'm really hoping to be able to avoid insulin! I had a look back at some old threads on here and there was some great advice. I'm definitely getting the Burgen bread as 1 slice of my normal toast gave me the highest reading yet.

This one from 2013

this one from 2015

ElleSarcasmo Sat 03-Sep-16 11:33:15

At the risk of talking to myself smile , I found this website which has been really useful Gestational Diabetes UK and they also have a Facebook group which I've asked to join.

user1471466422 Sat 03-Sep-16 11:42:10

Yes me. I'm 33 weeks now and on insulin. The website and FB group are helpful. I can tolerate a bit of burgen bread ok, although don't much like it! I find oatcakes useful. Be aware sometimes you just can't control it with diet, though, as that has been the case for me. But the baby seems fine, just big, you get close monitoring, and I'm heading for an early induction I think.

TipBoov Sat 03-Sep-16 11:47:05

Me! sad

I was only told yesterday, and my appointment isn't until Friday, so I've just been told to avoid sugary food until then. I feel so overwhelmed at the moment!

I'm vegetarian too and so it really limits what I can eat.

ElleSarcasmo Sat 03-Sep-16 12:27:15

Hi user and Tip! smile

User, when did you have to start insulin? My diabetic nurse said most women there are either diet or metformin controlled but that doesn't seem the same as what I read on old threads on here. My fasting was 0.1 over target today so I am thinking that might mean early treatment over night.

Tip I was told on a Friday too! I cried my eyes out. It does feel overwhelming. Hope your team are helpful on Friday. Are you getting your monitor then? Before I picked it up they just said to avoid fizzy drinks, fruit juice and cake, biscuits etc or rather to consume them in moderation. Once you start testing you will be able to figure out what works for you (I'm not there yet!)

TheDisillusionedAnarchist Sat 03-Sep-16 12:39:58

Yes, 26 weeks and on metformin and insulin. I'm aiming to keep glucose levels very tight though (6.4 or below at 2 hours)

without insulin this just meant lots of ketones due to too low carbs, so they said take insulin and eat more carbs. so far I'm doing okay and baby's growth is spot on and proportional so just need to keep it going.

ElleSarcasmo Sat 03-Sep-16 13:08:32

Hi Disillusioned smile

Is your control much better since you started on insulin? I haven't been given specific advice about how many carbs to eat, but have been referred to the dietician.

I have been asked to check blood sugar 1 hour after food, so that might be why your levels are different? Is your fasting level the same?

MagpieCursedTea Sat 03-Sep-16 14:38:22

I'm on my second GD pregnancy. I was diagnosed at 28 weeks last time and ended up on metformin and insulin.
I was diagnosed at 13 weeks this time (currently 22 weeks) and was on metformin already for PCOS (stayed on it to reduce miscarriage risk in first trimester and then got diagnosed with GD so just never came off it).
I've moved since my first pregnancy so have different targets this time as under a different trust which I find weird. I have to be under 6 before breakfast and under 8 1 hour after meals which is much less strict than my last pregnancy.
I'm also veggie normally (though eating some fish since being pregnant) but it's manageable.
I've found the advice from GD UK really helpful, especially the stuff about food pairing.

user1471466422 Sat 03-Sep-16 14:48:48

I check 1 hour after food too. The NICE guidelines say below 7.8 for that and below 5.3 fasting. metformin and insulin do help but it gets worse as you get more pregnant so you tend to keep increasing the dose. Fasting levels are my main issue as strict carb control does seem to work, although am not sure I always eat enough, and baby is still big regardless of what I do. I don't think being veggie will be a huge deal for eating well. Eggs, cheese, nuts are all good things to eat, as are veg! I find pulses ok too.

ElleSarcasmo Sat 03-Sep-16 15:45:09

Hi Magpie smile. How do they diagnose you second time round? Is it another GTT, and do you have to leave the metformin off first? Thanks for the advice, I will have a look at some of the info about food pairing.

User I remembered my husband won't eat the Burgen bread as he claims it tastes like feet grin. I've had a normal wholemeal sandwich for lunch and just got a reading of 7, I think it is harder at 33 weeks though. I think you would automatically be induced earlier if on insulin, looking at the NICE guidelines? If you don't mind me asking, were you put on insulin only for high fasting levels?

mummydoc123 Sat 03-Sep-16 17:19:34

Hi! Second pregnancy with GD - this time started at 16 weeks. On insulin four times a day (three doses of rapid acing with meals and then a longer acting at night as all levels were high) and metformin twice a day. Now 36+5. Just titrated up my insulin and metformin to get good control - largely my control has been good throughout although have had some wobbles with hypos. The past week has been difficult and had to hike up my insulin a lot but that's to be expected in third trimester. Baby fine. Lots of monitoring. Looking at induction around 38 weeks - we think.
You'll find your way with this, and will start to see what makes your sugars rise and what doesn't. I eat less carbs (but still a reasonable portion) and when I do have them I always have slow release eg brown pasta, brown rice, oatcakes. You may find mornings much harder than evenings as insulin resistance tends to be higher then - I find eggs a godsend. I also find nature valley bars great for snacks at times of the day when I find my blood glucose tends to dip. Being on insulin means always carrying snacks with you - ds loves it as he knows there's always something to eat in my handbag!
Try not to stress too will get the hang of it. I remember sobbing when I was diagnosed during my first pregnancy. By the second it was expected and we've just got on with it. I've only just stopped working, still driving, go to the gym and swim. Have to take extra precautions due to insulin but hasn't stopped me doing what I normally do and life has trundled on.
P.S. Last baby was 6lb 7oz and delivered at 38 weeks (induced) so not all ladies with diabetes have big babies.
Good luck and best wishes x

MagpieCursedTea Sat 03-Sep-16 17:29:02

Mummydoc I love nature valley bars too! Do you mind me asking when you started on insulin? I haven't needed it yet but fully expect to end up on it again at some point (I was on slow release at night last time to control my fasting).

Elle I was offered the option of just testing after food or having the GTT. I went with the GTT as I just wanted to know straight away and thought I could avoid all the testing if I didn't have it. I've been on metformin the whole time including during the GTT. Clearly it wasn't enough to manage that amount of glucose! I've had no issues since though and am managing with the same dose and being careful with what I eat.

mummydoc123 Sat 03-Sep-16 20:50:04

Magpie -This pregnancy I saw the consultant at 17 weeks and told her I had symptoms (I had been essentially diet controlling since found out was pregnant as I new it would happen). Got BM monitor and then contacted diabetes specialist nurse after a few days to say BMs were universally high. Started on insulin right away - both short acting for meals and longer acting for fasting BMs. Later on started metformin too.
First pregnancy had normal GTT at 28 weeks and then developed symptoms at 30ish weeks and was started on insulin right away (short acting for meals). Eventually needed long acting too. No metformin (was 7 years ago and don't think it was used in pregnancy then).

ElleSarcasmo Sat 03-Sep-16 21:31:46

Hi mummydoc! Sounds like you've done really well if you've managed good control all the way through. Do you find that exercise helps much with your blood glucose levels? The nurse I saw said it makes quite a bit of difference, especially walking. That's good to hear your baby was not too big last time either smile thanks for your kind wishes too xx

Magpie it definitely makes more sense to find out. I'm glad I got diagnosed relatively early so I can (hopefully) get to grips with it!

mummydoc123 Sat 03-Sep-16 22:06:37

Hi Elle! I do find exercise makes quite an impact on my blood sugar at the time (got to be careful with that if using insulin) but also generally. I'm not doing more than before being pregnant but have tried to keep going to gym once a week and swim at least once, even if not feeling like it. Figured the less weight I put on (I'm already overweight) the better controlled the diabetes would be. I think I've actually gone down a dress size over all due to better diet. Getting some funny looks in the gym now with my massive bump though! Don't want you to think I've always got my blood glucose control perfect - but when I've struggled I've had good access to the diabetes team who have been really supportive.

ElleSarcasmo Sat 03-Sep-16 22:44:49

That's good to know mummydoc. I have been swimming 2-3x per week but was worried it wasn't frequent enough of that the timing wouldn't be right to make a difference (as there seems to be a lot of advice out there that exercising after food is helpful-obviously I don't fancy eating dinner then going for a swim after!). I was trying not to put on too much weight too but have unfortunately failed spectacularly so far! Hopefully the GD way of eating will help anyway.

ElleSarcasmo Sun 04-Sep-16 16:42:12

Hope everyone's ok today. My fasting reading was 5.4 again. I'm speaking to the nurse tomorrow so we'll see what she says. I'm thinking if it persists/gets worse they may suggest night insulin?

MagpieCursedTea Sun 04-Sep-16 17:25:16

Are you already on metformin?

ElleSarcasmo Sun 04-Sep-16 18:08:27

Not yet Magpie, is it good for lowering fasting glucose?

MagpieCursedTea Sun 04-Sep-16 18:18:06

I only ever struggled with fasting glucose in my last pregnancy and was put on metformin first and then onto insulin when that didn't get it down. So it was certainly the first thing that team tried for me. There seems to be a lot of variations depending on where you are though.

ElleSarcasmo Mon 05-Sep-16 08:38:38

That's interesting Magpie. I got a reading of 5.9 this morning-tried another finger and it was 6.3! I can't see any reason for it being different. I think my team are keen to start with metformin, I'll speak to the nurse today and see what they say.

MagpieCursedTea Mon 05-Sep-16 08:54:03

Finger pricks and monitors aren't completely accurate. The only way to get a properly accurate reading is from a full on blood test which obviously isn't practical four times a day. So if you repeat tests, you'll get different numbers. Good luck with the nurse today!

I'm stressed this morning as my monitor broke last night, haven't been able to test and desperately trying to get a replacement. Not a great start to the week.

ElleSarcasmo Mon 05-Sep-16 19:52:17

Oh no, that sucks Magpie! Hope you managed to get hold of one. My diabetic team said I can always drop in and pick stuff up (during office hours), which is reassuring, yours might be the same if you're still stuck?

Summerholidayblues Mon 05-Sep-16 20:05:03

Hi everyone, I'm really pleased you started this thread - I'm 28 weeks and haven't got my monitor yet but I'm really struggling with hunger and snacks. I'm living on carrots, hummus and nuts and massively missing carbs. Has anyone found any simple work-friendly snacks? Thanks!

MagpieCursedTea Mon 05-Sep-16 22:27:50

Elle it started working again! So relieved, especially as they never phoned me back.

Summer it's so scary to begin with, especially before you can monitor your blood. How long until your first appointment? It's important to eat some carbs, I recommend checking out the gestational diabetes uk website. Some great advice on there. For snacks I usually have nuts, babybel, nature valley protein bars or oatcakes with full fat cream cheese.

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