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Glucose Tolerance Test

To control elevated blood sugar:

  • Eat a variety of foods, distributing the calories and carbohydrates evenly throughout the day.

  • Don't skip meals! Even if you're feeling bloated or nauseas, eat something. This will help maintain an even your blood sugar level throughout the day.

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  • Your body uses high-fiber foods more slowly than carbohydrates and will keep your blood sugar levels from spiking too high after meals. High-fiber foods include whole grain breads and pastas, cereals, dried peas, and beans.

After birth, a baby born to a mother with gestational diabetes may have breathing problems, low blood sugar, an increased risk for jaundice, polycythemia (extra red blood cells in the body), and hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood), as well as a higher risk of developing childhood and adult obesity and diabetes. In extreme cases, the babyís heart function could be affected.

Unlike other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes usually resolves itself after delivery; however, you will have to take a glucose test about six to 12 weeks after delivery to be sure your blood sugar levels have returned to normal. A small percentage of women remain diabetic after delivery, but many experts believe these women had undiagnosed cases of diabetes before they became pregnant.

According to the American Diabetes Association, gestational diabetes is the most common pregnancy complication, affecting between 2 and 5 percent of women. It can strike women who were diabetic before becoming pregnant, as well as those who have no history of diabetes, and occurs more frequently in African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Pacific Islanders, South or East Asians and Native Americans than in other groups.

Gestational diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar. When you eat food, your digestive system breaks down the food into glucose, a type of sugar, which enters your bloodstream and is converted to energy with the help of insulin, a hormone secreted by your pancreas. Just like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes occurs when the glucose remains in the bloodstream instead of being converted to energy. Experts at the American Diabetes Association are not sure why this occurs, but they believe that hormones secreted during pregnancy may make it hard for the motherís body to use insulin (a condition called insulin resistance), which allows more glucose to stay in the bloodstream.

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