Testing for Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes (GD) affects about 1 in 10 women during their pregnancy. Fortunately, unlike other types of diabetes, GD (if treated properly) typically goes away after the baby is born. Although GD is usually short lived, it’s important to treat it for the health of the mother and baby. Since GD is often diagnosed later in the pregnancy, after the baby is developed, the risks to the baby are low. However, if GD is not managed, the extra insulin can a baby to be a bigger baby and delivery complications may occur.

 

The best way to find out if you have gestational diabetes is through testing and your doctor will recommend a test between the 24th and 28th week of your pregnancy. If you have certain “risk factors” such as advanced maternal age (over 35) or being overweight, your doctor may have you tested earlier in your pregnancy.

Routine Screening for GD

 

The thought of being diagnosed with gestational diabetes can be scary for many expectant mothers, however, the testing process if relatively easy and painless. While your testing experience may be different, here is what you can expect:

 

  • Initial Glucose Challenge Test: This test is also known as the 1 Hour Glucose Test. There is usually no fasting required for this test and patients are encouraged to eat as they normally would throughout the day. At the 1 hour test, you will be asked to drink a syrupy glucose solution, sometimes known as Glucola. Many people describe the glucose solution as tasting like flat soda, depending on the flavor, but it has a very sweet taste.

 

After you finish the glucose solution, you will be asked to sit quietly for an hour. After an

hour has passed your blood will be drawn and tested. If your blood sugar level is below

140 mg/dL, it’s usually considered normal and you have passed your glucose test and

further screening may not be needed. If your sugar levels test higher than 140, it’s likely

that you’ll need to move on to the 3 hour test.

 

 

  • Follow-Up Glucose Tolerance Testing: This test is also known as the 3 hour Glucose Test. Just like the initial test, you’ll be asked to drink the glucose solution, but this one has a higher concentration of glucose. You should fast (no food or drink) overnight and your blood will be drawn before you drink the Glucola, and after the first, second, and third hours. If at least 2 of your results are higher than normal, you will likely be diagnosed with GD and you will discuss treatment options with your doctor.

 

 

What If I Tested Early in My Pregnancy?

If your doctor tested you for GD before 24 weeks and you passed your glucose screening, you may have to be retested later in your pregnancy.

 

Are There Side Effects to the Test?

 

Although most women do not feel any ill effects from the glucose test, some women may feel light-headed, sweaty, or nauseous after drinking the glucose solution. If you start to feel ill, talk with medical staff and try to stay calm and quiet while you wait.

 

Cool Gear for Diabetic Joggers

Spring is finally here, and the time has come to step away from the sweaty indoor track and out into the open air. Jogging in the spring is a classic activity that runners—especially those runners who live in northern states—look forward to all year. Spring is also a popular for time for new runners to pick up the hobby.

 

Like all hobbies, springtime jogging requires some specific equipment. Running is, of course, much less gear-heavy than many other sports, but you will still need to buy a few things if you’re going to be safe and happy while getting in your daily workout. But what’s good and what’s a waste? Choosing which items to buy can be a tough problem for runner, no matter the experience level. Here are few good picks for this year’s springtime runners.

Shoes

One of the best things about having running as your hobby is that it’s so simple to gear up. Throw on some comfortable clothes, slip some shoes on, and you’re off to the races! But shoe shopping is much more complicated than it used to be. Sports scientists and athletic equipment companies spend lots of time and money coming up with innovate approaches to shoes. It’s sort of like reinventing the wheel, except that it works and is incredibly useful.

 

But which shoes to get? Here are some high quality kicks that’ve been putting a spring in the step of many industry leaders:

 

  • New Balance 1500v2. Runner’s World Magazine put these nifty little guys at the number one spot on their Best Running Shoes of 2015 feature. According to the experts at that magazine, the 1500v2 are light, react well to your feet’s movements, and have a good fit. They’ll run you over a hundred bucks, but that’s really not so bad for a product that’s going to help build you into a lean, energetic athlete this spring.
  • Saucony Triumph ISO 2. These bouncy bad boys landed the number two spot on Runner’s World’s list. The magazine cited some hi tech fabric that results in flexibility, bounce, and comfort. They’ll cost you about 150 dollars.

Shirt and Pants Fabric

Some traditionalists might not be excited about having to buy a fancy shirt for their morning jog, but believe it or not, the right apparel can make or break a run. Running will make you sweat, and if you’re wearing the wrong clothes, that sweat will drag you down. Heavy, hot, gross, and exhausted, you’ll stagger home like a college kid after a night at the bar; distractions can lead to injuries. You don’t want that. Wear light clothes created with runners in mind in order to keep your body feeling cool, relaxed, and energetic. Lighter clothes are sure to assist you as you make your way through the congested crosswalk. Be sure to remember to look both ways before crossing to ensure safety. According to Long Island accident lawyers, “drivers have an obligation to the safety of pedestrians”.

 

Coolmax Fabric. Coolmax fabric was designed by scientists to “keep your body cool, dry and comfortable enabling you to focus on improving your personal performance,” according to their makers. Moisture wicking material like Coolmax sucks the sweat off of any runner’s body. When you throw on one of their shirts or pair of socks, you know you’ll be able to focus on the important things—like running itself—while you’re out getting your spring exercise.

 

 

Diabetes Service Dogs

Diabetes affects everyone differently. While some individuals are able to manage their diabetes with relative ease and are in tune to their body’s needs, others may struggle to stay on top of or manage the disease that can be life threatening if not treated properly. When it comes to hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar), some individuals are unaware that their blood sugar is dangerously low. The American Diabetes Association refers to this as hypoglycemia unawareness and it affects people who have had diabetes for a long time and may have frequent low blood glucose episodes (which can make people less likely to sense the early warning signs). If you suffer from frequent bouts of hypoglycemia or have hypoglycemia awareness, have you considered having a dog help you out? Diabetes service dogs are becoming more popular and help to save lives. Here’s some proof:

 

Kristen has Type 1 diabetes and when she was in her early twenties she got a golden retriever puppy, whom she named Montana. One night, when Kristen was sleeping, Montana would not leave her side and was insistent that she wake up. At first, Kristen was annoyed that her dog had disturbed her sleep, but then she thought about checking her blood sugar, which ended up being low. Since the initial incident, Kristen’s four-legged friend wakes her up a few nights a month when he  detects her blood sugar is low and when she tests, he’s always right. Without Montana’s vigilant watch over Kristen, she could easily have an accident, fall into a diabetic coma, or even die.

 

The Job of a Diabetes Service Dog

 

In Kristen’s case, she was fortunate to have Montana by her side. Montana had not been trained to detect low blood sugar, it was just something he picked up on his own, but since the first life saving detection, Kristen does reward him with treats whenever he alerts her that she is hypoglycemic. A dog’s sense of smell is about 100,000 times more accurate than a human’s and even if you find your dog’s keen sense of smell to be annoying at times, it can be a lifesaver.

 

A diabetes service dog is trained to smell the changes in a person’s blood sugar, either too low or too high, through the person’s breath and body odor. Once the dog detects the change, he or she is trained to constantly alert (through pawing, whining, or barking) the individual until the levels return to normal. If the diabetic individual is unresponsive or is not improving, the service dog is trained to seek assistance from someone else.

 

Like other service dogs, a diabetes service dog becomes a constant companion and is always on watch for changes in his or her diabetic companion. Not only can a diabetes service dog save the life of his or her companion, but individuals with diabetes may feel more in control of their diabetes and may feel less afraid to partake in everyday activities such as work, social engagements, and even taking a nap.

Lunch Ideas for Diabetic Children

Being a mom is never easy, but packing lunches for your kids is especially hard. And if your kids have diabetes, things get even more difficult. Kids can be picky in best of circumstances, and most of them don’t have the mental abilities yet to understand their medical condition.

 

But there’s plenty of nutritious food that even kids will love. Not everything is loaded with sugar. And on the other hand, not all foods marketed as healthy will be appropriate for a child with diabetes. Read on for some basic advice on what to seek and what to avoid when putting together your kids’ lunches.

Add Cheese and Fresh Fruit for Lunch

Fresh fruit is a great way to get your children eating nutrient packed foods. Fruits are full of vitamins and minerals, and for most parents, fruit is an easy thing to pack for kids. But if your kids have diabetes, fruit has a catch: it’s often loaded with sugars. Grapes, apples, bananas, and other fruits may lead to blood sugar spikes.

 

One way to counteract this sugar blast is to add some cheese to your kids’ fruits. Cheese is filled with protein, which makes diabetic bodies process carbohydrates more efficiently. Luckily, high protein cheeses are easy to find, and kids love them. Try adding a few cubes of cheese to a small tupperware of grapes to keep your kids happy and healthy.

Avoid a High Sugar Lunch

Not all supposedly healthy food is going to be good for your kids, especially if those kids are diabetic. Yogurts, especially, can pack some seriously absurd degrees of sugar. A little container of yogurt, if you’re not careful, can be as sugary as a can of soda.

 

Yogurt does have plenty of health benefits. If you look at labels, you won’t have too much trouble finding a yogurt that doesn’t overload your kids’ blood with glucose.

Go Nuts!

Another way to add protein to yours kids’ diet—and thus help their bodies process sugars at a safe pace—is to add nuts to their diets. Nuts like almonds and walnuts and loaded with proteins and healthy fats that will give your kids long-lasting and powerful energy. And they’re delicious. Most kids love the crunch and flavor of nuts. Just remember to lay off the salt.

Use Whole Grain Bread for Sandwiches

Kids love sandwiches, and as a mom, you’ve probably already gotten sandwich-making down to a fine art. But did you know that fluffy white bread can be tough on diabetic systems? Processed, white breads are digested quickly and can make blood sugar levels pop up. Stick to whole grain breads, which the body digests more slowly.

Add Some Emergency Sweet Stuff

Diabetes can lead to low blood sugar as well as high. And low blood sugar is scarier. Make sure your child has access to foods that can boost sugars quickly. Send a juice box with them with they leave for school, but remember to tell them to save it for when they need it; a jump in glucose levels is usually not the thing they need.   

Skin Conditions and Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolism malfunction, connected to the inability of the body to convert glucose. The symptoms for diabetes in an individual are often quite evident. Symptoms often include: frequent urination, constant feeling of thirstiness, hunger even after having eaten, extreme sense of fatigue, problems with vision (blurry), and really slow process of healing of cuts and bruises. This slow healing can lead to a dangerous complication that can result from chronically high blood sugar levels.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of systemic disease such as diabetes. This disorder occurs because of the malfunction of nerves which have been destroyed or damaged. Because of this, the transmission of signals is significantly interrupted, thus causing the sense of pain even though there may be nothing wrong in that area, or the opposite of not sending pain signals when something isn’t right. This can cause loss of sensation and numbness usually in the extremities. This happens very often in the feet. It is estimated that about 70 percent of those with consistently high blood sugar levels will eventually develop peripheral neuropathy.

Diabetes is one of the top causes for this type of neuropathy. It usually appears in people with diabetes that are overweight, over 40 years old or have significantly high blood pressure. This is extremely dangerous because even a slight injury to the foot can easily go unnoticed and can turn into a more serious scenario, possibly even leading to amputation.

The Dangers of Skin Wounds 

With the nerve damage diabetes causes, the proper function of the immune system of the body is interrupted. People suffering from diabetes often have problems with infections and coagulation from open wounds. Some precautions need to be taken in order to prevent these minor wounds from becoming an even bigger problem. In case this happens, the individual should take action as soon as possible to prevent a build-up of bacteria and the creation of larger bacteria colony. Some immediate steps to take are to place the wound under a water stream to clean any dirt or debris from the wound. After that, it is important to apply an antibacterial ointment on the open wound and cover it with a sterile bandage. It is not recommended to use soap, iodine or hydrogen peroxide as this will only increase the irritation. Soap should only be applied around the areas of the wound, but not on it. Be sure to change the bandage every day and put on a new sterile bandage, while making sure to clean the area around it each time.

Regardless of how minor the injury may seem, it is very important to consult with your doctor and get the injury checked out. Even minor skin rashes or wounds are advised to be seen by a professional in order to prevent bigger problems. Especially if the location is the foot (diabetics are prone to have blisters on such areas), stay off the foot as much as possible.

The best therapy is prevention; if you suffer from diabetes check your feet daily for any changes on the skin. Practice proper and diligent hygiene, and wear proper socks and shoes. Also, take care when clipping toenails, and keep an eye out for ingrown nails, as they can result in bigger issues as well.