As a diabetes educator, I know other women’s experience will help you relate to the physical and emotional issues associated with gestational diabetes and know that you are not alone! Gestational diabetes affects people differently with various outcomes.
Stephanie, another girl friend of mine, has also kindly wrote her gestational diabetes experience for me to share with you. She has family history of type 2 diabetes which is a risk factor for developing gestational diabetes (please refer to my article on Gestational Diabetes)
She experienced emotional stress and still sailed through her first gestational diabetes pregnancy with lifestyle modification! Her blood glucose level went back to normal after the birth of her daughter. All her daughters are healthy and active.
I am still amazed by her success of losing 20kg through increased physical activities and health eating! She could resist the temptation from eating the chocolates I brought to work! Amazing woman!
However, she became pre-diabetes (please refer to my article on Pre-Diabetes) after her second gestational diabetes pregnancy and she developed type 2 diabetes 6 years later. She is now taking medication to treat her type 2 diabetes (please refer to my article on Medication for type 2 diabetes 1/5)
Thank you, Stephanie!
When I was pregnant with my second child 18 years ago, my GP sent me for the standard glucose tolerance test at around 24 weeks of pregnancy. With my grandfather and father having already been diagnosed with diabetes, I had tested my glucose levels on the odd occasion and the readings were quite normal so I was note overly concerned about what the results might be.
Later that week my doctor called me with the results, I had a positive reading for gestational diabetes which left me feeling quite surprised and a little frightened. Even though I had grown up knowing limited information about this condition, I did however, remember witnessing my grandfather and dad injecting themselves with insulin over the years, it worried me that I too would have to do this. My GP referred me to an Endocrinologist and a Diabetes educator for further review.
I was educated by both on how to look after my baby and myself without causing danger to either of us. The specialist closely monitored me with regular visits and the diabetes educator helped me understand the condition and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I was also given a blood glucose monitor for me to check my sugar levels 4 times a day. It was a massive change to me as I was quite an unhealthy person, I struggled to adapt to this big adjustment.
As the pregnancy went on my levels were harder to control and it got to a point that at 37 weeks there was talk of being put on insulin if things didn’t improve, this encouraged me to try even harder to keep my levels down as I did not want to have to inject myself. Lucky for me, it didn’t get to that point. Six weeks after having my daughter, my glucose levels were tested again and for now they had gone back to normal which was a relief.
After some time, in between having my second and third daughter my levels started fluctuating and seemed to always be sitting on borderline diabetes. I fell pregnant with my third child and once again, the gestational diabetes had returned. It was the same scenario I had experienced with my last pregnancy except this time it didn’t go away once I had given birth. I was labelled glucose intolerant. Now I had to make my healthy lifestyle permanent. My weight went up and down, my levels went up and down, my changes came and went until one day, 6 years after my last child I was told “you have progressed to diabetes”. I now take 1 diaformin a day and lost 20 kgs with healthy eating and exercise and my levels are under control (for now).
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