Diabetes mellitus, also known as diabetes, is a chronic disorder in which an individual’s blood glucose levels are abnormally high. A lack or decrease of insulin results in continuously elevated blood sugar levels. Diabetes diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. Early diagnosis and management of diabetes help prevent any complications induced by it.
What Are the Tests for Diabetes?
● Fasting blood sugar test: Testing for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes using a fasting blood sugar test is common. A fasting blood sugar test, also known as an FBS, is conducted to check the plasma glucose levels in your blood after an overnight fast of at least 8 to 10 hours. A fasting blood sugar test indicates the current glucose level. Normal fasting blood sugar is 99 mg/dL or lower. A value between 100 and 125 mg/dL is called prediabetes. A value above 126 mg/dL means that you may have diabetes.
- Postprandial test: In this test,glucose levels are measured 2 hours after eating a meal. The normal range is under 140 mg/dL.
- HbA1C test: This test measures the average value of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. Normal is less than 5.7%, and a person is said to be diabetic at 6.5 or higher.
- Random blood sugar test: A sample of blood is collected at any given time, and a random blood sugar level will be checked. A value of 200 mg/dL or higher suggests diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance test: In a glucose tolerance test, the amount of glucose is measured an hour after consuming a solution made of 75g of sugar and 300ml of water. Diabetes is diagnosed when the test level is 200 mg/dL or higher.
If one or more of these tests come positive, the physician will advise you to repeat the test to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes.
Who Requires a Blood Sugar Test?
- Individuals who are overweight or have high blood pressure
- People with a history of diabetes in the family
- Pregnant women
- People with diabetes need to test regularly to see if their levels are staying within range.
Why Is a Diabetes Test Necessary?
Multiple complications can occur. If diabetes is not diagnosed early or blood glucose levels are not kept in the normal range, high glucose levels can lead to blurred vision, kidney disease, heart problems, etc. Early diagnosis and treatment of the condition are crucial to avoid further issues.
Why Are Pregnant Women at Risk of Developing Diabetes?
During pregnancy, the placenta makes several hormones. Some of these hormones make it challenging for insulin to keep blood sugar in check. During pregnancy, the body has to make about three times its normal amounts of insulin. Gestational diabetes develops when the pancreas, responsible for producing insulin, cannot make enough during pregnancy. This causes extra sugar to build up in the blood.
Gestational Diabetes Diet
This diet consists of dividing the whole meal into six portions. You should have three smaller meals plus snacks (low-carb). Carbohydrates are an essential part of the gestational diabetes diet and should not be excluded.
Food to Eat
- Choose whole-grain carbohydrates like brown rice, beans, berries, sweet potatoes, and whole-wheat bread
- Lean protein foods, including meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and low-fat dairy
- Bulk up meals with vegetables and salads like broccoli, cucumber, onion, beans, pepper, and salad greens
- Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, peanut butter, olive oil, nuts and seeds
- Drink plenty of sugar-free fluids
- High fibre – present in wheat, nuts and seeds – is essential when you are on a gestational diabetes diet
- Meals are an essential factor for taking care of yourself and keeping your blood glucose under control
- Drink 8–10 glasses of sugar-free fluids every day
Food to Avoid
- Soda, tea, coffee and juices as they loaded with sugar in the form of carbohydrates and empty calories
- Cakes, sugary drinks, honey and syrups
- Cookies, candy and ice cream
- White, refined carbohydrates
- Alcoholic beverages
- Fried foods
Blood sugar levels can provide valuable health information and show how well the body processes sugar from food. It can indicate if you have diabetes or are at risk of getting it. The early identification of prediabetes helps to stop it from developing into a full-blown condition.
Gestational diabetes is not your fault. It is caused by the way the hormones in pregnancy affect you. You just have to choose the right food, eat healthily, lose weight and keep an eye on what you consume. At the same time, you need to drink as much water as you can and walk regularly.