I've just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Will it go away?
Roughly how many calories a day will nursing my baby require?
Providing breast milk for one baby burns, on average, about 500 calories per day.
Yes — insulin is considered safe to take when pregnant or breast-feeding, and there have been no reported cases of adverse effects in babies. Diabetes pills, however, are not recommended for women who are breast-feeding.
Yes — while having diabetes can make breast-feeding more challenging, it is not considered a medical reason not to breast-feed.
While labor leading to a vaginal delivery may lower a woman’s blood glucose level, a cesarean section can be stressful to the body and may raise the blood glucose level.
The calorie needs for pregnancy range from 2400 to 2800 calories per day for most physically active pregnant women.
To keep tabs on increasing insulin requirements during pregnancy and facilitate adjustments, blood glucose self-monitoring should be done 7–10 times daily.
The normal hormone production and weight gain that occur during pregnancy increase insulin resistance, causing a woman’s insulin needs to change during this time.
Keeping a week’s medicines in a pill box that has a separate compartment for each day can help you remember to take them.
When you have symptoms of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia), use your meter to confirm them, then limit yourself to consuming 15–30 grams of carbohydrate to treat the low.
Maybe. If you take insulin and regularly need to eat before or during exercise to prevent or treat low blood sugar, speak to your doctor or diabetes educator about lowering your insulin doses on days you exercise.
If you must use a limited number of test strips because of their cost, try to use them in a way that lets you see a pattern in your blood glucose readings.
To avoid hypoglycemia, try to have no more than 10% of your blood glucose readings before meals or at bedtime below 70 mg/dl (80 mg/dl for very young children).
Following any episode of severe hypoglycemia (one that results in seizure, loss of consciousness, or unresponsiveness), greater attention to blood glucose control and possibly a change in therapy are in order.
Carbohydrate has the most profound effect on blood glucose levels. Monitor your carbohydrate intake and use this information to calculate your insulin and/or oral medicine doses.
Alcohol may cause blood glucose to drop several hours after it is consumed, even though it may raise blood glucose at first if the drink is carbohydrate-rich. Adjust your medicine and/or carbohydrate intake based on this effect.
For most people with diabetes, a blood glucose level of 70 mg/dl or less is considered low, and treatment is recommended to prevent it from dropping even lower. If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia and do not have your blood glucose meter available, treatment is recommended.
For people with Type 2 diabetes, multiple episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) are usually a sign that insulin and/or oral medicines should be reduced.
Not necessarily — when analyzing your blood glucose readings, it helps to recognize the difference between an isolated reading and a pattern of readings; one isolated reading is far less noteworthy than a pattern.
Not necessarily — since the brain’s ability to detect hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) is reduced with each episode of it, don’t assume you’ll know if it happens again based on how you felt the last time it happened.
If you are confused about what your blood glucose readings mean or about what could have caused a reading, go over them with a diabetes educator or with your health-care provider.
Allow your body a day to adjust to time zone changes, but try to get back to your usual meal and sleep schedule on the first full day at your destination.
Yes — even though after-meal high blood glucose levels are temporary (often resembling a spike when plotted on a graph), frequent between-meal rises can cause your HbA1c to go up.
Current American Diabetes Association recommendations are to get low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) levels below 100 milligrams per deciliter.
Yes — never omit your diabetes pills or insulin when you are not feeling well, unless instructed to by your health-care provider.
Because some foods may keep for less than a year, plan on checking your sick-day box every six months or so.
The idea behind a sick-day box is to have all of your sick-day supplies together in a place you can easily reach for when you do not feel like moving or cannot move very far. Work with your health-care team to personalize your sick-day box to cover all your health needs. Keep a list of names and important telephone numbers on a single page or file card in your sick-day box. A pen and pad of paper are among the most important items in your sick-day box. Every sick-day box should have a thermometer to check for fever.
Yes — if you’re considering a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet for weight loss or blood glucose control, check with your doctor or diabetes educator first.
Ketones are formed when fat is burned for energy by the muscles. If you don’t have glucose available for fuel (because you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, for example), you will form ketones when your muscles burn fat. Having measurable amounts of ketones in the urine (or blood) is cause for concern. The problem with high levels of ketones is that they are relatively strong acids, and because of their acidity, their presence in the blood can reduce the ability of oxygen to bind to hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen to cells that need it.
Yes — you should always treat blood glucose levels of 70 mg/dl or less, whether or not you have symptoms.
Many nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K, are necessary to build healthy bones. The most important of these are calcium and vitamin D.
New to diabetes? Find out everything you need to know.
Some people find that decreasing the amount of carbohydrate they eat can help with blood glucose control. Here’s what to know about this approach.
Patch pumps are simpler to operate than traditional insulin pumps and may be a good option for some people with Type 2 diabetes who need insulin.
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