What’s “Gestational Diabetes”? No, It’s Not Type 3

You can't tell if she has it just by looking

You can’t tell if she has it just by looking

In a recent article Amy Campbell over at Diabetes Self-Management defines it and goes over risk factors, diagnosis, and why it’s important. I expect a second post on management principles in the near future.

Here’s my review from 2010.

In terms of the best diet, a recent study found no significant outcome differences on a 40% carb diet compared to a standard 55% carb diet. I would have guessed the lower-carb diet would better (see below).

Update Sept. 16, 2013:

Here’s part 2 of Amy’s series, beginning discussion of treatment.

I logged onto UpToDate.com and reviewed treatment briefly. The high points are:

  • See a registered dietitian for counseling.
  • “There is scant level 1 [high quality] evidence to support most aspects of the nutritional prescription for gestational diabetes mellitus.”
  • The authors limit carbohydrates to less than 40% of total calories.
  • Goals of treatment are 1) prevent ketosis, 2) support adequate weight gain of the mother based on body mass index, 3) support the baby, and 4) when drug therapy is needed, use insulin instead of pills.
  • UTD agrees with Amy that frequent blood sugar tests (at least 4x/day) with a home glucose monitor are helpful.


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