How to Avoid Gestational Diabetes with Naturopathy?

naturopathy against gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a disorder of blood sugar regulation linked, in part, to diet. It occurs during pregnancy and manifests itself by an increase in blood sugar levels. The body of a mother-to-be undergoes many metabolic changes. Hormones are disrupted and sometimes insulin is not as effective. As a result, glucose no longer circulates correctly in the cells and remains blocked in the blood; this is hyperglycemia. This disorder can have serious consequences for both mother and child. However, thanks to certain soft practices such as naturopathy, it is now possible to avoid gestational diabetes. Thus, we will see that adapting one’s lifestyle as soon as one wants to have a child can be very effective.

What is diabetes?

The pancreas is in charge of detecting the increase of blood sugar in the blood. When this happens, the pancreas secretes insulin, which regulates the concentration of glucose in the blood by allowing glucose to enter the cells (muscle and fat tissue, and liver). It is thanks to insulin that blood sugar levels return to normal.

The hormonal storm that takes place during pregnancy with the increase in progesterone, estrogen, and cortisol disrupts the balance of the glucose-insulin couple.

During pregnancy, insulin resistance develops physiologically from the second trimester onwards. Indeed, the elimination of glucose is reduced, and insulin is therefore secreted in a more massive way to try to compensate for this increase in blood glucose. This is why, if the pancreas of the mother-to-be does not secrete enough insulin to compensate for this disturbance, gestational diabetes will develop.

Analyze the risk factors of developing this pathology

Whether you are already pregnant, or simply at the stage of preconception of a baby, this reflection will be useful. Also, if you are having difficulty conceiving, asking yourself about the risk factors for developing gestational diabetes can be a determining factor. Also, taking into account the elements that facilitate fertility in women, as well as in men, is essential.

In the case of diabetes, there are several factors that can increase the probability of developing it during pregnancy. The main criteria to consider are:

  • Age over 35 years;
  • Overweight (check BMI);
  • Cases of type 2 diabetes in the immediate family (father, mother, brother, sister);
  • Presence of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy (30 to 80% recurrence rate);
  • Delivery of a baby weighing more than 4 kg during a previous delivery;
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome.

A sedentary lifestyle, smoking, alcohol consumption or an unbalanced diet are also to be taken into account and excluded from a healthy baby project.

Gestational diabetes presents itself in two cases

In the first case, it manifests itself during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. While the body undergoes many hormonal changes, the metabolism can present an insulin resistance. This is a decrease in the effectiveness of insulin in regulating blood sugar levels. In general, the disease disappears after childbirth.

In the second case, the pathology was already present but had not been diagnosed, and is revealed during pregnancy.

Indeed, diabetes is often asymptomatic. Or its manifestations are similar to those of the pregnant woman (strong fatigue, intense thirst, excessive urination, migraines). However, there are ways to detect it. If you check several of the above factors, you will be monitored by a professional who will prescribe regular blood tests and urine analyses. Otherwise, you will be tested for diabetes during pregnancy. This test consists of observing the way your body assimilates sugar after having triggered a hyperglycemia (blood test on an empty stomach, after 1 hour, after 2 hours).

Measuring the impact of this disorder

Impact on the mother-to-be

Gestational diabetes can have consequences on maternal and infant health. It is good to be aware of these consequences in order to prevent them.

First of all, the delivery can be more difficult. Indeed, if the fetus is itself overweight, medical personnel may be forced to:

  • schedule a premature birth;
  • use instruments (forceps, spatulas, or suction cups);
  • perform a cesarean section.

Also, high blood pressure may develop and cause pre-eclampsia. Coagulation disorders have also been observed in some subjects. This can lead to placental abruption. Finally, being pregnant and having diabetes is an increased risk of dehydration and renal failure.

In general, this medical context is a source of great anxiety. A reinforced medical surveillance will be essential during and after.

Consequences on the fetus

The baby suffers from gestational diabetes because the sugar is present in excess in the maternal blood. It is then reflected in the placenta and accelerates the weight growth. The fetus grows too fast for its age. This exposes it to macrosomia (baby’s weight > 4 kg), some of whose consequences are irreversible. And, as previously mentioned, this implies difficulties during delivery, or even a caesarean operation. Trauma related to the delivery may result, as well as respiratory complications. It will also cause hypoglycemia at birth, as the newborn will quickly become glucose-deficient.

Postpartum repercussions

After delivery, the effects of gestational diabetes can still weigh on the mother and child. The mother may remain diabetic or develop long-term type 2 diabetes. In addition, there may be a recurrence in another pregnancy. It also increases the child’s potential concerns about obesity or diabetes in adolescence. It also predisposes the child to type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

Good to know: despite the pathology, breastfeeding is not at all contraindicated. On the contrary, according to some studies, it would even protect the baby against future diabetes.

Using naturopathy to avoid gestational diabetes

It is possible to act on the incidence of this disorder through medicine. But it is now known that diet and lifestyle also have an important role in the process of preventing type 2 diabetes (type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease).

Implementing preventive actions from the baby project

If the desire for a baby is felt. If the stress around infertility appears. Or that your ovulation date is no longer a secret for you… No need to panic! Whether it’s with your family or with the help of a specialist, you can prepare for the conception of a child with peace of mind. And this, even for a natural pregnancy.

The best way to avoid gestational diabetes is to adopt an appropriate lifestyle. This allows you to maintain a healthy weight and prepare the ideal “ground” for fertilization. This involves a healthy diet, regular physical activity and emotional management.

It is interesting to take stock of the situation as soon as you want to become a mother. The physiological dispositions in which the mother-to-be finds herself at that moment are not negligible. A thorough work with a naturopath can be an advantage to put all the chances on your side.

We understand the hidden and yet fundamental role of certain organs, such as the pancreas. Therefore, if it is already exhausted at the time of the baby project, it will have an influence on the whole process. This is where the expertise of the Naturopath comes in. By carrying out a thorough assessment, he evaluates the general state of the mother-to-be, in order to prepare herself in all serenity.

Adopt the 3 basic pillars of naturopathy

It is a question of linking food, the body and the psyche. For this it is important to have a balanced lifestyle, to follow dietary recommendations, and all of this with awareness. This favors an optimal preconception, in order to avoid gestational diabetes.

naturopathic diet prevents gestational diabetes

Diet

Among the factors reducing the risk of gestational diabetes, eating healthy is a pillar. It is necessary to assume that feeding your body in an appropriate way will prepare it favorably to give birth. And this, before, during and after.

More specifically, carbohydrates with a low glycemic index should be favored. The intake of fiber slows down the absorption of sugar. As well as nutrients rich in vitamin D and magnesium are essential.

Low glycemic index foods:

  • Oilseeds (all kinds of nuts);
  • Fruits (pears, apples, grapefruits);
  • Sprouted seeds;
  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, dried beans).

All vegetables, including juices, are very beneficial.

On the other hand, industrial products such as fruit juices, cereals, ready-made meals, etc. should be avoided. Fruits with a high glycemic index (pineapple, dates, fruits in syrup, cherries) should be consumed in moderation. We also limit foods with added and refined sugar, and gluten. In addition, we split our meals, which allows us to spread out the intake of carbohydrates.

In this way, the metabolism is more ready, the pancreas is less solicited, and the pregnant woman limits her exposure to gestational diabetes.

Do not hesitate to consult the recipe ideas to prepare low glycemic index gourmet meals.

Physical activity

According to some studies, moderate exercise reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes and the complications that follow. For women who have known risk factors for this condition, it is therefore strongly recommended to engage in appropriate sports before and during pregnancy. The same is true for women whose diagnosis is confirmed (generally in the 2nd trimester). The benefits of sport are not negligible. Practicing regularly, in a reasonable and safe manner, limits weight gain and regulates blood sugar levels. It also allows the body to get into motion and prepare for the future delivery. Moreover, it promotes a feeling of relaxation and well-being for the body, as well as for the mind!

It is necessary to make sure beforehand that there are no contraindications for mother and baby. For this, it is advisable to seek the advice of your doctor, midwife or a naturopath who specializes in this field. Certain activities such as walking, swimming, yoga or gentle gymnastics are perfectly adapted. However, it is very important to listen to your sensations, hydrate frequently, take breaks and stop at the slightest pain or discomfort. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, it will be necessary to check your blood sugar before and after your activity.

Physical exercise should not be excluded during pregnancy, on the contrary.

Managing stress and emotions

Once the hygienic and dietary measures have been put in place, the psyche must not be neglected. The expression “A healthy mind in a healthy body” takes on its full meaning here. This principle must be applied on a daily basis because it brings a balance between the different areas of life. In the context of pregnancy, physical well-being through activity and nutrition promotes the mental development of the mother-to-be, and therefore the fetus. In addition, the negative effects of stress on health are numerous. In particular, insulin is a hormone directly linked to the secretion of cortisol and its action can be diminished by the negative effects of stress on hormonal secretions. This causes a disorder in the regulation of blood sugar, called insulin resistance. And this, even before fertilization. Managing emotions and stress therefore has a serious role to play as a preventive measure. As previously explained, the mission of the pancreas is strongly linked to the appearance of gestational diabetes. Taking care of this organ in order not to exhaust it, also involves serenity of the mind.

Let yourself be guided by your naturopath

If, finally, you are afraid of not being able to do it alone? No need to worry. As an expert in this field, a naturopath is here to help you. The naturopathic practice of specialists is dedicated to this mission of accompaniment, in physical consultation or online. Their therapeutic method gathers a set of natural techniques perfectly adapted to maternity.

Do not hesitate to make an appointment. Being accompanied, from the moment you want to have a child and then throughout all the stages of perinatality, can have a real impact on gestational diabetes. Naturopaths are committed to providing you with a follow-up adapted to your individuality and your particularities. Thus, you will be able to set up a program of progressive food rebalancing and a soft physical activity. This is a natural, healthy and recommended way to avoid gestational diabetes. Or to regulate it by a non-medicinal means if it is already present.

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