This post is not necessarily about how to fix gestational diabetes – elevated blood sugar during pregnancy. Although, if you are suffering from this condition, I would advise consuming frequent, calorie-dense (warming) high-carb meals and snacks and getting as much rest, relaxation, and sleep as possible. Anything that you perceive as destressing will help. And that brings us to the first point that you should know, not just about pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, but most “conditions” and “diseases…”
High blood sugar is an adaptive response. While this an oversimplification, stress impairs the ability of glucose to get into cells and trigger proper production of ATP. In response to this, blood sugar rises to overcompensate and deliver vital glucose. It’s not necessarily a condition to be waged war against. In fact, if you were to attempt to starve yourself of carbohydrates or other silliness to get this single number down, you would likely encounter a long list of declines in other areas, all signifying an intensification of stress activation, all much worse for the mother and the fetus than just allowing the body to manage the problem as it sees fit.
Yes, this is a big 180 of course, to actually look at the body as intelligent, and trust even things like high blood sugar as being just a sign that something has gone awry rather than assuming it is the problem. Fever is a mechanism to fight disease, not something to be controlled. Swelling is a reaction to fight damaged tissue, not something to be suppressed with a block of ice. They may seem like problems on the surface, but the unifying theme is that there is a root cause of distress leading to such adaptive changes.
Always look for root problems, and seek to understand the conditions that may have led to the development of your problems – especially gestational diabetes. If you want to know if you have gestational diabetes, get a cheap glucose monitor and check your blood sugar in response to eating normal meals in a normal way – taking readings 1 and 2 hours after each of your daily meals for a couple of days. No need to outsource it, taking an oral glucose tolerance test (ogtt) that is irrelevant to real-world eating and drinking.
Well, that’s all well and good, but what I really wanted to do was rant, rather intensely, about the Western medical circus.
First of all, you must know that the established protocols of medical doctors are put in place by people at the top of the food chain so-to-speak. Pharmaceutical companies and large companies that manufacture expensive testing equipment and other medical tools are the primary financiers of medical schools. They have an agenda of their own, and it is often a major conflict of interest with what is truly in the best interest of the patient. For example, there is a big push to lower the “healthy cholesterol level.” This has nothing to do with saving lives or preventing heart disease, it has everything to do with being able to diagnose a big chunk of the population as hypercholesterolemic and prescribe statin drugs.
Test, diagnose, and prescribe (TDP)
TDP is the equivalent of hitting a grand slam for medical doctors. Testing, which is lucrative, allows for the promising possibility of being able to diagnose someone with a disorder, which, no matter what the disorder may be, will require expensive counseling, referrals to even more expensive specialists, surgery, even more testing, and, last but not least, a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs.
Pregnant women are a big hanging curve ball coming in towards the middle of the plate, and medical docs swing for the fences. Our society is littered with propaganda making pregnant women terrified to do anything. Pregnant or nursing mothers should always consult with a doctor before they do so much as trim their toenails. Pregnant women even ask me hesitantly about whether or not they should improve their metabolism while pregnant or nursing. “No, no, no. You must continue to wash out your electrolytes and flatline your metabolic rate by eating health food and drinking excessive amounts of water while pregnant or nursing, so your child will have enough ailments and food allergies to fit in with all the other kids in his class.”
In the last few weeks, 2 women I know have gone in to get tested for gestational diabetes, amongst other barbaric and unnecessary screenings. When they arrived they were instructed to drink a disgusting glucose drink – a large quantity of fluids while fasting. Both hit a number around 180 mg/dl, which is right on the cusp of being considered a proud possessor of gestational diabetes. Of course, the test itself is set up to give you the maximum chance at failing the test and getting branded as having gestational diabetes. Both of the women felt ill, becoming nauseous and dizzy. One vomited and then fainted. After returning to work she was driven home because she was slurring words and disoriented. Hey man, totally worth it because you gotta keep that baby healthy by doing a bunch of painful screening and testing!
Both contacted me asking what they should do about their “gestational diabetes.” I said not to worry about it, but one was paranoid enough to actually get a glucose meter and testing strips. Our text message dialog…
“So I drank 60g of glucose and my blood sugar was 182. They think I have gestational diabetes. Wtf?”
“Perhaps, but there’s not much you can do about it other than sleeping more, lowering stress, etc. It’s also not that big of a deal. So don’t let it freak you out.”
“A little background. I failed to eat the 48 hours prior to the test and drank the glucose. I’ve been dealing with major stomach pains and didn’t eat. Did that affect it? I just bought me a blood monitor lancet thing. Time to prick my fingers.”
“That can definitely affect it… You’ll probably find that it doesn’t go that high again.”
“When should I be taking the blood strip readings? One hour after eating? And prior to eating?”
“An hour after is good. If it’s really high test again at 2 hours.”
“Ok. I just did my 1st test with my new meter. It was 75 four hours after eating. I’ll try the one hr after dinner and then do my fasting when I wake up.”
“Send me some data in a couple days. I’m guessing you’re fine.”
“Will do. I’m supposed to have 3 hrs of blood work done at the hospital on Wednesday to see if I have the diabeetus. This is all bullshit!”
“You can test it much better at home. If you do have mild gestational diabetes…. a) nothing they can do about it b) ain’t gonna kill you or your baby if you do.”
“Haha. It seems like the only side effect of it is having a larger birthweight baby. Oh… and they already told me I have to have a c-section… My fasting blood sugar at 6:30am was 69. One hour postmeal was 98. 2 hour was 86.”
“Total diabetes haha. I think you’re fine. Take a few more at different times of day. I think you’ll still find that you are not a raging diabetic.”
Yet, she went in for more extensive testing anyway, and that’s when she puked and passed out. Because there’s just something about the security of doctors that creates a strange fatal attraction. Keep in mind this girl has already had an ovary removed because of cervical cancer that later turned out to NOT BE CERVICAL CANCER!
The other woman just got to bed earlier and ate extra carbs for a week before her next round of testing. Turns out neither of the two women were even close to having gestational diabetes upon further screening. One was told she was hypoglycemic! Another diagnosis! Whee!
Another woman contacted me a couple of months ago via my Get Help program with gestational diabetes. She also hit about 180 mg/dl on her first OGTT. She was then counseled by a nutritionist/dietician, and, I know you’ll all be shocked – she instantly re-developed insomnia and excess nighttime urination that she had overcome after finding 180DegreeHealth. And it did lower her blood glucose a little, but only at the expense of sleep so it was like, totally worth it.
But beware of gestational diabetes! It’s dangerous! Your child could be born on the heavy side, dramatically increasing his or her risk of becoming exceptionally intelligent as an adult! Which is terrible because intelligent people don’t completely turn over their health to medical doctors and dieticians, and that’s just bad business.
Interestingly, having a low birth weight increases the risk of having gestational diabetes and diabetes in adulthood, so maybe gestational diabetes actually protects your child against diabetes? But then if they don’t develop gestational diabetes then will their kids be small and stupid? Think about it. I haven’t.