No more gestational diabetes!! This is me throwing away my blood sugar meter (just kidding– I’m keeping it to be safe).
OK, so I guess that I technically still have the diagnosis of gestational diabetes on my medical record, but I’m still not convinced that I actually have it. I realize that some people (alright, most people) disagree with me and would say that I have it, but control it through my diet. I completely disagree! I don’t think that the test of having to drink 50 grams of pure sugar is an accurate indicator of how my body processes sugar because I never consume that much sugar in one sitting on a daily basis.
Although I used to not eat very well in the past (in college I ate fettuccine alfredo on a daily basis), I eat really well now and have for a while. In my opinion, someone who doesn’t typically eat any processed sugar, with the exception of cookies or a small piece of pie a couple of times a week (I stopped eating ice cream because it bothers my stomach and the desserts I was eating didn’t typically have 50 grams of pure sugar in them) isn’t used to processing that amount, so of course their numbers would turn out high. I think it’s a silly argument to say “well, if you did eat more sugar/processed carbs, then your body couldn’t handle it, so you have gestational diabetes.”
A good analogy to further explain my feelings about it is how when someone isn’t used to drinking alcohol, they will quickly feel its effects, even after one drink. If you drink more frequently, your body will become adjusted to it and won’t react as quickly or severely. I think that it’s the same thing with carbohydrates or sugar– if your body isn’t used to processing large amounts, of course it might overreact when given 50 grams of sugar. However, I don’t think that means that something is wrong with you. Your body just isn’t used to processing that amount. Similarly, I think it’s silly to advise people to eat more sugar or carbohydrates so that your body does get used to processing it, just like it would be poor advice to tell someone who isn’t used to drinking to have more alcohol. You would never diagnose someone who isn’t used to drinking alcohol with something like “poor alcohol processing disorder.”
I had a meeting with a diabetes educator on Tuesday. She explained the diagnosis, taught me how to count carbs (I was already familiar with most of it), explained what a healthy diet was (already doing it), and encouraged me to exercise (I’m very active). I tried to explain why I thought that the test wasn’t accurate for me, but she disagreed. Then it came time to test my blood sugar…
Here are what normal levels are supposed to be:
Fasting (before breakfast)- between 60-95 mg/dl
2 hours after a meal- below 120 mg/dl
She tested my blood sugar 2.5 hours after I’d last eaten and I was at 65 mg/dl!! I think I’m fine . Here are my levels after what I ate yesterday:
Fasting (when I first woke up)- 76 mg/dl (well below 95). My fasting level for this morning was 71 mg/dl
2 hours after eating a breakfast of a two-egg omelette with a side of fruit- 70 mg/dl (I went running after I ate breakfast, which is probably why it’s lower than my fasting number). The diabetes educator said that people with gestational diabetes usually can’t handle eating fruit in the morning because it will spike their blood sugar, which obviously didn’t happen to me. Further proof that I don’t have it.
Mid-morning snack- broccoli with hummus, a banana, 2 pieces of bacon, and a few almonds (not pictured).
2 hours after eating a lunch of leftover grilled salmon with guacamole, green beans, and mashed sweet potatoes with almond butter- 81 mg/dl (well below 120).
For an afternoon snack, I had almonds and strawberries (not pictured).
2 hours after eating a dinner of grilled veggies, tomato soup, and grapes at Whole Foods- 94 mg/dl. This was my highest reading for the day, probably because my dinner was the most carbohydrate-heavy meal that I ate, but my levels were still well below 120 mg/dl. I actually felt pretty bad after dinner, which I’m assuming was because the soup (while delicious) was made with so much heavy cream. Other than cheese, I haven’t been able to eat much dairy recently.
One of the best pieces of advice that the diabetes educator gave me was to make sure that I eat a snack with some protein in it before going to bed. Sometimes I avoid eating before going to bed because in the past, it’s kept me up at night. Recently, though, I’ve been waking up hungry in the middle of the night. Last night I had the rest of my mashed sweet potato with almond butter and a string cheese before going to bed and slept well throughout the night.
I’m still going to continue testing just to be safe, but I’m fairly sure that I’m fine. The test did show that my body doesn’t react well to large amounts of sugar/carbohydrates, so I’ll make sure to continue to moderate my intake of them, which I was already doing. I guess it doesn’t really matter if I’m diagnosed with gestational diabetes because either way, my blood sugar numbers are fine, but I still don’t believe that I have it . BAM- no more gestational diabetes!