Diabetic & Nutrition Counseling

San Dimas Medical Group is committed to providing the best and most comprehensive care to all of our patients.  In providing comprehensive care, your physician may include Diabetic and/or Nutritional Counseling as part of your care plan.  Below is a list of resources available for our Diabetic and Nutrition Counseling patients. 

 

Here is a brief overview of what the to expect as part of your Diabetic and Nutrition Counseling care plan, in addition to, several helpful resources to assist in your sucessfully participation in the program and will guide you to easly incorporate healthy eating into your daily lifestyle.

Gestational Diabetes

This is general information and does not take the place of medical advice from a doctor, nurse, dietitian, or behavioral medicine specialist.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational Diabetes (also known as GDM) is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy.  Gestational means "in pregnancy".  Diabetes means having more sugar (glucose) in your blood than your body needs or uses.  For most women, it begins during the second trimester.  About 7% to 14% of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. This number is higher among certain ethnic groups such as African American, Asian American, East Indian, Latina/Hispanic and Native American.
 
The difference between this type of diabetes and the type that exists before pregnancy is that gestational diabetes is not likely to cause birth defects.
 
If you have gestational diabetes, your blood sugar is elevated because of the foods that you eat and pregnancy hormones.  Normally, the body changes food into glucose.  Insulin, which is a hormone that the body produces, helps to turn glucose into energy.  With diabetes, either the body does not make enough insulin or it is not able to use insulin appropriately.  As a result, the blood sugar goes up too high.

How is Gestational Diabetes Treated?

The treatment for gestational diabetes includes:

  • choosing the right foods to eat
  • gaining weight slowly
  • exercising safely and regularly
  • keeping your blood sugar levels normal
  • testing and recording your blood sugar levels

A registered dietitian (RD) will help you create a meal plan that provides good nutrition and helps you control your blood sugar.  The majority (80%) of women with gestational diabetes can control their blood sugar by diet alone.  However, some need to take oral medication or inject insulin in order to keep their blood sugar within normal limits.  It is important that you go to all of your doctor's visits.  This is where you can ask questions and learn about GDM.

What Can Happen To Me And My Baby If My Blood Sugar Levels Aren't Under Control?

Blood sugar is used for energy by the body.  Your body will only use what it needs.  The blood sugar you do not use goes to your baby.  If your baby gets too much sugar from you, the baby stores it as fat.  This is why many women with gestational diabetes have very large babies.  These babies are at risk for having a rapid drop in their blood sugar after birth.  This is not healthy and these babies may need to go to a special care area. 

 

Besides being hard to carry, large babies are more difficult to deliver.  Sometimes there are birth injuries to both mom and baby.  The baby's arm or shoulder could be broken during delivery.  Nerve damage to the face and arms can also happen.  If your baby is very large, you can have vaginal (birth canal) injuries.  To avoid birth injuries, some women will need a cesarean section (sometimes called a c-section).  A cesarean section means the baby is delivered by surgery.

 

Careful control of your blood sugar and weight gain during pregnancy can help you avoid the following complications for yourself:

  • difficult delivery
  • high blood pressure
  • cesarean section (surgical delivery)

and for the baby:

  • macrosomia (babies weighing more than 9 lbs at birth)
  • newborn hypoglycemia
  • birth injury to the arm or shoulder
  • jaundice
  • respiratory problems
  • premature birth (birth before 36 weeks)
  • stillbirth (baby dies before birth), if blood sugars are frequently elevated

How Can I Get My Blood Sugar Under Control?

With a dedicated committment from you, the Register Dietition will be able to assist you in this process.  You will learn about healthier nutritional choices, portion control, and obtain resources for menu planning and recipes.

 

Your committment to the program will include:

  • weekly commitment to report your blood sugar levels,food choices, and amount of daily exercise
  • monthly commitment to check your hemoglobin A1c levels (with a goal of <5.6)

Recipe Ideas

Comments or Questions?

Please leave any comments or questions you may have regarding our Diabetic and Nutrition Counseling program on our Contact Us page.