Diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a condition that develops during pregnancy, primarily due to insulin resistance that results from the high levels of pregnancy hormones. The existence of diabetes in pregnancy significantly increases the risk of negative outcomes in the mother, the developing fetus, and the subsequent child. GDM increases the risk of fetal hyperinsulinemia, heavier birth weight, higher rates of C-section deliveries and neonatal hypoglycaemia. Children born to mothers with a history of GDM also have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
If you have one or more of the following risk factors, you may be at an increased risk of developing GDM:
Being overweight or obese (BMI greater than 25)
Maternal age greater than 35 years
History of recurrent miscarriage
GDM during previous pregnancies
By screening women earlier than 24-28 weeks gestation with simple blood tests like fasting blood sugar, fasting blood insulin, HBA1C, and sex hormone binding globulin, we can offer timely and effective treatment for women both at risk of developing GDM and women diagnosed with GDM.
Two supplementation tools that naturopathic doctors (NDs) can use to treat women diagnosed with GDM are vitamin D3, and fish oil.
A study published in 2017 showed that 6 weeks of vitamin D3 and fish oil supplementation in women diagnosed with GDM (based on the results of their 24-28 week oral glucose tolerance test) caused clinically significant reductions in fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance.
The dose of fish oil was 1200 mg of combined EPA and DHA, while the dose of vitamin D3 was 50,000 IU every 2 weeks. When using a high dose of vitamin D3, it is important to get your vitamin D3 tested via a blood test. NDs can order this test, and NDs with a prescribing licence in Ontario can prescribe therapeutic doses of vitamin D3 like the dose discussed in this study.
Bottom line: working with a naturopathic doctor during both preconception and pregnancy can reduce your risk of developing GDM, and actively support you if you’ve been diagnosed with GDM.
Come and visit us in Downtown Stoney Creek, call or even book online to learn more today.
Cheng, A. Y., & Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee. (2013). Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. Introduction. Canadian journal of diabetes, 37, S1.
Balsells, M., Garcia-Patterson, A., Gich, I., & Corcoy, R. (2009). Maternal and fetal outcome in women with type 2 versus type 1 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and metaanalysis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 94(11), 4284-4291.
Dabelea, D., Knowler, W. C., & Pettitt, D. J. (2000). Effect of diabetes in pregnancy on offspring: follow‐up research in the Pima Indians. The Journal of Maternal‐Fetal Medicine, 9(1), 83-88.
Pons, R. S., Rockett, F. C., de Almeida Rubin, B., Oppermann, M. L. R., & Bosa, V. L. (2015). Risk factors for gestational diabetes mellitus in a sample of pregnant women diagnosed with the disease. Diabetology & metabolic syndrome, 7(91).
Zhang, T., Du, T., Li, W., Yang, S., & Liang, W. (2018). Sex hormone-binding globulin levels during the first trimester may predict gestational diabetes mellitus development. Biomarkers in medicine, 12(3), 239-244.
Jamilian, M., Samimi, M., Ebrahimi, F. A., Hashemi, T., Taghizadeh, M., Razavi, M., ... & Asemi, Z. (2017). The effects of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid co-supplementation on glycemic control and lipid concentrations in patients with gestational diabetes. Journal of clinical lipidology, 11(2), 459-468.