GD. The new acronym in my life.

It can stand for lots of things, but in this case it stands for Gestational Diabetes.

Yuck.

Thinking about it now, I’m not surprised I have it. I’ve known for years that my body is sensitive to the foods I put in it. My entire health journey began because after 7 years of unsuccessful treatment for lupus-type health problems, I chose my only other option – a change of diet. And it worked. It was 7 years ago last August that I went gluten-free and began the healthy eating  journey that I now consider my lifestyle.

It’s frustrating that after eating an increasingly healthy diet for years I still got GD, but it’s not surprising. If on a good day my body reacts strongly to poor food choices, and specific foods in particular, then its overreaction to sugars and carbohydrates when under the stress of pregnancy and influence of mega amounts of hormones is actually to be expected.

But all that philosophizing still leaves me having to cut out yet more food from my diet. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. I want my sweets, I want to be able to eat the oatmeal Jason would leave warm on the stove for me some mornings, I want to be able to just grab an apple for a snack and not feel like I have the flu an hour later. Of course not eating these things makes me feel better physically, but giving them up is difficult psychologically and emotionally.

If you’re unaware of what GD is, it’s a form of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. It is not related to eating a bad diet – obviously. Some women’s bodies, with all the hormones and added physical stress, just don’t process sugars and carbohydrates as well as they do non-pregnant. I’ve done a lot of reading about it and I have to say I’m skeptical about how big of a deal it is. There are some women for whom it is a huge health hazard requiring medication and labor inductions. But, pregnant women in general test higher levels of glucose which makes me think it might just be normal. (Similar to how all babies have low blood clotting abilities at birth. The standard model of care gives them Vitamin K to combat this, but maybe we should just let them be natural and allow their bodies to build up the clotting ability naturally.)

I don’t think that I should ignore the dietary issues because it may be “normal”. Instead, I think all pregnant women should probably be advised about lowering their sugar intake and always making sure to pair proteins, fats, and carbs. Better nutritional counseling for all pregnant women would be the best case scenario. I mean, what about the woman who passes the test, but continues to eat a highly processed, low nutrition diet while I fail the test, but would have continued to eat a low processed, highly nutritious diet. I’m the one receiving the nutritional counseling, but I probably don’t need it as much as most pregnant women. It makes you pause.

But for now, I’m being careful. I will be consulting with a dietician. I will be testing my glucose levels and learning about the unique nutritional needs of my body in this season of life.

And I’ll be praying that there is some way I can keep up my nightly ice cream habit. Please. Please. Please. I’ll leave off the cherry.

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