Keto Diet and Gestational Diabetes

keto diet for gestational diabetes or GDM -- using the keto diet to help with gestational diabetes fasting blood sugars

I recently delivered my fourth and final little babe a little under 3 months ago — our little Lola, or Lolita as we call her. The pregnancy was unique, because unlike my first three healthy pregnancies, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes around the 20 week mark. Fortunately I found a book that helped me with a keto diet for gestational diabetes so I wasn’t thrown on insulin right away.

First pregnancy to fail glucose tolerance test

When I failed my glucose tolerance test at 20 weeks, I was pretty devastated. I was shocked, to be honest. For the adult part of my life, I have eaten very healthy, with the occasional carb indulgence, so the diagnosis of gestational diabetes, or GDM, caught me off guard.

Turned to real food following a ketogenic diet

My OB/gyn gave me the opportunity to explore dietary options before getting put on insulin, as long as my fasting glucose level remained lower than 95. I found Lily Nichols book, Real Food for Pregnancy, which was SO enlightening and helpful in helping keep those glucose numbers down. From weeks 20 to 33, my fasting and postprandial (or glucose number post-meal) numbers were right on track.

Even though I hadn’t been indulging in gobs of sugar and other refined carbohydrates early on in my pregnancy, just the small amount I was consuming was enough to throw my glucose numbers off enough to alarm my doctor. The low carb keto diet turned things around for me though, keeping glucose numbers low enough for a safe pregnancy.

The glucose problem was only with my fasting numbers

When I hit 34 weeks, I was struggling with my fasting glucose numbers again. I was waking up to numbers ranging from 105-110 (I was using my own device to check my numbers) even though I was following the ketogenic diet and consuming no sugar. My placenta was to blame for this — the further along you get in your pregnancy, the more insulin resistant you become.

Gestational Diabetes was keto diet controlled for most of my pregnancy, but not all

My doctor made the decision to put me on insulin, which needed to be done even though I wasn’t crazy about the idea, when the keto diet alone could not control my blood sugars and keep them in the optimal range. He prescribed the lowest dose, and just this small amount of insulin kept my fasting glucose levels in the safe range for the duration of my pregnancy.

Although the keto diet alone was not enough to control my gestational diabetes throughout the entire pregnancy, I am 100% certain it helped tremendously! I would have needed insulin much earlier in the pregnancy had I not switched the whole foods diet that Lily Nichols suggests for pregnancy.

Also, don’t forget to check out my keto breastfeeding experience!

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