Halal Consumer - Issue 28 - page 13

Health & Nutrition
By Tayyaba Syed
The nurse was just doing her job. She was simply teaching
me how to prick my finger and test my sugar with a glucose
monitor. In actuality, she was giving me a rude awaken-
ing as to what my future may look like. Diabetes runs in
my DNA, but I was not ready to let it run my life just yet.
Having recently been diagnosed with gestational diabetes,
I am at a higher risk, up to 50 percent higher, of developing
Type 2 diabetes later in life. As if seeing both my parents’
health suffer for many years with diabetes was not enough,
this was the warning sign I needed to put things in proper
perspective for me. Diabetes is that slow, torturous disease
that can do major damage if it is not properly controlled. By
being proactive now, I plan on fighting my stubborn genes
and having a better quality of life.
Gestational diabetes, one of the most common health
problems in pregnancy, is a specific form of diabetes that
only occurs during pregnancy and requires special care
and monitoring. Between 2 and 10 percent of expectant
mothers develop it. The healthy body is designed to turn
digested food into a sugar called glucose. With the help
of insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, cells use the
glucose as fuel. Hormonal changes that occur in the body
during pregnancy can make the cells less responsive to
insulin. This is not a problem for most pregnant women
because, when the body needs more insulin, the pancreas
secretes more of it. However, in a case like mine, when the
pancreas is not able to keep up with the increased insulin
demand, blood glucose levels rise too high, resulting in ges-
tational diabetes.
Since gestational diabetes usually has no symptoms, almost
all pregnant women have a glucose screening between 24
and 28 weeks of pregnancy. The test is safe and simple.
and Diabetes
Spring 2014
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