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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 52-58

Management of gestational diabetes mellitus with medical nutrition therapy: A comprehensive review

1 Nurture Health Solutions, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Seethapathy Clinic and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Sheryl Salis
504, Navsmruti, Kalina, Mumbai 400098, Maharashtra.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jod.jod_44_21

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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) also referred to as hyperglycemia during pregnancy is posing to be a big health concern for women and is emerging as a major public health problem in India. Early diagnosis and tight glycemic control during pregnancy play a pivotal role in improving pregnancy outcomes in women with GDM. Once diagnosis is made, lifestyle behavioral changes with medical nutrition therapy (MNT) and physical activity form the first choice of therapy for the management of GDM. Failure to meet glycemic goals with these requires the addition of medication/insulin. Regular blood glucose monitoring and record keeping must be encouraged to improve adherence and review treatment efficacy. MNT for GDM is defined as a “carbohydrate-controlled” meal plan that provides adequate nutrition along with appropriate weight gain and fetal well-being to meet increased requirements of energy, protein, and micronutrients, achieve normoglycemia, and prevent nutritional ketosis. Choosing nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources which are low to moderate in glycemic index and glycemic load with focus on the correct amount and distribution of carbohydrates at meals helps control postprandial glucose excursions which is the biggest challenge in GDM. Blood glucose levels can be difficult to control in the morning due to increased insulin resistance secondary to dawn phenomenon seen in women with GDM. Splitting meals at breakfast has shown to improve post-breakfast blood glucose levels. This article is a comprehensive review of guidelines and scientific literature for the dietary management of GDM aimed at achieving normoglycemia, ensuring fetal and maternal wellbeing, and preventing adverse outcomes in pregnancy. The literature has been retrieved from various databases such as “Google Scholar,” “PubMed,” and “Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews” using relevant keywords related to the topics discussed in this manuscript.

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