How to deal with Gestational Diabetes in Ayurveda

Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy in women. It affects how the cells use glucose (sugar). It causes high blood sugar that can affect pregnancy and the baby’s health. But expectant women can control gestational diabetes by eating healthy food, exercise and medication. Controlling blood sugar can prevent a difficult child birth and keep the woman and baby healthy. In gestational diabetes, blood sugar usually returns to normal soon after child birth but if the patient develops gestational diabetes, she is at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes so it is important to monitor and manage the blood sugar. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) are both likely to happen during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the placenta which connects the baby to the blood supply of the mother, produces high levels of various other hormones. These hormones impair the action of insulin in the cells raising the blood sugar. As the baby grows, placenta produces more and more insulin counteracting hormones. In gestational diabetes, placental hormones provoke a rise in the blood sugar to a level that can affect the growth of the baby. It develops during the 20th week of pregnancy but generally not until later.

Risk Factors:

  • Positive family history of diabetes
  • Having a previous birth of an over-weight baby of 4 kg or more.
  • Unexplained prenatal loss
  • Previous stillbirth
  • Persistent glycosuria
  • Age more than 30 years
  • Obesity

The patient is diagnosed with gestational diabetes if—

  • The fasting plasma glucose exceeds 126 mg/dl.
  • The 2 hours post glucose (75 gm) value exceeds 200 mg/dl.

Ayurvedic Management of Gestational Diabetes:

  • Ayurveda focusses on an entire change in lifestyle of the woman which helps in minimizing the complications related to pregnancy. Ayurvedic management brings balance of the doshas with the combination of a variety of herbs, diet changes and lifestyle changes.
  • Turmeric powder (1-3 grams) mixed with aloe vera juice provides effective relief in the early stages of diabetes.
  • Increase the intake of barley in the diet as barley is considered as the main food for healing diabetes.
  • Take 20-30 ml of bitter gourd juice on an empty stomach regularly.
  • Triphala – A simple combination of three fruits – Terminalia chebula (Haritaki), Terminalia bellirica (Vibhataki) and Emblica officinalis (Amalki) is a natural ayurvedic remedy for treating gestational diabetes. Take 1 teaspoon of Triphala powder with water once a day.
  • Physical Activity – Physical activity during pregnancy reduces the risk of gestational diabetes. Make a routine of morning walk for 30-45 minutes. Pranayama and Yogasana are also beneficial.
  • If there is a morning sickness, eat 1-2 servings of cereals or crackers before going to bed.
  • Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day but avoid fatty, oily or greasy food products. Carbohydrates consumption must be 40-45% of the total calories during the day time and 15-30 grams of carbohydrates during bed time.
  • Take high fibre foods in the diet like—cereals, fruits and green vegetables. Include low glycemic index fruits such as—apples, guava, oranges, watermelon in the diet.  All pregnant women must take 20-35 grams of fibre per day.
  • Curry leave also work very good blood lowering herb. Take them – 5 to 7 leaves every morning empty stomach.
  • Include spices such as – turmeric, garlic and fenugreek seeds in your diet.
  • Include 2-3 servings of low fat and calcium rich foods in the diet.
  • Cinnamon tea – Drink cinnamon tea as cinnamon has several components that promotes glucose metabolism. The bioactive components have a beneficial effect on plasma glucose. This spice is safe to take during pregnancy. Just half teaspoon of cinnamon powder daily can reduce the fasting blood sugar levels and also increases the insulin sensitivity but do not take cinnamon in excess as it may cause involuntary contractions.
  • Regular Sleep – It is quite common to feel fatigued during pregnancy due to hormonal changes in the body. To help the body to handle fatigue and tiredness, take adequate rest and sleep.
  • Manage Stress – Too much stress can cause an increase in cortisol levels which can affect the unborn baby’s health. Stress can cause premature labour due to the release of contraction-triggering hormones. Hence, it is important to keep the stress level under control. Learn Meditation to manage stress.

Avoid sweet things, be active, have a balanced diet and drink plenty of water!

Author's Bio: 

DR. Vikram Chauhan, MD - AYURVEDA is an expert Ayurvedic practitioner based in Chandigarh, India and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda Ancient healing treatment, not only in India but also abroad. He is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Products, Planet Ayurveda Clinic and Krishna Herbal Company. For more info visit our website: & See the Real Testimonials from our Patients :