By Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: April 10, 2013
Reviewed by F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE; Instructor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner
Simply reducing dietary carbohydrate content was not an effective way to forestall the need for insulin among women with gestational diabetes, a randomized trial showed.
The percentage of patients who were started on insulin was 54.7% both among those who ate a low-carbohydrate diet and among those who ate a diet with a normal level of carbohydrates (P=1.00), according to Didac Mauricio, MD, PhD, of the University of Lleida in Spain, and colleagues.
Pregnancy and neonatal outcomes were similar in the two groups as well, the researchers reported online in Diabetes Care.
“Therefore, the amount of carbohydrates [in] the diet may not be a key issue in future clinical recommendations on medical nutrition therapy of gestational diabetes,” they wrote.
“Additional randomized intervention studies that consider different populations and different strategies to modify glycemic load are warranted to assess the optimal [approach],” they wrote.
Medical nutrition therapy has formed the basis of treatment for gestational diabetes, and has been centered on modifying the amount and distribution of carbohydrates to maintain glycemic control without ketosis, according to the researchers.
In recent years, the therapy has been aimed primarily at modifying the glycemic index, but there is little evidence-based information on specific approaches to managing the condition.
The current study was a randomized controlled trial that included 152 women with gestational diabetes who were pregnant with a single child. The mean age of the participants was roughly 33.