Intermittent Fasting, Dietary Modifications, and Exercise for the Control of Gestational Diabetes and Maternal Mood Dysregulation: A Review and a Case Report

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 15;17(24):9379. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17249379.


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common pregnancy-related condition afflicting 5-36% of pregnancies. It is associated with many morbid maternal and fetal outcomes. Mood dysregulations (MDs, e.g., depression, distress, and anxiety) are common among women with GDM, and they exacerbate its prognosis and hinder its treatment. Hence, in addition to early detection and proper management of GDM, treating the associated MDs is crucial. Maternal hyperglycemia and MDs result from a complex network of genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. This review briefly explores mechanisms that underlie GDM and prenatal MDs. It also describes the effect of exercise, dietary modification, and intermittent fasting (IF) on metabolic and affective dysfunctions exemplified by a case report. In this patient, interventions such as IF considerably reduced maternal body weight, plasma glucose, and psychological distress without any adverse effects. Thus, IF is one measure that can control GDM and maternal MDs; however, more investigations are warranted.

Keywords: Egypt; anxiety; caloric restriction; depression; dietary restriction; distress; exercise; fermented milk/yoghurt; gestational diabetes mellitus; gut microbiome; high protein diet; insulin estrogenization; insulin resistance; intermittent fasting; low glycemic index diet; obesity; placental hormones; poverty; soy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Weight
  • Diabetes, Gestational*
  • Exercise
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*


  • Blood Glucose