Around ten percentage of pregnancy women in the world suffer from Gestational diabetes. It is a condition that happens when sugar levels in the blood reaches beyond permissible levels in the body. When not treated at the right time, Gestational diabetes can negatively affect the health of mother and the baby. This article will equip you with all the necessary information about the causes, signs, and treatment of the condition.
What causes Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes condition is normally diagnosed during the later phases of pregnancy. Like other forms of diabetes, this condition impacts the way cells in the body makes use of sugar in the body. A majority of them do not have any prior history of this medical condition.
It is thought to happen due to several hormonal and pregnancy related changes in the body that makes pregnant women resistant towards insulin hormone. This hormone is synthesized by specialized cells present in the pancreas that enables the body to efficiently break down and digest glucose to be used later as energy.
When the insulin levels go down the permissible limits, or the body develops insulin resistance and can’t produce adequate levels of it, then it causes an increase in sugar levels in the blood.
In What Ways Can Gestational Diabetes Impact Your Baby?
Persistent raised levels of glucose in the blood in pregnancy, in turn, leads to elevated sugar levels in the blood. This can cause the fetus to grow larger in size and make the delivery complicated. In addition to it, the baby is more susceptible to suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels right after birth.
If a woman has developed diabetes in initial stages of pregnancy, then it leads to a greater risk of miscarriage, and birth defects. With proper care, and managed blood sugar levels, a pregnant woman generally delivers healthy baby.
What Are The Types Of Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is classified into two main categories as A1 and A2. Women who belongs to class A1 can easily treat it with the help of regular exercise, and healthy diet. On the other hand, people who belongs to class A2 required external supplementation of insulin and/or other medications to treat this condition.
The condition disappears on its own, after you deliver the baby. But it affects the health of the baby by increasing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the later stages of life.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
Women who suffer from gestational diabetes do not observe any severe symptoms. They may get simple symptoms such as feeling thirstier, hungrier, and pee more frequently during the day. The exact symptom can be easily seen at the time of performing a routine screening.
Risk factors and Complications Of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes has the possibility to increase the chances of a Cesarean birth. It can also enhance the chances of preeclampsia, and Type 2 diabetes post pregnancy.
People who suffers from following conditions are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.
- Diabetes that ran in their hereditary
- History of gestational diabetes, and/or PCOS
- High blood pressure
- Have delivered a large baby of more than nine pounds in the past
- Have delivered a stillborn baby or the one with any other birth defect
- Older than twenty-five years
Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis
Gestational diabetes usually occurs in the mid stage of pregnancy. To diagnose this condition, your doctor will perform blood tests between the 23th and 29th weeks of pregnancy.
A screening glucose tolerance test is also performed to test the sugar levels in the blood. On getting an abnormal report, you have to perform additional tests such as oral glucose challenge test. This test examines baseline levels of sugar in the blood. Another test is Glycosylated hemoglobin test that evaluates long-term blood sugar levels in people who suffers from diabetes.
Treatment of Gestational Diabetes
Pregnant women who suffers from this condition, needs to perform quick measures to keep themselves healthy in their pregnancy. To determine the personalized treatment for this condition your doctor will need to
- Examine your blood glucose levels several times a day
- He may examine your urine to detect any presence of chemicals, and/or ketones that indicates uncontrolled diabetes.
- He will measure your weight to figure out the development of the baby.
Based on the above analysis, he would form a nutritious and low sugar diet plan, a healthy exercise routine, and may prescribe insulin or any other medicine to bring down the blood glucose levels within control.
The target is to get below figures of blood levels at different times in a day.
Prior to taking a meal: 95 mg/dL or less
One-hour post meal: 140 mg/dL or less
Two hours post meal: 120 mg/dL or less
Diet for Gestational Diabetes
Doctor will advise you to consume a well-balanced and low-sugar diet. Abstain from sugary foods, and sweetened or canned beverages. Include more of fresh and seasonal produce and whole grains in your diet. Practice moderation in portion sizes. Replace sugary snacks such as candies, cookies, ice-creams, cakes, etc. by natural sugars such as fruits, raisins, carrots, etc. A diabetic meal plan can be considered.
Though you can’t prevent Gestational diabetes, you can definitely control it. Adopting a healthy diet and exercise regimen, maintaining right weight and medication can all help in keeping blood sugar within admissible limits. By being diligent in your efforts, you can keep yourself as well as your baby healthy and also prevent a tough delivery.