Gestational diabetes is one of the most common health conditions among pregnant women over 24 weeks pregnant.
Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed after a critical surge in blood sugar putting both mother and baby at risk.
As per its naming, gestational diabetes or pregnancy diabetes is the type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy, which means that it may affect any pregnant woman especially if:
- She suffers from obesity or any hormonal disorder (like ovarian cysts).
- She had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.
- She has a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- She was diagnosed of pre-diabetes after her blood sugar levels went higher than normal.
- She suffers from high blood pressure.
- The quantity of amniotic fluid surrounding her baby is higher than average.
Concerning the causes of pregnancy diabetes, they are triggered by the placental hormones blocking the action of insulin or the pancreatic hormone responsible for regulating fat and carbohydrate metabolism and transforming sugar into energy, leading thus to high blood sugar levels. If left unobserved or untreated, elevated blood glucose can damage your nerves, blood vessels and organs.
Almost all mothers with gestational diabetes don’t symptoms of illness. Yet, some of them experience the following signs:
- Excessive thirst
- Increase of urination flow and frequency
- Unjustified weight loss
- Snoring (more than usual)
- Blurred vision
- Repetitive infections of the bladder, skin or vagina
Unlike the types of diabetes affecting mothers before pregnancy, gestational diabetes can’t lead to miscarriage or to congenital malformations in babies. And its complications on mother and baby may be limited to the following:
- Having a large baby which can be difficult to birth and might necessitate a c-section.
- Increased risk of preeclampsia (with high blood pressure and high levels of protein in urine).
- Low glucose levels in baby’s blood right after birth.
- Breathing difficulty in newborn.
- Increased risk of baby gaining too much weight and developing type 2 diabetes (later in life).
- Possible jaundice in baby.
- Increased risk of mother getting type 2 diabetes after 5 to 10 years.
The complications of gestational diabetes may be several and dangerous, but they can be highly managed by just following a treatment plan based on the following points and guidelines:
- Consume small servings of varied healthy foods, with the aim of 3 to 4 medium meals, and 2 to 4 snacks a day.
- Reduce your daily consumption of carbohydrates and choose the types of foods which are low in fats and high in fibers.
- Avoid high-sugar foods and beverages, like juices, sweets and soda.
- Don’t skip meals, as doing so may cause you an increase in blood sugar levels.
- Observe your weight and ask an expert to help you gain the necessary kilograms during pregnancy and get rid of the extra ones after delivery.
- Measure your blood sugar level on empty stomach every morning and an hour after every meal, so you would be able to observe it very closely and keep it within a healthy range.
- Write down your daily measuring results and the types of food you eat every day, so you would be able to identify and thus avoid what can increase your blood sugar levels.
- Ask your doctor about physical exercises that will allow you to burn fats in the absence of insulin that your body usually produces.
So if you had a glucose test today and your doctor was pretty sure you have gestational diabetes. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry! This condition usually fades away after pregnancy, and the above mentioned precautions and instructions are more than enough to keep it under control and avoid any possible complications.
Read More: Meals Size Of Mothers-To-Be
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