Gestational diabetes is a condition in our blood sugar levels become high during pregnancy. There is two classes of gestational diabetes. Women with class A1 can manage it through diet and exercise. Those who have class A2 need to take insulin or other medications. Gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. And know that it doesn’t mean that you had diabetes before you conceived or that you will have diabetes after you give birth. It means that, by working with your doctor, you can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Good blood sugar control is important for your health and your baby’s. The first step in managing it is to understand what causes gestational diabetes. The role of insulin is to facilitate movement of sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into the body’s cells, where it is used for energy.
Insulin also helps the liver to store excess glucose. When the body cannot process and use glucose properly, the body’s cells do not get the energy they need. While any pregnancy complication is concerning, there’s good news. Expectant mothers can help control gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising and, if necessary, taking medication.
Symptoms for gestational diabetes
For most women, gestational diabetes doesn’t cause noticeable signs or symptoms. Increased thirst and more-frequent urination are possible symptoms. Early diagnosis and good management of gestational diabetes increases your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby. For most women, this condition doesn’t cause obvious symptoms initially, so it’s important to attend all your healthcare check-ups, in order to undergo the routine screening.
- passing urine more often
- increased thirst
- extreme tiredness
Causes of gestational diabetes
Researchers don’t yet know why some women get gestational diabetes and others don’t. Excess weight before pregnancy often plays a role. Sometimes, these hormones also block the action of the mother’s insulin to her body and it causes a problem called insulin resistance. This insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother’s body to use insulin.
- Normally, various hormones work to keep your blood sugar levels in check. But during pregnancy, hormone levels change, making it harder for your body to process blood sugar efficiently. This makes your blood sugar rise.
- Gestational diabetes can also start when the mother’s body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose can’t leave the blood and be changed into energy.
- Pregnant; extra weight makes it harder for your body to use insulin.
- You gain weight very quickly during your pregnancy
- You have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough for you to be diagnosed with diabetes this is called predicates.
The key is to act quickly. As treatable as it is, gestational diabetes can hurt you and your baby. In the largest single trial of GDM treatment, investigators randomized 1,000 women with GDM to no treatment or to intervention with lifestyle modifications, blood glucose self-monitoring, and insulin therapy, if needed.
- Treatment aims to keep your blood sugar levels normal. It can include special meal plans and regular physical activity. It can also include daily blood sugar testing and insulin injections.
- Medications include insulin injections and in a very few cases, oral diabetes tablets. Your doctor or nurse will discuss and guide you through treatment options.
- As with all forms of diabetes, diet and exercise can help you gain the upper hand. With gestational diabetes, maintaining a balanced diet is integral to your success.
Complications that may affect your baby
If you have gestational diabetes, your baby may be at increased risk of:
- Excessive birth weight.Higher than normal blood sugar in mothers can cause their babies to grow too large. Very large babies — those who weigh 9 pounds or more — are more likely to become wedged in the birth canal, have birth injuries or need a C-section birth.
- Early (preterm) birth.High blood sugar may increase women’s risk of early labor and delivery before the due date. Or early delivery may be recommended because the baby is large.
- Serious breathing difficulties.Babies born early to mothers with gestational diabetes may experience respiratory distress syndrome — a condition that makes breathing difficult.
- Preterm birth. Gestational diabetes may cause preterm labour or lead to premature birth. In some cases, the doctor may suggest a preterm delivery be cause the baby may be gaining too much weight.
- Breathing difficulties for the baby.
- Placental abrupt ion.
- Help syndrome.
- Threat of Type 2 Diabetes. Babies who are born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at a risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
There have been numerous studies of lifestyle changes for prevention of GDM (change of diet, increased physical activity, taking supplements such as luminosity, vitamin D, probiotics, fish oil) without clear results.
Attention to maternal weight gain is also important in minimizing the risk of fetal Macromedia. Maternal obesity, excess gestational weight gain, and GDM are independent and additive risk factors for Macromedia.
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