Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes which is seen in pregnant women and it goes away after pregnancy. This is diagnosed when blood glucose level becomes higher than the normal level. It occurs in almost 4% of all pregnancies. Women who have no prior history of diabetes is more prone to have gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes arises due to many changes which occur inside the body, including hormonal changes, women who have become resistant to insulin at the time of pregnancy predispose. A hormone which is seen in the pancreas that helps the body to effectively metabolize glucose in order to use it later as energy is known as insulin. The blood glucose level rises when the body cannot effectively use insulin or when level of insulin gets low.
Gestational diabetes can occur for anyone, and not all women who develop the condition have known risk factors. Risk factors include:
- A history of gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy,
- Previous delivery of an infant with a high birth weight,
- Having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes,
- Having a personal history Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS),
- Having pre-diabetes
Women who receive proper care for gestational diabetes can typically deliver healthy babies. However, having a high blood glucose level may cause the baby to be larger than the normal size, which results in a complication during Delivery. Immediately after the birth, baby is also at risk of having low blood glucose. There is a high risk of jaundice, respiratory distress syndrome, and a higher chance of dying before or following birth if gestational diabetes is not properly controlled in the newborn.
Screening tests are really important for gestational diabetes because it does not show any noticeable signs or symptoms. An increased thirst or increased urinary frequency may be noticed in rare cases.
The most important thing you can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy is to follow the treatment plan recommended by your provider. To treat your gestational diabetes, your doctor will ask you to follow:
- Check your blood sugar levels four or more times a day.
- Take urine tests to check for ketones, which mean that your diabetes is under control or not.
- Eat a healthy diet that’s in line with your doctor’s recommendations
- Make exercise your habit
By tracking how much weight you gain your doctor will let you know if you need to take insulin or other medicine for your gestational diabetes.
The risk of gestational diabetes can be reduced by following a good nutritional plan, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight