Everything About Gestational Diabetes
Women with high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are rare, but they do exist. This state is known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or gestational diabetes in pregnancy. In most cases, gestational diabetes occurs between weeks 24 and 28. Gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar differently than other types of diabetes (glucose). High blood sugar levels during pregnancy can harm your health and the health of your unborn child.
Having gestational diabetes during pregnancy does not imply you had diabetes before or will have it later. Pregnancy-induced hyperglycemia increases the likelihood of acquiring type 2 diabetes later on.
It can also increase your child’s risk of developing diabetes, as well as your own and your baby’s risk of difficulties during pregnancy and delivery if it is not well controlled. However, there is some positive news about pregnancy complications. Maintain a healthy weight by eating well and exercising, and consider taking diabetes medication if necessary. Keep yourself and your baby healthy by managing your blood sugar levels.
In women with gestational diabetes, blood sugar levels usually return to normal after birth. When it comes to gestational diabetes, however, the chance of developing type 2 diabetes is increased. You’ll need to have your blood sugar checked more frequently.
There are two types of obstetric gestation. Exercise and a healthy diet can help women with class A1 to manage their condition. Class A2 patients need to be on insulin or other medications. After you give birth, gestational diabetes will disappear from your body. Your baby’s health may suffer as a result, and you may get type 2 diabetes later in life. However, you can take steps to ensure the health of both you and your child.
Cause of gestational disease
The cause of gestational diabetes is not clear, but the hormones are to be involved. Pregnancy increases the production of some hormones, like:
- Placental lactogens in humans (hPL)
- hormones inducing insulin resistance
Their effects on your placenta and ability to maintain your pregnancy are significant. Over time, these hormones build up in your body. It could lead to a resistance to insulin, including the hormone responsible for regulating sugar levels in the body.
Your cells use sugar for energy, and insulin helps transfer glucose out of your blood and into your cells to do the same. Consequently, your body becomes more resistant to insulin throughout pregnancy, allowing more glucose to be transported from you and into your baby. Your blood glucose levels may rise unnaturally if your insulin resistance is too good. Thereby, it can lead to gestational diabetes in pregnant women, so be aware.
Symptoms of gestational diabetes
For the majority of women, gestational diabetes does not manifest itself in any obvious way. Possible signs and symptoms include an increase in thirst and frequent urination.
In what circumstances should you consult a physician
If at all feasible, get medical attention as soon as you decide to become pregnant so that your doctor can assess your risk of gestational diabetes and your overall well-being before you become pregnant. You will be tested for gestational diabetes by your doctor as part of your prenatal treatment.
Consider having more frequent exams if gestational diabetes is detected. When your doctor is monitoring your blood sugar level and your baby’s health in the latter three months of pregnancy, this is when these complications are most likely to develop.
Risks of gestational diabetes
Your risk of gestational diabetes is higher when:
- have high heart rate
- diabetes runs in the family
- you are older than 25
- you became pregnant and were obese
- you have more weight than usual while pregnant
- you are expecting multiple children
- a lack of physical activity
- you have had a history of giving birth to more than 9-pound babies
- a history of gestational diabetes
- you have been the sufferer of an unspecified miscarriage or stillbirth
- you had glucocorticoid therapy
- you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or other disorders linked with insulin resistance
Diagnosis of gestational diabetes
Pregnant women should be tested regularly for indications of gestational diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). After 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy, your doctor will likely examine you for gestational diabetes if you don’t have a diabetes history and have usual blood sugar readings at the beginning of your pregnancy.
Challenge test for glucose
In some cases, the first step may be a glucose challenge test. There is no need for any preparation for this step.
You’ll need to drink a glucose solution to get the job done. The doctor will perform a blood test after an hour. They will check your blood sugar level using a three-hour oral glucose tolerance test if it is high. It is known as the two-step testing procedure.
A glucose challenge test may be omitted by some clinicians in favor of a two-hour glucose tolerance test instead. It is known as a one-step testing procedure.
Test in a single step
- In the beginning, your doctor will check your fasting blood sugar level.
- They will ask you to consume a 75-gram of carbohydrate solution.
- After an hour and two hours, they’ll check your blood sugar levels once more.
Gestational diabetes is more likely to receive a diagnosis if any of these blood sugar levels are present:
- More than or equal to 92 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of fasting blood sugar
- glucose level more than 180 mg/dL after one hour
- 153 mg/dL or higher blood sugar level after two hours
Test in a two-step
- Fasting is not necessary for the two-step test.
- They’ll ask you to drink a 50 g of sugar solution.
- They will do a blood sugar test after an hour.
On a different day, they’ll do a second follow-up test if your blood sugar level is higher or equivalent to 130 or 140 mg/dL. Your doctor will determine the threshold for deciding if this is the case.
- First, your doctor will take a quick blood sugar reading before moving on to a more in-depth analysis.
- They will ask you to consume a 100 g of sugar solution.
- In the following hours, they will check your blood sugar levels.
At least two of the following numbers indicate that you may develop gestational diabetes:
- Fasting blood sugar level greater than 95 mg/dL or 105 mg/dl.
- a glucose level of 180 mg/dL (or higher) within one hour
- more than or equal to 155 mg/dL or 165 mg/dL after two hours
- levels greater than or equal to 140 mg/dL or 145mg/dL after three hours
Treatment for gestational diabetes
For gestational diabetes, there are several options:
- Changes in the lifestyle
- The monitoring of your blood sugar
Maintaining a stable blood sugar level is essential for both you and your baby. Avoiding difficulties during your pregnancy and delivery is also possible with close monitoring.
Changes in the lifestyle
Your lifestyle — what you eat and how you move — is critical to maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. As a result of your body’s efforts to support you and your growing child, there is no weight loss during pregnancy. It is possible to set weight gain objectives with the assistance of your doctor.
Obstacles to a healthy diet include highly processed carbs, including sweets and fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, and lean protein sources. They will take into account your current weight, your pregnancy weight gain goals, and your blood sugar level, as well as your activity habits and food preferences.
Keep yourself active.
A woman’s fitness plan must include regular physical activity before, during, and after pregnancy. Exercise lowers your blood sugar levels. Extra benefit: Exercise eases pregnant discomforts such as back pain and muscle tightness.
Check your blood sugar levels regularly.
Check your blood sugar four or more times a day — first thing in the morning and after meals — while you’re pregnant to make sure it’s within a healthy range.
Insulin injections may be necessary if diet and exercise aren’t enough to bring your blood sugar levels under control. Most women with gestational diabetes use insulin to achieve their blood sugar objectives. To control gestational diabetes, some doctors use oral medications, while others believe that additional study is needed to demonstrate that oral medications are as safe and effective as injectable insulin. You can get these through any online pharmacy.
Keep a close eye on your child.
Keeping a close eye on your infant is a crucial element of your treatment plan. When it is about monitoring your baby’s growth and development, your doctor may use ultrasounds or another testing. However, if you haven’t given birth by the due date, your doctor may induce labor. It is possible that if you deliver after your due date, there will be more risks for you and your baby both.
Preventing gestational diabetes is not completely possible. Adopting healthy habits, on the other hand, can minimize your risk of contracting the disease.
Pregnant women with a risk factor for gestational diabetes should focus on eating healthily and exercising regularly. You can benefit from even a simple little exercise.
Working with your doctor to lose weight is one of the finest things you can do if you’re planning to get pregnant soon and are overweight. Even a small amount of weight loss can help you minimize your risk of gestational diabetes during and after pregnancy.