Gestational diabetes mellitus is a particular kind of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy. Nowadays, it is one of the most common phenomena among the pregnant women. Diabetes depicts that your blood sugar, technically called blood glucose, is kind of high. And high blood sugar in your blood is not healthy for you and your baby.
Causes of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes occurs when your body is not able to produce ample insulin during the phase of pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas and it helps in using glucose for providing energy and balances your blood glucose levels.
During your pregnancy period, your body produces more hormones and makes other changes especially weight gain. These temporary changes make your body’s cells to utilize insulin less usefully, and this phenomenon is called insulin resistance. And this phenomenon increases your needs fpr insulin. And if your pancreas can’t meet the needs of your body, this will give rise to gestational diabetes.
Chances of getting Gestational Diabetes
The chances of getting gestational diabetes are higher if you
- Have a parent, sister or brother who have type 2 diabetes
- Are obese.
- Have got gestational diabetes before.
- Have any sort of hormonal disorder such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- Are an American Indian or an Asian American or an African American or a Hispanic.
- Have pre-diabetes.
- Have had childbirth where your baby weighed more than 9 pounds.
Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes
Doctors usually conduct blood tests in order to diagnose gestational diabetes.
· Screening Glucose Test
This test is conducted on empty stomach. You will be asked to drink a certain amount of sugary beverage and then have your blood glucose level measured almost an hour later. And if the results turn out to be above the normal range, you will be asked to get an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) done.
· Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
This test is conducted on an empty stomach. You will be asked to fast for at least 7-8 hours prior to the test. Your fasting blood glucose will be noted prior to the test. Then you will be asked to drink a sweet beverage. After that, your blood glucose will again be noted after every hour. Your doctor will analyze the test results to figure out whether you have gestational diabetes or not.
Effect of Gestational Diabetes on Fetus
Uncontrolled or untreated gestational diabetes mellitus can create several issues for your baby, like
- Higher mortality.
- Respiratory disorders such as respiratory distress syndrome.
- Low blood glucose, such as hypoglycemia.
- Overweight and may develop type 2 diabetes once the baby grows up.
- Born with a macrosomia (where the body of the baby is quite huge), which can create difficulties in delivery and for the baby.
- Baby born with jaundice.
Treatment of Gestational Diabetes
The treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus means taking effective steps to keep your blood glucose levels within the target range. You can control your gestational diabetes using,
- Physical activity
- Healthy Eating
- Insulin shots, if required.
Proper Diet and Nutrition
You can control your blood glucose level within the target range with the help of a proper and balanced diet. Factors like the type of food, the amount of food and also the timings plays a very important role in helping you keep your BG levels in control.
Physical Activity is as important as a proper diet in treating gestational diabetes mellitus. Performing aerobic activities, brisk walking, yoga, swimming and dancing can help you achieve your target.
You can protect yourself and your baby by following proper steps right away in order to treat your gestational diabetes. So get your blood checked today and have a safe childbirth !