Diabetes is a form of diabetes developed for the first time during pregnancy (gestation). Similar to other varieties of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects the way in which the cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood glucose that may affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. In women with this condition, blood glucose returns typically to the standard level soon after delivery. But if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you’ve got the next risk of getting type 2 diabetes. You will have to be tested for changes in glucose more often.

Causes of Gestational Diabetes

Insulin is a hormone secreted inside the pancreas that controls the body’s digesting fats and carbohydrates and helps the body to transform sugar into vitality. Gestational diabetes is when hormones from the placenta stop insulin from successfully absorbing the expanded blood glucose level during pregnancy. It causes hyperglycemia (or high levels of sugar within the blood), which might damage the nerves, blood vessels, and organs.

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Signs and Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

Most women having gestational diabetes will not have any symptoms, though some of them may experience:

  1. Unusual thirst.
  2. Frequent urination in large amounts (distinguished from frequent but usually light urination of early pregnancy).
  3. Fatigue (which could also be challenging to differentiate from normal pregnancy fatigue).
  4. Sugar within the urine (detected at a routine practitioner visit).

Risk Factors

Some women have a higher risk of gestational diabetes which include the following:

  1. Being overweight before you became pregnant or gained a larger than average weight while being pregnant.
  2. A lack of physical activity.
  3. Previous gestational diabetes or prediabetes.
  4. Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), keratosis nigricans, or other conditions that are related to insulin resistance.
  5. Have had an unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth.
  6. Previously delivering a baby weighing quite 4 kilograms.

Complications

If your gestational diabetes is not managed correctly, your blood glucose levels may remain higher; they will be throughout your pregnancy. It can cause complications and affect the health of your child. For example, when your baby is born, he or she may have:

  1. a high birth weight
  2. breathing difficulties
  3. low glucose
  4. shoulder dystocia, which causes their shoulders to urge stuck within the passageway during labor.

They may even be prone to the risk of developing diabetes later in life. That’s why it’s essential to require steps to manage your gestational diabetes by following your doctor’s recommended treatment plan.

Diagnosis

Many medical associations encourage doctors to screen pregnant women for signs of gestational diabetes, routinely. If you do not have any history of diabetes and healthy blood glucose levels at the start of your pregnancy, your doctor will likely screen you for gestational diabetes when you are 24 weeks pregnant.

General screening for gestational diabetes

Screening tests may vary slightly depending on your health care provider, but usually include:

  1. Initial glucose challenge test – You’ll drink a sugary glucose solution. One hour later, your sample will be tested for your blood glucose level.
  2. A glucose level of 190 mg per deciliter (mg/dL), or 10.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) indicates gestational diabetes. Glucose below 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is sometimes considered normal on a glucose challenge test, although this could vary by clinic or lab.
  3. If your blood glucose level is on top of ordinary, you will need another glucose tolerance test to see if you’ve got the condition.
  4. Follow-up glucose tolerance testing – This test is analogous, except the sweet solution will have even more sugar and your blood glucose is going to be checked every hour for 3 hours.
  5. If a minimum of two glucose readings is over expected, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Treatment

If you are diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy, your treatment plan will rely upon your blood glucose levels.

In many cases, your doctor will suggest you to check your blood glucose before and after meals and will make you to manage your condition by regularly eating healthy and exercising.

In some cases, they will also add insulin injections if needed, only 10 to twenty percent of girls with symptoms of gestational diabetes need insulin to assist control on their blood glucose.

If your doctor encourages you to watch your blood glucose levels, they will provide you with a particular sugar level monitoring device.

If needed, they may even prescribe insulin injections for you until you give birth.

Ask your doctor about correctly timing your insulin injections concerning your meals and exercise to avoid low blood glucose.

Your doctor may tell you what to try to if your blood glucose levels fall too low or are consistently more than they must be.

Diet Changes to Tackle Gestational Diabetes

A diet is essential to manage gestational diabetes properly. Individually, women with diabetes during pregnancy should pay attention to their overall food intake.

Eating food at regular intervals can also help you regulate your glucose levels.

Carbohydrates – Properly splitting out carbohydrate-rich foods will help to forestall blood glucose spikes.

Your doctor will facilitate your determine precisely with how much of carbohydrates you must eat, day after day. They’ll also recommend that you see a registered dietician to assist with planning your diet chart.

Healthy carbohydrate supplements include brown rice, whole grains, beans, lentils, peas, other legumes, starchy vegetables, and low-sugar fruits.

Protein – Pregnant women should eat up to three servings of protein daily. Sources of protein can include lean meats and poultry, fish, and tofu.

Fat – Healthy fats to include in your daily diet are unsalted nuts, avocado, seeds, and olive oil.

To Conclude

It’s out of the question to stop gestational diabetes entirely. Nevertheless, adopting healthy habits can lessen your chances of developing the ailment. If you’re pregnant and have one among the danger factors for gestational diabetes, try and eat a healthy diet, and find regular exercise. Even light activity, like walking, is also beneficial. If you’re about to become pregnant within the near future and overweight, one amongst the most straightforward stuff you can do is figure along with your doctor to reduce. Even losing a little amount of weight can facilitate your lower your risk of gestational diabetes.

To read more about Gestational Diabetes refer to the below links
  1. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/gestationaldiabetes#:~:text=Gestational%20diabetes%20is%20a%20condition,it%20through%20diet%20and%20exercise.
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/gestational-diabetes
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gestational-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20355339
To know more about pregnancy scans, please refer to the below links:
  1. Anomaly Scan – https://www.chennaiwomensclinic.com/anomaly-scans
  2. NT Scan – https://www.chennaiwomensclinic.com/nt-scans-and-prenatal-screening
  3. Growth Scan – https://www.chennaiwomensclinic.com/fetal-growth-scans

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