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All You Need To Know About Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Some women develop elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy. This is also referred to as gestational diabetes or GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus). It could happen between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy and just because you’ve developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy, it does not necessarily mean that you had diabetes before becoming pregnant, or will have it after giving birth. However, this condition increases the risk of type 2 diabetes at a later stage. If not managed properly, it could also increase the risk of your child developing diabetes, and the risk of complications for the baby and yourself during pregnancy and birth.

Everything You Need to Know About Gestational Diabetes

Symptoms

It doesn’t happen often that gestational diabetes causes any symptoms, but if you do experience some, they will most likely be mild. They might include:

Causes

The reason behind women developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy is still unknown. However, being overweight often has an influence. Usually, multiple hormones work to keep blood sugar levels stable. However, when you are pregnant, your hormone levels fluctuate, making it more tricky for your body to process blood sugar effectively, which leads to elevated blood sugar.

During pregnancy, your body generates more significant amounts of hormones, including:

These hormones influence the placenta and assist your body with sustaining your pregnancy. With time, these hormones amplify which leads to an insulin resistance in the body. Insulin plays a valuable role in your body. It helps with moving glucose out of the blood and into cells which is then used for energy. During pregnancy, your body usually becomes slightly resistant to insulin, to have more glucose available in the bloodstream which is then passed to your baby. If your insulin resilience is too strong, it leads to an abnormal rise in blood glucose levels. This then results in gestational diabetes.

When Must You See a Doctor?

It is advisable to seek health care as early as possible, when you are still planning on getting pregnant, so that your doctor can check what your risk is for gestational diabetes as well as your overall wellness. When you are expecting, as part of your prenatal care, your doctor must monitor your health to check for gestational diabetes. If you have developed gestational diabetes, you will need regular check ups, especially during the last three months of pregnancy. The doctor will then monitor your baby’s health and your blood sugar levels.

Who Carries The Most Significant Risk of Developing Gestational Diabetes?

You might have a high risk of getting gestational diabetes when you:

What is The Association Between Insulin and Gestational Diabetes?

All types of diabetes are associated with the hormone insulin. Insulin is responsible for regulating glucose levels in your blood by permitting sugar to move from your blood into cells. A lack of insulin or ineffective utilization of insulin by the cells in your body can lead to elevated glucose levels in your blood. When you gain weight, your body utilizes insulin less efficiently, therefore it must generate more in order to manage sugar levels in your blood.

Also, during pregnancy, the placenta generates insulin-resistant hormones. This allows sugar to remain in your blood for longer after a meal. Your baby is deriving nutrients from your blood during pregnancy, so it is advantageous for the nutrients to remain in your blood longer, so that your baby can get them. Some insulin resilience is normal when you are pregnant.

Your Glucose Levels Might Become Too High During Pregnancy When:

Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes

Doctors are encouraged to screen pregnant women periodically for any signs of gestational diabetes. If a woman has no former history of diabetes and her blood sugar levels were normal at the start of her pregnancy, the doctor will then screen for gestational diabetes during 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Do You Get More Than One Form of Gestational Diabetes?

There are two classes where gestational diabetes is divided into.

Complications of Gestational Diabetes

If the condition is not carefully controlled, it could result in elevated blood sugar levels which can be dangerous for both mom and baby. It also increases the likelihood of a C-section delivery.

Complications For Your Baby

If you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your baby might be at a higher risk of:

Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) – In some instances babies of moms who have gestational diabetes have hypoglycemia after birth. Severe episodes might result in seizure in the baby. Prompt feedings or a dose of intravenous glucose solution can help to stabilize the baby’s blood sugar levels.

Complications For Moms

Gestational diabetes might also elevate your risk of:

Healthy Foods To Eat When You Have Gestational Diabetes

A balanced eating plan is essential for appropriately controlling gestational diabetes. Special attention must be paid to your fat, carbohydrate, and protein intake.

Eating frequently (as regularly as every two hours) could go a long way in managing your blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrates

Protein

If you are pregnant, you need two to three protein servings per day. Good sources of protein are:

Fats

Prevention of Gestational Diabetes

Avoiding gestational diabetes all together is not possible. But, adopting healthy habits can lower the risk of developing this condition. Try to get regular exercise and stick to a healthy diet, if you have some of the risk factors that could result in gestational diabetes. Even light exercise, like walking, can be advantageous. If you are planning to have a baby, try to lose some weight if you are overweight. Even losing a minimal amount of weight could lower your chances of getting gestational diabetes during pregnancy, or developing type 2 diabetes later in your life.

Here are some thing you can to to reduce the ricks of developing gestational diabetes:

Stick to a Healthy Eating Plan

Try to stick to foods that are low in fat and calories, but high in fiber. Watch portion sizes, and eat a variety of foods to achieve your goals.

Stay Active

Exercise before getting pregnant and during pregnancy to lower the risk of gestational diabetes. Aim for at least thirty minutes of moderate exercise on most days of your week. Try things like swimming, cycling, going for a brisk walk, etc.

Healthy Weight at The Beginning of Your Pregnancy

If you are planning on having a baby, try to lose some weight beforehand if you are overweight. It will also lead to a healthier pregnancy overall.

Try Not To Exceed the Recommended Weight Gain

It is normal and healthy to gain some weight during pregnancy. However, putting on too much weight can increase the risk of gestational diabetes. Ask your doctor about the recommended amount of weight gain that is right for you.

Conclusion

We hope you have found this post about everything you need to know about gestational diabetes helpful and that you will follow some of the guidelines and tips that we have shared with you to reduce the risk of developing this condition during pregnancy.

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