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Everything You Need to Know About Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes means diabetes that occurs in a woman, when they are pregnant. This occurs usually around 20 -24 weeks of pregnancy. Even if gestational diabetes is detected in woman, you should not panic,as it does not signify that you had diabetes before conceiving or you will get diabetes even after delivery. Incidence of Gestational Diabetes is about 18% that means, out of 100 women getting pregnant 18 will develop diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes Causes

Exact cause of gestational diabetes is unknown, but hormones play a roll.

When you are pregnant, your body produces large quantities of some hormones including human placental lactogen to hormones that increase insulin resistance.

These hormones affect your placenta and help sustain your pregnancy. Overtime levels of these hormones increase in your body. These hormones start to make your body resistant to insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar in your body. Insulin helps more glucose out of your blood into your cells where it is used for energy.

In pregnancy, your body naturally becomes slightly insulin resistant, so that more glucose is available in your blood stream to be passed to baby. If insulin resistance becomes too strong, your blood levels may rise abnormally. This causes gestational diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis

Every pregnant woman should undergo oral glucose tolerance test at 24th week of pregnancy. A sugary drink of 75 grams of glucose is given to mother. Blood samples are checked at half hour interval. If fasting sugar is more than 90 mg % or two hours after test is more than 140 mg % ;Gestational diabetes is confirmed.

The Importance of Gestational Diabetes

Why it is important to diagnose gestational diabetes? Because nothing will happen to mother during pregnancy but fetus will be affected to a larger extent.

Gestational diabetes needs to be diagnosed in time as it affect fetus like congenital anomalies, still birth (Birth of dead baby), big fat baby, Polyhdromious (Excessive water).

Baby born with obesity at birth are at high risk off becoming type 2 diabetics in there adulthood.

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    Gestational Diabetes Treatment

    Even if mother is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it can be controlled with diet and exercise is called medical nutritional therapy.

    • Diabetic diet :Diet with no carbohydrates and high protein
    • Eat small portion all frequent meals add regular interval.
    • Avoid drinks and food containing large amount of sugars like cold drinks.
    • Include fruits, selects, lentils, paneer, tofu, chicken and fish in diet.
    • Walk daily(Not more than 20 minutes each time as it increases body temperature) Of course in consultation with your gynaecologist
    • Take stairs in place of lift
    • Be active

    After doing about all measures if steal your sugars remain high(Fasting more than 90 and post meal more than 140)Consult your diabetologist to start either metformin or insulin.

    Prevention is always better than cure. In case of gestational diabetes many congenital anomalies can be easily avoided with proper screening and help of all diabetologist.

    About Author


    Dr. Vaishali Pathak

    Diabetologist, Sahyadri Hospital Deccan Gymkhana Contact: +91 88888 22222
    Email – [email protected]

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