Gestational Diabetes: Risk Factors, Symptoms, Management

The pregnancy journey is not smooth for all. Some woman may have to face gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a matter of concern as it may cause excessive birth weight of newborn, preterm birth, respiratory distress syndrome, low blood sugar in the baby, and type-2 diabetes in both child and mother in more future. It may also become a cause of baby’s death before or in a few hours after the birth. The pregnant mother may also suffer from pre-eclampsia that may lead to death or both baby and mother. A complete knowledge of this condition may help to expect a mother to prevent or deal with gestational diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

What is Gestational Diabetes

As the name suggests gestational diabetes affects only expecting mothers. There is an increase in the blood sugar level beyond the normal level. Mostly it affects pregnant mothers between 24 weeks to 28 weeks, but may develop any time during pregnancy. In most of the cases, it disappears.
It occurs because the body is unable to produce enough insulin that can meet the extra requirement of insulin to control the level of blood sugar during pregnancy.

What are the Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

Symptoms of gestational diabetes usually do not cause any symptoms, but some women may develop symptoms such as increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and tiredness. As some of these symptoms are very common during pregnancy, it becomes difficult to say where the expecting mother is suffering from gestational diabetes or not.
So during your first antenatal visit, your doctor may ask you questions to determine if you are at the risk of developing gestational diabetes or not.

Who are at the Risk of Developing Gestational Diabetes

Women at risk of gestational diabetes are those who have BMI Above 30, who has previously given birth to a baby who is more than 4.5kg, who had gestational diabetes previously or whose any of the parents or any of the sibling has diabetes.

Risk of Developing Gestational Diabetes

Risk of Developing Gestational Diabetes

If your doctor suspects you of having gestational diabetes he/she may ask you to have a blood test, during 24 to28 weeks oral blood glucose tolerance is done. OGTT is done earlier if you had gestational diabetes during your previous pregnancy. If it comes out to be the normal test is again done during 24 to 28 weeks of gestation.

Management of Gestational Diabetes

Management of gestational diabetes includes checking blood sugar levels 4 or more times in a day. A urine test to check the level of ketones. The need of insulin therapy and medicine is decided according to the weight gained.

Management of Gestational Diabetes

Management of Gestational Diabetes

How to Deal with Gestational Diabetes

To deal with gestational diabetes make sure to visit your doctor regularly for checkups.

Regularly monitor the level of blood sugar. The fasting blood sugar level should not be more than 95mg/dl. The 2-hour postprandial blood glucose should not be more than 10mg/dl and 1-hour postprandial blood sugar should not be more than 130mg/dL.

How to Deal with Gestational Diabetes

How to Deal with Gestational Diabetes

Do not skip the breakfast. If during gestational diabetes, you don’t eat for a long time your blood sugar level may not be controlled as it may cause hormonal fluctuations.

Choose right carbohydrates. Eat food that is low in glycemic index. Eat complex carbs such as oats, beans, okra, carrots, whole grains, peas, quinoa, legumes, high fiber diet. Say no to junk foods. Go for a sugar-free diet.

  • Take proper sleep as tiredness and fatigue may result in hormonal changes.
  • Manage stress.
  • Practice light exercises such as walking.

Gestational diabetes may affect more than 1 million pregnant women in India every year. But by following management’s strategy mentioned you can ensure your and
newborns safety.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.

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