Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy. If you have gestational diabetes, you have a risk to develop type II diabetes. In gestational diabetes the level of glucose in the blood increases which is normal when you are not pregnant. Gestational diabetes affects 3-9% of pregnancies and is especially common during the last three months of pregnancy. After pregnancy, 90% gestational diabetes resolves, but 1 % can be caused by type II diabetes. But don’t worry if you have gestational diabetes you can still have a healthy baby with accurate guidance from your doctors.
There are two subtypes of gestational diabetes:
In type A1, an oral glucose tolerance test is abnormal that is OGTT, but glucose level is normal when fasting or two hrs after meals.
Dietary changes alone are enough.
In type A2, an abnormal oral glucose tolerance test that is OGTT and abnormal glucose level during fasting and two hrs after the meal.
Oral medications and subcutaneous insulin
Causes of Gestational Diabetes
During pregnancy, many changes such as hormonal changes take place within the body of pregnant women and they increase the body weight. When you eat, foods contain carbohydrates convert into a sugar called glucose. Glucose goes into the bloodstream and then used by your body’s cells for energy purpose. Insulin act as a transporter and helps glucose to move from the blood to the body’s cells. But when insulin does not work, glucose level increases in your body which causes diabetes. During pregnancy, the placenta attaches to the baby and supplies nutrients, blood and oxygen. Certain harmonic changes make insulin resistance or pancreas produces less insulin for glucose uptake. As the level of glucose higher-gestational diabetes occurs.
Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes affects 3-9% of pregnancies. It is important to know about the risk factors of gestational diabetes. If you have certain risk factors, you can have this problem:
Age 35 or more.
If you were overweight before pregnancy.
If you are Asian, African, Hispanic or Native American.
If you had prediabetes before pregnancy
If you have given birth to a large baby whose weight is greater than 9.5 pounds. Second delivery can be affected by diabetes.
If your parent sister or brother have diabetes.
If you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.
If women have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).
High blood pressure or other medical complications
Some researches have shown that on bed rest you will be inactive, and weight will increase due to glucose accumulations in the body.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
Although there are no symptoms, only blood sugar test helps to diagnose diabetes during pregnancy yet some of experience few of them:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Fatigue, dizziness
- Blurred vision
Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes
Sometimes symptoms are very few or even impossible to identify whether you have GD or not. At your first prenatal visit, if a doctor finds one of the above-given risk factors, your doctor may test for diabetes.
Glucose Tolerance Test
Glucose tolerance test is also known as glucose screening test. In this test firstly, you will take a sugary drink (you don’t need fasting).
After one hrs., a blood sample is taken from your body to check the higher level of glucose in the blood. If your blood glucose is below 140 mg/dL considered normal that you have no diabetes but still, you are at higher risk of developing it.
You may have followed up visit later to make sure that you are free from GD.
But if your glucose level is too higher-140 or more, you may need to another test known as an oral glucose tolerance test.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Oral glucose tolerance test means fasting. You will be on overnight fasting or 8 hrs. fasting to perform this test. After overnight fasting, the blood sample is taken and then a sugary drink is given to you which contains glucose. After one hrs. for three hrs., again blood is taken from your body. If two of reading is higher than normal, you’ll be Gestational diabetes.
Complications during pregnancy
During gestational diabetes, some of the complications can occur:
- Low blood glucose of baby after delivery
- Neural tube defects
- A higher birth weight of a baby
- Heart problem in the baby
- Congenital abnormalities
- Respiratory distress
- Parental iron deficiency
GD cannot be preventable but controlling your weight, taking good nutrition diet and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing type II diabetes.
Just doing lifestyle changes, you can make your treatment easier. And if your lifestyle changes are not improving your health, you can take medications with the help of your doctors.
- Monitoring your blood sugar level four to five time a day.
- Eating healthy and fewer carbohydrates containing diet.
- Regular exercise for increasing the sensitivity of insulin.
- Includes high fiber foods in your diet.
- Don’t skip your food because it can fluctuate your glucose level
- If diet and exercise are not enough then take medicines for GD.