Gestational diabetes is a common condition that occurs in some women during pregnancy. It is a kind of diabetes that can occur during the second or third trimester of pregnancy and can result in complications for both the mother and the baby. If untreated, gestational diabetes can cause premature labor, preeclampsia, and an increased chance of acquiring Type 2 diabetes following pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes can be avoided by making simple lifestyle adjustments and eating a nutritious diet. Diabetes and endocrinology care is also essential that it involves diagnosing and treating conditions related to the endocrine system, which produces and regulates hormones in the body. This article will explain what gestational diabetes is, its risk factors and complications, and how to prevent it.
What Is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes which is developed during pregnancy. It is produced by high blood sugar levels induced by insulin resistance, which develops when the body cannotuse insulin adequately. Insulin is a hormone whichcontrols blood glucose levels. During pregnancy, the body requires more insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes can occur when the body cannot manufacture enough insulin to meet this requirement.
Gestational Diabetes Symptoms
Gestational diabetes frequently has no symptoms, so pregnant women should be checked for the condition. Some women, however, may have symptoms such as
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urinary urgency and frequency of urinary tract infections
- Increased weight gain
Risk Factors ForGestational Diabetes
Several risk factors can increase a woman’s risk of developing gestational diabetes, including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Having a history of gestational diabetes
- Being over the age of 25
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Preventing Gestational Diabetes
Complications Of Gestational Diabetes
Uncontrolled gestational diabetes may cause elevated blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can cause issues for the mother and baby, including an increased probability of requiring delivery surgery (C-section).
Complications that could harm your baby
If a mother has gestational diabetes, thenthe baby is more likely to develop the following:
- Overweight at birth- If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, your baby may develop too large. Babies that weigh4.5 kgsor above are morelikely tosuffer birth injuries or become trapped in the birth canal and require a C-section.
- Premature (early) birth- High blood sugar levels may raise the likelihood of premature labor and delivery before the due date.Premature (early) birth. High blood sugar levels may increase the possibility of premature labor and delivery before the due date. If the baby is large, early delivery may be advised.
- Breathing troubles- Babies delivered prematurely may develop respiratory distress syndrome, which makes breathing difficult.
- Low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia)- Newborns may experience low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth. Severe hypoglycemia episodes may result in convulsions in the newborn. Prompt feedings and, in some instances, intravenous glucose solutions can help the baby’s blood sugar levels return to normal.
- Obesity and type 2 diabetes- Babies are more prone to develop type 2 diabetes and obesity later in life.
- Stillbirth- Untreated, gestational Diabetes can cause a baby’s death before or after birth.
Complications that could happen to the mother
Gestational diabetes may also raise the chances of developing:
- Preeclampsia and hypertension- Gestational Diabetes increases your chance of high blood pressure. Preeclampsia is a critical pregnancy complication that produces high blood pressure and other signs and symptoms that can endanger your and your baby’s life.
- Surgical birth (C-section)- If you have gestational diabetes, you are more likely to have a C-section.
- Diabetes- If you have gestational diabetes, you are more likely to have it during a subsequent pregnancy. You are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as you age.
Preventing Gestational Diabetes
While some women are more likely than others to acquire gestational diabetes, some steps can be taken to reduce the risk. Some methods for preventing gestational diabetes include:
- Maintaining a Healthy Weight
One of the most effective way to prevent gestational diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight before and during pregnancy. Women who are obese are more likely to develop the illness. Women who plan to become pregnant are recommended to lose weight before getting pregnant. Women should attempt to gain a healthy weight during pregnancy based on their pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI).
- Eating a Balanced Diet
A healthy diet is necessary for general health and can help prevent gestational diabetes. Sugar, fat, and calorie-rich foods can raise the risk of getting the illness. It is critical to avoid or minimize these types of foods in favor of whole, nutrient-dense foods. A pregnant woman’s diet should include a variety of fruits and vegs, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Regular Exercise
Exercise regularly is essential for keeping a healthy weight and avoiding gestational diabetes. It can also aid in blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity. Pregnant women should contact their doctor before beginning any workout program. Pregnant women should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity weekly exercise.
- Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels
Monitoring blood sugar levels throughout pregnancy can aid in diagnosing and managing gestational diabetes. Women at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes should be tested early in pregnancy. Women who have gestational diabetes must constantly test their blood sugar levels and may requireto adopt lifestyle changes or take medication to manage the condition.
- Seeking Regular Check-Ups
Regular prenatal check-ups are essential for monitoring the mother’s and baby’s health. These check-ups can help identify and manage potential health issues like gestational diabetes. In addition, the doctor will evaluate the mother’s blood sugar levels throughout these check-ups and propose any required lifestyle modifications or treatments.
Gestational diabetes is a dangerous condition that can lead to difficulties during and after childbirth. However, it can be avoided by making simple lifestyle adjustments, including keeping a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and monitoring blood sugar levels. In addition, pregnant women should see doctors specialized in diabetes and endocrinology care frequently to assess their health and ensure a healthy pregnancy. Women can lower their chance of developing gestational diabetes and have a better pregnancy and delivery by implementingand alsospecific lifestyle changes.