You may use healthy life-style modifications to control or prevent gestational diabetes if you have been diagnosed with or are likely to develop the disease. Gestational diabetes occurs if a woman cannot produce enough insulin, leading to high blood sugar, during pregnancy. This can lead to a variety of problems.
Medications along with a balanced diet, active maintenance and other healthy lifestyle choices can help control levels of blood sugar during pregnancy.
Dr Alka Jha, Sr. Consultant, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj shared with Healthwire Media Everything You Need To Know About Gestational Diabetes.
What is gestational diabetes?
High blood glucose discovers during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. During pregnancy, the placenta releases some hormone which blocks the action of insulin (hormone required for glucose dispersal in the body). As a result of this mother’s body is not able to use insulin and leads to high blood glucose levels.
Any pregnant woman can develop the condition, but some women are at greater risk than others. Known risk factors include obesity, age more than 30 years, family history of diabetes and having a large baby weighing more than 4 KG and a personal history of gestational diabetes or prediabetes.
What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes does not cause any symptoms; therefore it is important to do blood testing for its timely detection. Testing is recommended initially at conception if possible. If the first test turns negative second test is usually recommended at 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. The test is called an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and involves measuring blood glucose levels both before and after drinking a sugary liquid.
It poses risk to the both mother and child. The mother is at risk of miscarriage, requiring a caesarean section pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and developing diabetes n future. The baby is at risk of macrosomia (large baby), the sudden drop of blood glucose levels, jaundice, birth defects and delay in lung maturation. This kid remains at risk of developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease in their adulthood.
Tips to control blood sugar during pregnancy
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and doing regular exercise are important in preventing and treating gestational diabetes. Carefully monitor your blood sugar and consult your doctor for the right advice to keep your blood sugar under control. If diet and exercise are not enough, you may need treatment with oral medications or insulin.
Because women who have had gestational diabetes are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, it is advisable to you should check your blood glucose six weeks after your baby is born and have regular check-ups after that. Breastfeeding is very important as it can reduce your child’s chances of becoming overweight/obesity and developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood.