Gestational Diabetes Among Pregnant Women

Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases marked by high blood sugar.

Dr. Gowri Kulkarni, Head of Medical Operations, MediBuddy

Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases marked by high blood sugar. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. According to CDC, 6-9% of women develop Gestational diabetes during their pregnancy period.

Insulin is a hormone generated by the pancreas that regulates the body’s fat and carbohydrate metabolism and contributes to the conversion of sugar to energy. Gestational diabetes develops when the placenta’s hormones block insulin, preventing the body from adequately controlling the higher blood sugar levels associated with pregnancy. This results in hyperglycemia (excess sugar in the blood), which can harm the body’s neurons, blood vessels, and organs.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

In general, there are no noticeable symptoms or signs of gestational diabetes. Symptoms of Gestational diabetes are similar to that of pregnancy such as increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue. Hence, during pregnancy, physicians generally check for Gestational diabetes as a part of the prenatal care.

Risk factors

Researchers aren’t sure why some women develop gestational diabetes while others don’t. However, it is noticed that women are more likely to develop gestational diabetes if they are overweight, older, or have a family history, have had gestational diabetes in their previous pregnancy. Other risk factors include if you have a high level of abdominal fat, are put on bed rest by your physician, or if you are pregnant with multiples like twins, triplets, etc.

Treatment of Gestational Diabetes

Close monitoring of blood sugar along with certain lifestyle adjustments such as exercise and a healthy diet can help manage Gestational Diabetes. In some cases, your physician might even advise you to take some medication

Prevention of Gestational Diabetes.

There may be nothing you can do if your main risk factors for gestational diabetes are a family history of the disease and/or advanced maternal age. On the other hand, eating a good diet, remaining active/exercising, and maintaining a healthy BMI can help significantly. These will help you reduce your risk of gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes before you get pregnant as well as during your pregnancy:

Gestational diabetes is very common among women and can be managed with proper treatment and care. Seek professional help as and when required. Don’t worry and stay safe.

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