What is Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy?

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What is Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy? Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only occurs during pregnancy. It is a type of diabetes that only some pregnant women get (about 2 to ten percent in the United States), happening when the woman’s body can’t make enough of a hormone called insulin.

Insulin helps the body use glucose from food for energy. When the body can’t make enough insulin, too much glucose stays in the blood. There are several factors that can lead to gestational diabetes.

One of the main causes is hormonal changes during pregnancy. Additionally, if a woman is obese or has a family history of diabetes, she may be more likely to develop gestational diabetes. Finally, women who are over the age of 30 or have a history of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (POS) are also at an increased risk for this condition.

Gestational diabetes onset typically occurs after 20 weeks and may occur up until 36th week (9 months). While it usually goes away after the baby is born, gestational diabetes can sometimes stay with the mother long after the pregnancy is over. It can last for months, or it can last for years.

Gestational diabetes can cause problems for both the mother and baby, so it’s important to get it under control. In this article, we’ll discuss the symptoms of gestational diabetes, why it is important to control, and what to do if you develop it.

The Symptoms of Uncontrolled Gestational Diabetes for Both Mother and Child.

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Gestational diabetes symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and some women may not have any symptoms at all. Many women do not realize they have gestational diabetes until they are screened for it as part of their prenatal care. However, some other common gestational diabetes symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination because the increase in blood sugar levels can cause increased thirst and fluid intake.
  • Excessive thirst because gestational diabetes can cause disturbances in the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance.
  • Fatigue due to your body not able to get the glucose it needs for energy. This can make you feel tired and run down
  • Nausea because the body is unable to process sugar properly, leading to an increase in stomach acids. needed to break down food. When these acids build up, they can lead to feelings of nausea.
  • Blurred vision: This happens when the blood sugar level is high, and the body starts to store glucose in the liver, muscles, and fat cells instead of using it for energy. This can lead to a build-up of fluids in the lens of the eye, making it hard to focus.
  • Difficulty sleeping through the night. This may be due to feeling anxious or stressed about the pregnancy
  • Excessive sweating can be caused by the changes in hormone levels that occur during pregnancy and can be a sign that your blood sugar levels are too high

If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to mention them to your healthcare provider. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed through a blood test. If you develop gestational diabetes, don’t worry. There are treatments that can help you keep your blood sugar levels under control.

What is Gestational Diabetes and Why is It Important to Control? (Complications)

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There are a few reasons why gestational diabetes is important to control. First, uncontrolled gestational diabetes can lead to high blood sugar levels in the mother, which can then cross the placenta and raise the baby’s blood sugar levels as well. 

This can cause the baby to grow too large (a condition called macrosomia), which can lead to difficulties during delivery and an increased risk of complications such as shoulder dystocia (when the baby’s shoulders get stuck during delivery).

Uncontrolled gestational diabetes can also lead to low blood sugar levels in the mother, which can cause problems for both her and the baby. Low blood sugar levels can cause the mother to feel dizzy, shaky, and tired, and can also lead to fetal distress (when the baby is not getting enough oxygen).

If uncontrolled, it may lead to other complications to mother and child such as:

  • Baby born with a heavy weight
  • Baby born prematurely
  • Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in infants or even death among infants who experience these symptoms early on during their life span
  • Baby born with low blood sugar
  • Future risk of type 2 diabetes in the mother as well as the baby
  • High blood pressure and Preeclampsia in mother

See kit to help manage gestational diabetes.

How to Prevent Gestational Diabetes Through Diet and Lifestyle Changes.

Preventing gestational diabetes through diet and lifestyle changes can be difficult, but it’s important to do everything you can to keep your blood sugar levels under control. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to help prevent or manage gestational diabetes. Here are a few tips:What is Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy? - Exercise

1. Try to maintain a healthy weight before and during pregnancy. This will help reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes. Additionally, mothers should also watch out because high blood pressure/preeclampsia has been known to happen when people have gained too much weight while pregnant due to the extra stress on the body.

2. Eat a healthy diet. Some women follow a standard gestational diabetes diet, while others follow a gestational diabetes diet that is low in carbohydrates. No matter which gestational diabetes diet you are following, it is important to eat plenty of healthy foods. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks.

3. Exercise regularly. This will help your body to better use insulin and keep your blood sugar levels under control. Most women can exercise safely during pregnancy but be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before starting or changing your exercise routine.

4. If you have any risk factors for gestational diabetes (such as a family history of diabetes), your healthcare provider may recommend that you take steps to control your blood sugar levels even before you get pregnant.

5. If you do develop gestational diabetes, don’t worry. There are treatments available that can help you keep your blood sugar levels under control. You’ll likely need to check your blood sugar levels multiple times per day and make changes to your diet. You may also need to take insulin injections. But with the right treatment plan, you can control your gestational diabetes and have a healthy pregnancy

Conclusion

Gestational diabetes is no joke, and it’s important to do everything you can to prevent it. If you develop gestational diabetes, be sure to take control of it as soon as possible. The risks for both you and your baby are simply too great not to. We hope this article has helped shed some light on the subject matter and that you found it informative. As always, if you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to comment down below!

References

[1] Gestational diabetes. (n.d.). Microsoft Start. 

[2] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2021, August 10). Gestational Diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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