Trust and follow your doctor’s advice. Gestational diabetes is treatable and there is no need to panic. | Photo credit: iStock Images
- Gestational diabetes is a disease that deserves attention, but not a cause for panic or fear of disaster
- Most women with gestational diabetes have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, especially if their condition is diagnosed and well treated during pregnancy.
- Don’t take a diagnosis like the doomsday judgment and speak to your doctor if you are very concerned about it.
Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that can occur during pregnancy. Your doctor can confirm this after listening to you while checking blood sugar reports and other parameters. Gestational diabetes means that you have higher than normal blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
It is not an extremely rare condition and can affect anyone who is predisposed to developing the condition. If you have gestational diabetes, it is important to get treatment quickly to avoid the problems that can affect the health of the expectant mother and the baby.
Here’s how the U.S.-based National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) explains gestational diabetes:
Quote U.S. Department of Health
Gestational diabetes occurs when your body cannot make the extra insulin during pregnancy. Insulin, a hormone made in your pancreas, helps your body use glucose for energy and control your blood sugar levels. During pregnancy, your body produces special hormones and goes through other changes, such as: B. Weight gain. Because of these changes, your body’s cells do not use insulin well, which is known as insulin resistance. All pregnant women have some insulin resistance during late pregnancy. Most pregnant women can produce enough insulin to overcome insulin resistance, but some cannot. These women develop gestational diabetes.
Two types of diabetes can occur during pregnancy:
Gestational diabetes. Developed / acquired during pregnancy; goes away after your baby is born.
Diabetes before pregnancy. The diabetic condition exists prior to pregnancy and can be either type 1 or type 2. When a person has type 1 diabetes, it means that the body is unable to make any or a sufficient amount of insulin that the body needs to use blood sugar, and therefore the patient must take insulin. In Type 2, a condition later acquired due to lifestyle or other related health conditions / medication, such pregnant women (in the case discussed here) will require hypoglycemic medication and possibly insulin.
Why It Is Important To Treat Gestational Diabetes:
This condition can cause problems for both mother and baby. While doctors can’t accurately predict who might develop gestational diabetes, work can be done to reduce the risk of developing it. It needs to be treated promptly as it can predispose the expectant mother to other dangerous conditions such as preeclampsia, which causes high blood pressure and can be fatal if not treated quickly. Other risks include developing macrosomia, a condition that causes your baby to grow tall, forcing doctors to perform cesarean surgery on the patient.
It can also cause the baby to have low blood sugar at birth or a tendency to be stillborn. Untreated GD can cause miscarriages. A baby’s organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs begin to form in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. The mother’s elevated blood sugar levels can be harmful at this early stage and make the baby more likely to develop birth defects such as heart defects or defects in the brain or spine. Long-term diabetes problems such as eye problems and kidney disease can worsen due to increased blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
Symptoms of gestational diabetes:
Most symptoms are mild and may not necessarily be pronounced or noticeable immediately.
- excessive thirst
- increased urgency and frequency of urine
- increased weight gain
Who Can Develop Gestational Diabetes?
Women who are expecting babies and who have the following conditions are likely to develop gestational diabetes.
- Older than 25
- Overweight and obese
- Gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies
- The family history of diabetes or close relatives has suffered the same
- Conditions that cause insulin resistance, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Have high blood pressure before pregnancy
- Use of glucocorticoids
- Being pregnant with more than one, such as twins or triplets
How is gestational diabetes treated?
- In most cases, expectant mothers can manage or control gestational diabetes with careful monitoring of diet and exercise.
- Avoid excessive intake of carbohydrates and pay attention to the servings and portion sizes. Avoid alcohol, processed foods like baked goods and pizzas, and starches like white potatoes and white rice.
- Ask the doctor to create a meal plan.
- Additionally, ask the doctor to recommend some exercises that can be safely done during pregnancy.
- If your doctor approves some of the exercises from yoga, pilates, weight training, etc., then include them. Ask if swimming or running and brisk walking is advisable.
Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions in the article are for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always ask your doctor or nutritionist before starting any fitness program or making changes to your diet.