Gestational diabetes is the type that affects the pregnant women, and due to the production of hormones during the pregnancy, the body’s receptivity to insulin is reduced, this lead to high levels of blood sugar in the body. This disease affects almost 4% of pregnant women globally. In this article, I will be sharing with you a simplified guide to gestational diabetes. Now, see how to control diabetes with dieting and exercise.
During pregnancy, the mother requires up to three times more insulin for glucose to transform into energy. However, the body is not able to use the insulin, and develops gestational diabetes.
Causes of Gestational Diabetes
Some of the common causes of this disease are family history in parents, sisters or brothers, presence of birth defects in the previous pregnancy, gestational diabetes in previous pregnancy, previous delivery of large baby, older maternal age, obesity in the woman with BMI over 29, women of First Nations, Hispanic or African-American decent, history of pregnancy induced urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, hydramnious, and previous still birth or spontaneous miscarriage.
When mothers who has gestational diabetes give birth to babies, those babies face the risk of shoulder dystocia, macrosomia, prolonged newborn jaundice, neonatal hypoglycemia, low blood calcium, develop jaundice, die in infancy, still birth, and respiratory distress syndrome.
Managing Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes in pregnant women is diagnosed around 24th to 28th week of the pregnancy. This is the phase when insulin resistance starts. If the would-be-mother had this type of diabetes before, or if doctor feels that she has the risk of developing it, some tests can be performed even earlier, around 13th week of pregnancy.
No cure has been found for the GD yet, but is can surely be controlled. The best and most effective way to control diabetes is to maintain blood glucose levels, blood fat levels and weight level. It is mandatory that every pregnant woman to control this condition and it must be supervised by an experienced medical expert. Some very serious complications such as kidney damage, infections, eye damage, heart disease and nerve damage to feet will be prevented if the diabetes is controlled in time.
Gestational diabetes can be treated, and it includes keeping the blood glucose levels within the certain range. The best ways to control the blood glucose is by doing regular exercise, changing the meal plan and using insulin if necessary.
As a mother to be, there are certain questions that you need to ask your doctor about GD. These questions should be regarding tests that need to be done in order to diagnose gestational diabetes, kind of diet plan that must be followed, rigidity of the diet plan, can the diet prevent or cure gestational diabetes, are insulin injections required, could the baby become diabetic later on, will diabetes affect the development of fetus and what are the chances of staying diabetic even after the delivery.
If you are having gestational diabetes, it is helpful to keep the daily record of your diet, glucose level and physical activity. Write down all you eat on the daily basis as this will help you track if the treatment is working well, or if any changes are required.
Some women having GD might require insulin to manage it. If the patient needs insulin injections, the doctor will monitor the condition. Some women may also have to get urine test done to find if they are getting sufficient glucose.
Once the baby is born, usually the blood sugar level quickly gets back to normal. However, it is better to get the blood test done six weeks after the delivery. If you have gestational diabetes, get the blood sugar test done three months prior to becoming pregnant again. This will help you deal with the diabetes, and prevent complications during the pregnancy.
Discuss the healthy meal plan with your dietician, and opt for healthy cooking methods such as steaming, grilling or microwaving the food instead of roasting and frying. Cut down on foods that is high on fat and sugar, and includes more vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet.