CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) reports that every year, gestational diabetes is found in 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the United States.
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a ‘condition marked by high blood glucose levels during pregnancy, typically resolving after the birth of the child.’
So, it goes away after you give birth! Then why so much fuss around it??
Because it can affect your baby’s health and increases your risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.
But, not to worry! With a little bit of caution and a few simple steps, you can make sure you and your baby stay healthy. Call us on 718-DORAL-500 to find out more.
What are the causes?
There are multiple mechanisms that can cause Gestational diabetes.
- Hormonal changes– During pregnancy, there are a lot of changes in the hormonal levels due to which your body might not be able to make and use all the insulin it needs. Without that, the glucose isn’t metabolized as it used to, and it builds up in the blood causing hyperglycemia.
- Insulin resistance-The placenta provides all the necessary nutrition and hormones, as the baby grows in the womb. Sometimes, these placental hormones affect the mother’s body by blocking the insulin causing Insulin Resistance, which causes sugar to accumulate in the body.
What are the symptoms?
You may not have any visible symptoms. Most women find it out during a routine screening.
You may notice that:
- You’re making more trips to the restroom
- You’re hungrier (than usual)
- You’re thirsty all the time
Are you at risk?
Your risks of developing gestational diabetes increase if you:
- Are Overweight/Obese
- Are Native American, African American, or Hispanic
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Have Prediabetes (blood sugar levels that are high, but not high enough to be diabetes)
- Have high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, or other medical conditions
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or other hormonal problems
- Have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- Have had miscarriages, or given birth to a baby who was stillborn or had birth defects
How can it be diagnosed?
Your doctor might recommend a screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, as Gestational diabetes usually develops around the 24th week of pregnancy.
If you’re at a higher risk, your doctor may test you earlier.
Can it be treated? If so, how?
The Good news -GESTATIONAL DIABETES IS MANAGEABLE!
Treatment for gestational diabetes includes:
- Lifestyle changes-
- Start pregnancy at a healthy weight.
- Don’t gain more weight than recommended.
- Take a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fibers, fruits, and nutrients.
- Exercise regularly-You should aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week.
- Regular monitoring-
- Check your blood sugar levels three or four times a day.
- Check your urine for ketones (chemicals that indicate that your diabetes isn’t under control).
- Your doctor will also keep track of your baby’s development.
- Medication (if required)-
- If diet, exercise, and regular monitoring don’t help, your doctor might recommend oral medications or insulin injections to help control your blood sugar levels.
Whatever the reason, you can work with us and have a healthy pregnancy. You are not alone, there are millions like you. Ask for help. There are ways to keep yourself and your baby healthy.