The term gestational diabetes refers to diabetes during pregnancy. The condition can pose great damage to both mother and fetus, hence identification and treatment is crucial. Unfortunately, symptoms can be subtle, which makes the condition difficult to diagnose. Since gestational diabetes can affect the health of both mother and fetus, it’s important to discuss the risks with your healthcare provider, and follow advice for testing, diet, and exercise to prevent or restrain the condition.
Insulin helps control blood sugar levels in the body. All cases of diabetes involve the body not producing enough insulin, or not having the ability to utilize insulin. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), hormones that arise during pregnancy can interfere with insulin function. The result is gestational diabetes. Nobody is sure why some women become diabetic during pregnancy,while others do not.
Unlike other kinds of diabetes, an instance of gestational diabetes will usually subside when the infant is born. Women who experience gestational diabetes may have a higher risk for other sorts of diabetes later in life. Be sure to inform your health care providers if you’ve had gestational diabetes, so that they can monitor your blood sugar levels.
Many women develop gestational diabetes but show no symptoms. Sometimes, frequent bleeding or constant thirst can be warning signals. Even without symptoms, the condition can damage both mother and fetus, so your healthcare provider might recommend routine blood sugar level tests while pregnant.
Effects on the Fetus
Gestational diabetes can damage a fetus in several ways. High blood sugar levels are linked to a greater risk for stillbirth or early labour. If a fetus becomes too much sugar during development, it might become too big for the birth, mandating a cesarean delivery. Some infants of diabetic mothers can experience respiratory distress syndrome, a breathing disorder. Other potential problems include jaundice and low blood sugar levels after birth.
Effects on the Mother
Gestational diabetes might cause preclampsia, a state that raises blood pressure and can lead to liver or kidney impairment. Urinary tract infections also have been associated with diabetes during pregnancy.
Mothers-to-be can handle blood sugar levels with diet and exercise. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider on appropriate nutrition and safe exercise during pregnancy. Regular testing of blood sugar levels during pregnancy will determine if medication is also required. According to ACOG, about 15 percent of women who have gestational diabetes need medication to reduce their blood glucose level.