Gestational Diabetes is a condition in which a hormone that is well-made by the placenta shall prevent the body from using insulin effectively. Glucose shall build up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes is not well caused by a lack of insulin, but by other hormones will be produced while pregnant that can make insulin less effective, which is a condition that is well referred to as insulin resistance. Gestational diabetic symptoms might all disappear following delivery.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
Although the cause is not exactly known, there are other theories as to why the condition might occur.
- The placenta supplies a growing fetus with nutrients and water, and it might also produce a variety of hormones for maintaining the pregnancy. Some of these hormones (which might include estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen) can have a blocking effect on insulin. This is known as a contra-insulin effect that might usually begin about 20 to 24 weeks into the pregnancy-like condition.
- As the placenta grows, more of these particular hormones are well produced, and the risk of insulin resistance might be just so greater. Normally, the pancreas is known to be able to make additional insulin for overcoming insulin resistance. But when the production of insulin is just not enough for overcoming the effect of the placental hormones, gestational diabetes outcomes
What Are The Risks Factors that Are Associated With Gestational Diabetes?
Although many women can evolve Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy, some of the known factors might enhance the risk which might include the following:
- Overweight or obesity
- Family history of diabetes
- Having given birth previously to an infant weighing greater than approx. 9 pounds
- Age (women who are older than 25 are at a greater risk for developing gestational diabetes than younger women)
- Race (women who are of African-American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic or Latino, or Pacific Islander have a higher risk)
- Prediabetes, which is also known as impaired glucose tolerance
Although enhances glucose in the urine is usually included in the list of risk factors, which is well not believed for being a reliable indicator.
How Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed?
The American Diabetes Association highly recommends screening for undiagnosed type 2 diabetes at the first prenatal visit in women with conditions like diabetes risk factors. In pregnant women not known to have diabetes, testing for this condition should be performed at approx. 24 to 28 weeks of gestation.
In addition, women with conditions like diagnosed GD should be screened for persistent diabetes which might be about 6 to 12 weeks postpartum. It is also recommended that women with a history of GD undergo lifelong screening for the development of diabetes or prediabetes approx.
Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider shall test the blood sugar while pregnant. The test might have two parts which are mentioned below:
- Glucose challenge test: One might drink a sweet liquid. After about an hour, you will have a blood test for checking your blood sugar level. In case the blood sugar is high, the healthcare provider shall do a glucose tolerance test.
- Glucose tolerance test: An oral glucose tolerance test is known to be the only one done in case you might challenge test results outcomes that are unusual. You fast (do not eat for eight hours) before the tolerance test. The healthcare provider draws the blood before and after you might drink a sweet liquid. The tolerance test can confirm a diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
How Is Gestational Diabetes Managed?
If you are well diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you might need more frequent checkups while pregnant. The healthcare provider shall help you to check your blood sugar levels regularly. You might also need to monitor the blood sugar at home with a tool known as a glucose meter.
Some women might also need medication to manage gestational diabetes-like conditions. But most women might have to keep their blood sugar levels under complete control with diet and performing proper exercise about it.
How Should I Change My Diet For Gestational Diabetes?
You might also need to adjust the diet for keeping well gestational diabetes under proper control. Try to do the below steps:
- Avoid the consumption of junk food, processed foods, and sugary drinks
- Choose a healthy balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat
- Eat smaller meals more often
- Schedule the meals at the same time each day