Diabetes is the fastest spreading endemic in the world. It can affect any one at any age – from a newborn to even a septuagenarian- and any gender. Type 1 diabetes is often genetic and type 2 diabetes is more a lifestyle-related ailment. Gestational diabetes could occur in a pregnant woman either because of lifestyle and habits, or family history.
Here are a few important points to know about Gestational Diabetes.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestation is the period of pregnancy during which the fertilized cell grows to form a complete baby. Diabetes contracted during this period is known as Gestational Diabetes. This is different from Type 1 Diabetes and type 2 diabetes because this is most often a temporary ailment; never the less, it should be addressed to and treated at the earliest or at the first sign of high blood sugar levels.
Is gestational diabetes reversible?
Gestational Diabetes can be treated with medication, diet, and exercise regimen. Diabetes care should be followed regularly along with monitoring of blood sugar levels preferably at a diabetes centre or diabetes clinic to avoid recurrence and harm to the unborn baby.
Who is at risk of getting gestational diabetes?
In the trending lifestyle almost all women are at risk. The risk factors to be observed and addressed during pregnancy are:
- Late-age pregnancy
- Previous history of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart-related disorders
Know your risks and stay connected to a diabetes clinic.
Which is the high risk period of pregnancy?
Usually checks for abnormal blood sugar levels are conducted from the 24th – 26th week of gestation. It is advisable for every woman to have evaluations done by a diabetes specialist or an endocrinologist before planning pregnancy, especially if there are risk factors of diabetes.
Symptoms of gestational diabetes
Symptoms are common in type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
- Glycosuria (sugar in urine) – This is detected during urinalysis
- Excessive thirst or urination
- Frequent infections of the skin, vagina, and bladder
- Blurred vision
Contact a diabetes clinic at the first sign of these symptoms even if it appears in early or late pregnancy. In most cases, you may not notice any symptoms at all. So, it’s important to get yourself tested once at the beginning of pregnancy and then as per the advice of your doctor.
Causes of gestational diabetes
During pregnancy, the body undergoes many hormonal changes. Insulin is the hormone which processes sugars. Insulin production can get affected because of hormonal changes causing gestational diabetes.
Can the baby get diabetes because of mother’s gestational diabetes?
If gestational diabetes is not managed well, it may cause a high birth weight or a big-sized baby. Chances of the baby developing diabetes are very low if sugars are controlled during the pregnancy term.
Risks of gestational diabetes
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels cause health problems in the mother and may sometimes affect the baby too. The mother might suffer from depression, high blood pressure and other health problems. Premature delivery is also a big risk.
What foods can I eat in gestational diabetes?
A woman needs a healthy and nutritious diet for herself and for her baby. Fresh fruits like apples, berries, citrus fruits are good. Baked fish and chicken, egg whites, salads, green vegetables are all high in nutrients and low in carbs and sugars. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are also very nutritious.
Plan a weekly diet so there can be a variety of foods to enjoy. Consult a dietician or nutritionist for detailed diet plan.
What foods to avoid in gestational diabetes?
Acidity-forming foods like fried food or snacks, junk foods, sugar beverages, foods high in sugar, carbs, or fats are best avoided.
How to remain fit during gestational diabetes?
Weight is a critical factor especially in pregnancy. Get to a healthy weight before conceiving and maintain it. A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and other nutrients should be followed.
Avoid sugary beverages, packaged foods, fried snacks, and acidic foods. Control salt and sugar intake.
Stay active. Walking is an effective way to keep weight down and stay active.
Can women with any type of diabetes breastfeed their babies?
There is no reason why a woman cannot breastfeed her baby. Breast milk is very safe for the baby. It is always a good option to check with the endocrinologist or diabetes doctor for any queries.
I had gestational diabetes. How soon after having the baby should I get my blood glucose rechecked?
6-12 weeks after delivery is the recommended period for checking sugar levels. Hormones and the body tend to get back to normal. If the mother experiences any problems, she should contact her diabetes specialist or endocrinologist without delay.
How can women with gestational diabetes reduce their risk for getting future diabetes?
The best way to prevent gestational diabetes or any other types of diabetes is to maintain normal body weight, eat healthy, and be active. Extra care and regular monitoring is essential if a woman has a family history of diabetes or lives an unhealthy way of life.
What increases your chance of gestational diabetes?
Obesity, bad food habits, and a sedentary lifestyle are the main factors for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. If a woman is planning motherhood, she should first become physically healthy and then plan to have a baby.
Is yours a high-risk pregnancy if you have gestational diabetes?
Health conditions like obesity, infections, hormonal imbalance and autoimmune diseases can be risk factors. Take treatment and return to good health before planning a baby.
Does gestational diabetes affect baby movement?
Gestational diabetes is known to increase fetal movement due to extra sugar. Better to monitor and keep high blood sugar levels under control.
Keep blood sugar levels under control. Connect to Apollo Sugar Clinics and have a safe healthy pregnancy. Apollo Sugar has a panel of diabetologists and endocrinologists and a customized diabetes homecare kit with a connected app to keep you under constant monitoring