The word “Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy” sounds scary at first. Isn’t it? But the good news is it is manageable.
Fatigue, nausea, food aversion, mood swings and swollen feet are few problems that women normally face in initial and later parts of pregnancy. Gestational Diabetes is one of the more serious pregnancy issues and it is normal for a mother diagnosed with it to get really scared and start wondering if it is curable, if it is going to affect the baby’s health and what are it’s causes & side effects.
Let us first understand its causes, symptoms and prevention measures.
Causes of Gestational Diabetes:
It is diagnosed between week 24 and week 28 of pregnancy when insulin gets blocked by hormones from the placenta. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the body’s metabolism of fats and helps the body converting sugar into energy. It prevents the body from regulating the increased blood sugar of pregnancy effectively. This causes high levels of sugar in the blood which can damage the nerves, organs and blood vessels in our body.
Factors Causing Gestational Diabetes
Every mom-to-be should get their diabetes checked if they come across below factors:
Overweight – The average weight gain during pregnancy should be between 8-20 kg as per their BMI. Any excess above that makes one overweight and it is one of the most common risk factors of gestational diabetes.
Higher Level of Abdominal Fat – As per recent research, women who gain high level of tummy fat in their first trimester pregnancy are more likely to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes later.
Mid Age – Women over the age of 35 have a tendency to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Family History- If diabetes runs in the family, one should be extra careful and get it checked every month.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
Heavily frequent urination
How it can be diagnosed?
Around 28 weeks, gynecologist will ask for Glucose Screening Test. It involves taking sugary liquid and checking the sugar an hour later, if it is high then further Three Hour Glucose Tolerance Test is taken to determine gestational diabetes.
Is it Harmful for the Mother and Baby?
Women having excessive gestational diabetes are at a risk of having large babies and likely to get C-Section. With proper care & nutrition, gestational diabetes can be managed and not at all harmful for mother as well as baby.
Prevention of Gestational Diabetes
Staying active, eating a healthy diet and keeping an eye on the BMI scale are key factors that helps in prevention. Do you know someone who is suffering with the Gestational Diabetes? Let them know, it is not the end of pregnancy and should be embraced with appropriate care and advise.
Dr. Atul Chowdhury