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Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes happens during pregnancy. It means you have high blood sugar levels, but those levels were normal before female becomes pregnant. Gestational diabetes is the fastest growing type of diabetes. Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy only and usually disappears after giving birth. During pregnancy, the placenta makes hormones that can lead to a buildup of glucose in your blood. Usually, your pancreas can make enough insulin to handle that. If not, your blood sugar levels will rise and can cause gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes usually happens in the second half (second trimester) of pregnancy. Gynecologist will check to see if female have gestational diabetes between weeks 24 and 28 of their pregnancy. The doctor may test sooner if they are at high risk. Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but they are at an increased risk if:

  •  body mass index (BMI) is above 30.
  • had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  • one of the parents or siblings has diabetes.
  • female who are over the age of 35 yrs.
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Women with gestational diabetes usually have no symptoms. Most learn they have it during routine pregnancy screening tests.Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). To test for gestational diabetes, you will need to drink a sugary/Glucose water drink. This will raise your blood sugar levels. An hour later, you’ll take a blood test to see how your body handled all that sugar. If the results show that your blood sugar is higher than a certain cutoff (anywhere from 130 [mg/dL] or higher), you will need more tests like HbA1c ie three months average sugar.

Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, gestational diabetes if not carefully managed can lead to uncontrolled blood sugar levels and cause problems for both mother and child. you have gestational diabetes, your baby may be at increased risk of: Excessive birth weight, Early (preterm) birth and respiratory distress syndrome, High Blood Pressure (Preeclampsia).

Female with gestational diabetes needs  often to check their blood sugar,  so that your doctor can tell you what should be your levels. and how to manage them during pregnancy. Blood sugar is affected by pregnancy, what you eat and drink, how much physical activity you get. You may need to eat differently and be more active. You also may need to take insulin or medicines.

Treatment for gestational diabetes aims to keep blood glucose levels equal to those of pregnant women who don’t have gestational diabetes. the following targets for women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy are as follows

  Excellent Good Fair
Fasting Blood sugar (FBS) <90 mg/dl <95 mg/dl <100 mg/dl
Post prandial blood sugar (PPBS) <120 mg/dl <130 mg/dl <140 mg/dl
HbA1c (3 months average sugar) <5.8% <6.0 % <6.4%

Gestational diabetes can often be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, some women may need medication (metformin) and/or insulin injections to help manage gestational diabetes. To manage gestational diabetes female needs to  eat three regular meals and two to three snacks each day. Have one of the snacks at night.  A dietitian can help you create a healthy meal plan. Exercise is another way to keep blood sugar under control. It helps to balance food intake. Exercising Regular exercise allows your body to use glucose without extra insulin. This helps combat insulin resistance and is what makes exercise helpful to people with diabetes. Never start an exercise program without checking with your doctor first.After checking with your doctor, you can exercise regularly during and after pregnancy.Talk to your doctor about activities that are safe during pregnancy, like walking , yoga or any other physical activity.

Because pregnancy causes the body’s need for energy to change, blood sugar levels can get fluctuate. It is important to monitor your blood glucose levels at home to check that management of gestational diabetes is keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range. This is to ensure appropriate treatment can be administered and changed as necessary by your doctor.

Managing gestational diabetes includes following a healthy eating plan and being physically active. If your eating plan and physical activity aren’t enough to keep your blood glucose in your target range, you may need insulin or medicine.

After the baby is born, gestational diabetes usually disappear. A blood glucose test (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test) (OGTT) should performed six weeks after delivery to ensure that blood glucose levels have returned to normal. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and should be tested for diabetes at least every 2 – 3 years.

Blood sugar usually returns to normal soon after delivery. But if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes.One third of women who had Gestational Diabetes will have diabetes or a milder form of elevated blood sugar soon after giving birth. Between 15% and 70% of women with GD will develop diabetes later in life.

Controlling blood sugar can prevent a difficult birth and keep you and your baby healthy. It always recommendable to see doctor before trying to get pregnant so  that your doctor can evaluate your risk of gestational diabetes as part of your overall childbearing wellness plan. Once you’re pregnant, your doctor will check you for gestational diabetes as part of your prenatal care. Females can lowered  chance of getting gestational diabetes by losing extra weight before they get pregnant if they are overweight. Being physically active before and during pregnancy also may help prevent gestational diabetes.Eat healthily. Limit saturated fat. Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruits, wholegrain.

By: :Dr Pradeep Gadge, A leading Diabetologist, Gadge Diabetes Centre

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