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Gestational diabetes forms during pregnancy (gestation). Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes influences how your cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s heath.
The pregnancy complication is concerning, but there’s good news, Expectant moms can help manage gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising and, if needed, taking medication. Controlling blood sugar can prevent a difficult birth and keep you and your baby healthy.
In gestational diabetes, blood sugar normally returns to normal soon after delivery, But if you have had gestational diabetes. You are in jeopardy of type 2 diabetes. You continue working with your health care team to monitor and manage your blood sugar.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
For most women, gestational diabetes does not produce noticeable signs of symptoms.
When should you see a doctor?
If it is possible, you should seek health care early, when you first consider attempting pregnancy – so your doctor can assess your risk of gestational diabetes as part of your doctor can estimate your risk of gestational diabetes as a component of your overall childbearing wellness plan. Once you’re pregnant, your physician will address gestational diabetes; your may need more frequent checkups. These are most likely to occur during the last three months of pregnancy when your doctor will monitor your blood sugar levels and your baby’s health.
Your physician may refer you to an additional health professional who specialized in diabetes, such as an endocrinologist, diabetes educator, or a registered dietitian. They can improve you learn to manage your blood sugar level during your pregnancy.
To ensure that your blood sugar levels have returned to normal after your baby is born, your heath care team will check your blood sugar right after delivery and again within six weeks. Once you have gestational diabetes, it is a good idea to have your blood sugar level tested regularly.
The frequency of blood sugar test will in part depend on your test results soon after you deliver your baby.
The frequency you have blood sugar test will in part depend on you test results soon after you deliver your baby.
Causes of Gestational Diabetes
Researchers do not know why some women develop gestational diabetes. To understand how gestational diabetes occurs, it can help to understand how urgency affects your body’s glucose processing.
Your body digest the food your eat to produce sugar (glucose) that enters your bloodstream. IN response, your pancreas – a large gland behind your stomach- produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose movement from your bloodstream into your body’s cells, where it’s used as energy.
During pregnancy, the placenta, which appends your baby to your blood supply, provides high levels of numerous other hormones. Nearly all of them impair the action of insulin in your cells, raising tour blood user. Modest elevation of blood sugar after meals is typical during pregnancy.
As your baby grows, the placenta creates more insulin-blocking hormones. In gestational diabetes, the placental hormones stimulate an increase in blood sugar to a level that can influence the growth and welfare of your baby. Gestational diabetes normally develops during the last half of pregnancy, sometimes as early as the 20th week, but not until later.
Age greater than 25 years: Women over the age 25 are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
Family or personal health history. You are at risk of forming gestational diabetes if you have pre-diabetes – slightly raised blood sugar that may be a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Or if a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, has type 2 diabetes. You are more inclined to develop gestational diabetes if you had it during a past pregnancy, if you delivered a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds (41 kilograms) or if you had an unexplained stillbirth.
Excess weight, You are more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you are extremely overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
Non-caucasian race- for reasons that are unclear women who are Hispanic, Asian, Hispanic, Black or American Native are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
Complications of Gestational Diabetes
Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, gestational diabetes that not carefully managed can lead to uncontrolled blood sugar levels and cause problems for you as well as the baby, including an increased likelihood of needing a C-section to deliver.
A complication that can get pregnant your increased risk of:
Excessive birth weight. Extra glucose in your bloodstream crosses the placenta, which can cause your baby’s pancreas to create extra insulin. This can make your baby grow too large (macrosomia). Very large babies – those that weigh 9 pounds or more- are more likely to become wedged in the birth canal, as well as sustain birth injuries, or perhaps require as C-section delivery.
You to A mother’s high blood sugar may increase her risk of early labor and deliver her baby before its due date. Or her physician may recommend early delivery due to the large size of the baby.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia. Sometimes babies of a mother with gestational diabetes develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth because their insulin production is high. Serious episodes of hypoglycemia may provoke seizures in the baby. Immediate feeding and sometimes an intravenous glucose liquid can return the baby’s blood sugar level to average.
Type 2 diabetes later in life, Babies of the mother who has gestational diabetes have a higher risk of forming obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
Untreated gestational diabetes can result in a baby’s death either before or shortly after birth.
Complications that may affect the mother
Gestational diabetes may also increase the mother’s danger of:
High blood pressure and preeclampsia. Gestational diabetes raises your risk of high blood pressure, as well as preeclampsia – a severe complication of pregnancy that induces high blood pressure and other symptoms that can threaten the lives of both mother baby.
Future diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, you are more inclined to form type two diabetes as you get older. However, deciding on healthy lifestyle choices such as eating healthy foods and exercising can help reduce the risk of future type two diabetes.
Of the women with a history of gestational diabetes who reach their desired body weight after delivery, fewer than 1 in 4 will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes Test and Diagnosis
Medical experts have not determined on a single set of screening guidelines for gestational diabetes. Some question whether gestational diabetes screening is needed if you are younger than 25 and have no risk. Some say that screening all pregnant women is the most effective way to distinguish all cases of gestational diabetes.
When to screen
Your doctor will likely assess your risk factors for gestational diabetes early in your pregnancy.
If you at high risk of gestational diabetes, or your BMI before pregnancy is 30 or higher, have a mother, father, sibling or child with diabetes, your doctor may test for diabetes at your first prenatal visit.
If you are at average risk of gestational diabetes, you likely have a screening test during your second trimesters, before 23 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Routine screening for gestational diabetes.
Initial glucose challenge test. You drink a syrupy glucose liquid. One hour later, you’ll have a blood test to regulate your blood sugar level. A blood sugar level beneath 130 to 140 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), or 7.2 to 7.8 millimoles per liter ( mmol/L) is typically deemed healthy on a glucose challenge test, while this may vary by clinic or lab.
If you your blood sugar level is higher than normal, it only means you have a higher risk of gestational diabetes. You’ll need glucose tolerance test to determine if you have the condition.
Follow-up glucose tolerance testing. You will fast overnight then have your blood sugar levels measured. Then you drink another sweeten solution. This one is indicating a higher concentration of glucose as well as your blood sugar level being checked every hour for three hours. If two of the blood sugar readings are higher than normal, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
What If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Your doctor will likely recommend that you get frequent checkups, especially during the last three months of your pregnancy. During these exams, your physician will monitor your blood sugar daily as part of a treatment plan.
If you are having trouble managing your blood sugar, you may need to take insulin. If you have other pregnancy complications you, may need an additional test to evaluate your baby’s heath. These tests assess the function fo the placenta. The organ that delivers oxygen and nutrients to your baby by connecting the baby’s blood supply to yours.
If your gestational diabetes is challenging to control, it may affect the placenta and risk the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the baby.
Your physician also will conduct a test to monitor your baby’s well-being during your pregnancy.
Blood sugar testing after you gives birth
Your doctor will check your blood sugar after childbirth and again within six to 12 weeks to ensure that your level has returned to normal. If your test are normal and most are- you will need to have your diabetes risk based at least every three years.
Treatment and Drugs for Gestational diabetes.
It is critical to monitor and regulates your blood sugar to maintain your baby’s health and avoid complications during pregnancy and delivery. You’ll also want to keep a close eye on your expected blood sugar levels. Your treatment strategies may include:
Monitoring your blood sugar, While you are pregnant your health care team may ask you to check your blood sugar for to five times a day – first thing in the morning and after meals- to make sure your levels at within a healthy range. This possibly sounds like ancient and difficult but will become easier with practice.
To test your blood sugar, you draw a drop of blood from your finger from a small needle (lancet), then place the blood on a test strip enclosed into a blood glucose meter, a device that measures and displays your blood sugar level.
Your health team will monitor and manage your blood sugar during labor and delivery. If your blood sugar grows, your baby’s pancreas may release high levels of insulin – which can produce low blood sugar in your baby following birth.
Follow-up blood sugar also checks vital. Having gestational diabetes increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Work with your health care team to keep an eye on your levels. Maintaining health promoting lifestyle habits, such as healthy diet and regular exercise, can help you reduce your risk.
A healthy Diet, Eating the right kinds of foods in health portion is one of the best ways to control your blood sugar and prevent excessive weight gain. Which can put you at higher risk of complications? Doctors don’t advise losing weight during pregnancy- your body is working hard to support your going baby. However, your doctor can help you set weight gain goals based on your weight before pregnancy.
A healthy diet concentrates on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Foods that are high in nutrition and fiber and low in fat and calories, and limited refined carbohydrates, comprising sweets. No single diet is right for every woman. You should consider consulting a registered dietitian or diabetes educator to build a meal plan based on your current weight, pregnancy weight gain goals, blood sugar levels, exercise habits, food preferences and budget
Exercise. A regular physical activity represents a key role in every woman’s wellness plan before, during and after pregnancy. Exercise lower your blood sugar by stimulating your body to move glucose into your cells, where it’s used for energy. Exercise also increase your cell’s sensitive to insulin, which means your body will need to produce less insulin to transport sugar.
As a bonus, regular exercise can help relieve some common discomforts of pregnancy, including back pain, muscle cramps, swelling, trouble sleeping and constipation. Exercise can also contribute to get you in shape for the hard work of labor and delivery.
With your doctor’s OK, aim for somewhat vigorous excise on most days of the week. If you have not been active for a while, start gently and build up gradually. Walking, cycling and swimming are excellent choices during urgency. Everyday activities such as housework and gardening also count.
Medication – If diet and exercise are not enough, you may need insulin injections to lower your blood sugar. Between 10 and 20 percent of woman with gestational diabetes need insulin to achieve their blood sugar goals. Some doctors designate an oral blood sugar control medication, while other believe more study is required to confirm that oral drugs are as safe and as effective as injectable insulin to control gestational diabetes.
Close monitoring of your baby. An essential part of your treatment plan is a final observation of your baby. Your doctor may monitor your baby’s growth and development with related ultrasounds or another test. If you do not go into labor by your due date – or sometime earlier your doctor may induce labor. Delivery after your date may increase the risk of complications for you and your baby.