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What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes typically occurs when your body fails to produce enough insulin during pregnancy. It affects how your cells use sugar, similar to other types of diabetes. What are the effects of having gestational diabetes?

This article will further explain what gestational diabetes is, its effects on pregnancy, and its treatment. Continue reading to learn more.

Diabetes that only develops during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. Health issues with it can affect both the mother and the baby. Hence, proper management of your diabetes can keep you and your baby safe from complications during pregnancy.

In the United States, gestational diabetes affects between 2% and 10% of pregnancies yearly. You must monitor your sugar intake and follow strict medical supervision when diagnosed with such a condition.
 

What Causes Gestational Diabetes?

When you eat, your pancreas releases the hormone insulin, which aids in the transport of blood sugar glucose into your cells for energy.

Your placenta produces hormones throughout pregnancy that cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Your pancreas can typically produce enough insulin to counter and handle it. However, it is develops if your body cannot produce enough insulin or stops using it efficiently.

 

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

In most cases, gestational diabetes has no symptoms. However, if their blood sugar levels rise too high, some women may experience symptoms like:

  • increased thirst
  • frequent urination
  • mouth dryness
  • tiredness or fatigue

 

It is important to note that some of these signs and symptoms are typical during pregnancy and do not always indicate it. Consult your midwife or doctor if you have any concerns.

 

Test

Getting an early diagnosis of gestational diabetes is crucial so you can start treatment and safeguard yours and your unborn child’s health.

Between 24 and 28 weeks of your pregnancy, your doctor will conduct a test. The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and the glucose challenge test (GCT) are among the most common. If the glucose challenge test returned a high blood glucose level, you should follow-up for an OGTT to verify if you have gestational diabetes.

 

Treatment

There are several steps you can take to manage it. Take all your prenatal checkups and adhere to your treatment schedule, which may include the following:

  • Ensuring normal sugar levels. Be sure that your blood sugar levels remain within a safe range by checking them from time to time.
  • Eating nutritious meals. Strictly follow a diet recommended by your doctor or nutritionist.
  • Maintaining an active lifestyle.  Regular moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking, reduces blood sugar and increases insulin sensitivity.
  • Consulting your doctor. Before engaging in any physical activity, ask your doctor to see if there are any exercise you should avoid.
  • Monitoring your baby.  Assess the growth and development of your child with your doctor’s help.
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