Gestational diabetes is a common diabetic condition in pregnant women as a result of some hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. In this condition the expectant mother without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibits an unusual hike in the blood glucose levels during pregnancy. Rise in the blood sugar levels is caused because the mother is not able to produce enough insulin. Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes can give birth to healthy babies provided they keep their blood glucose levels well under control, eat a balanced diet, exercise moderately and maintain a healthy weight. Though the maternal blood glucose levels return to normal after delivery, there is an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future, for both the mother and child.
The treatment for gestational diabetes aims at maintaining the blood glucose at the desired level by implementing a well-balanced nutritious meal plan, moderate physical activity and an insulin treatment. The insulin shots may be modulated to ensure that it does not harm the growth and development of the baby. It is also important to check blood sugar levels regularly at home and get frequent medical checkups to monitor the fetal growth and well-being.
Generally gestational diabetes does not cause any noticeable signs or symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms may be mild and does not pose anything serious to the pregnant woman. This condition is usually diagnosed by screening tests before symptoms develop. Rarely, you may develop the following symptoms
- Increased thirst
- An urge to urinate more often than usual
- Infections that affect the urinary tract
- Blurry vision
- Weight loss despite increased appetite
Women qualify for Gestational diabetes treatment during pregnancy in the following cases
- Women who are pregnant above the age of thirty
- Obese women and women with a family history of diabetes
- Women who have had previous complications during childbirth
- Women with high blood pressure and excess amniotic fluid
- If the previous pregnancy was also a gestational diabetic condition
The insulin that is injected into the belly region will not harm the baby in any way as it only crosses the placenta in very small amounts. However, the extra glucose in mother’s system from not controlling blood glucose does. Hence, this is considered as the safest way to control blood glucose levels if diet and exercise alone do not suffice.
Gestational diabetes treatment focuses on monitoring the blood glucose levels and minimizing the risk of any adverse outcome during childbirth. The good news is that gestational diabetes manifests only during pregnancy and usually disappears after childbirth.
It is important to remember that you have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes with your subsequent pregnancies and a greater chance of becoming diabetic later in life. Hence, it is recommended that you stick with the diet and blood sugar checks even after the baby is born to ensure that you remain in good health.