Gestational diabetes: Symptoms, Cause, Diagnosis, Treatment
A positive indicator of diabetes mellitus is high blood sugar levels. One of the forms of diabetes that may develop during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. This kind of diabetes is caused by shifts in hormone levels.
Diabetes was not present in the bodies of women who developed gestational diabetes before they became pregnant.
Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes
The following are some of the signs and symptoms that are related with gestational diabetes:
- Urination that is both more frequent and intense
- Dry mouth Exhaustion Increased thirst
- Sickness and throwing up
- Loss of weight while having an increased hunger
- A vision that is hazy
- Infections caused by yeast
Despite this, many pregnant women with gestational diabetes do not experience any of the classic signs and symptoms of the condition. Because of this, it is advised that screening tests for the disorder be administered to all pregnant women.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes and Its Risk Factors
Like developing type 2 diabetes, maternal diabetes happens when the body can’t act properly to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance.
When cells in the body don’t receive glucose properly, the simple sugar builds up in the bloodstream. This makes blood tests show that blood glucose levels are too high.
Changes in hormones are the main cause of insulin resistance in pregnant women.
Some chemicals in the placenta are to blame for gestational diabetes. “In people who are vulnerable, these can make insulin resistance worse.” No one knows for sure why some women can’t handle these hormones well and end up getting gestational diabetes.
Among these chemicals are:
- Hormones for growth
- Cortisol is a stress chemical.
- Having estrogen and progesterone
- A hormone called human placental lactogen is made in the placenta and helps break down fat from the mother so that the baby can get energy.
- Placental insulin is another hormone that stops insulin from working and comes from the placenta.
During pregnancy, you may also have more diet, exercise less, and have bigger fat deposits, all of which can make insulin resistance worse.
These changes make it possible for the growing baby to get more nutrients. In response, the woman’s body makes more insulin, but this extra insulin isn’t always enough to keep glucose levels normal, which can lead to type of diabetes.
There are many things that can make a pregnant woman more likely to get gestational diabetes, such as
Blood sugar that is high but not high enough to be called diabetes is called prediabetes.
- A high blood pressure
- Having a history of gestational diabetes yourself or in your family
- A history of type 2 diabetes in the family
- Having problems with your hormones, like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS),
- Having too much weight or being overweight during pregnancy being more than 25
- Being from a Pacific Islander, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic, or African background
- Giving birth to a baby that weighed at least 9 pounds or had a birth problem before
- Having had a mysterious loss or miscarriage in the past
Still, some women who don’t have any of these risk factors may still get gestational diabetes because they can’t handle the hormones that come from the placenta.
Signs of Gestational Diabetes
Between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, if you’re not at a high risk for gestational diabetes, your doctor will check you for it. Women who are more likely to get gestational diabetes may be checked for it earlier, usually at their first pregnancy visit.
Some tests that can find gestational diabetes are:
Challenge Test for Glucose For this test, you will drink a glucose syrup solution and then check your blood sugar level an hour later. A blood sugar reading below 140 mg/dL, or 7.8 mmol/L, is usually thought to be normal. If your blood sugar level is 190 mg/dL or 10.6 mmol/L, you may have gestational diabetes.
Tests to Check Glucose Again If the first glucose challenge test showed that your blood sugar level was higher than usual, you will need to do another one to find out if you have diabetes. The glucose solution in this test will be sweeter than the first one, and your blood will be checked every hour for three hours. These blood tests will tell you if you have gestational diabetes if two of them come back high.
Gestational Diabetes: What to Expect
Most of the time, gestational diabetes is short-term. For more than three-quarters of women who get it, their blood sugar levels return to normal after the pregnancy is over.
However, women who have had diabetes are more likely to get it again during future pregnancies. They are also more likely to get type 2 diabetes later in life. Because of this, women who have had diabetes should keep getting their blood sugar levels checked, even after they are no longer pregnant.
Duration Of Gestational Diabetes
When diabetes shows up during pregnancy, it usually goes away right after giving birth, but this doesn’t always happen.
If it is true gestational diabetes, it should go away right away after birth, This is because the metabolic and hormonal changes during pregnancy cause insulin resistance. However, when telling a woman she has gestational diabetes while she is pregnant, it’s sometimes because she already had it before she got pregnant.”
Pre- gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that starts before pregnancy. It includes type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as some less common types, like diabetes caused by medicine or diabetes caused by cystic fibrosis. Diabetes during pregnancy will not go away after giving birth.
To find out if the woman had prenatal diabetes or pregestational diabetes, a glucose test must be done at the postpartum visit. This lets your doctor check for insulin resistance and diabetes that starts before you get pregnant.
Your doctor may talk to you about a treatment plan if you were diagnosed with pregestational diabetes while you were pregnant. This could mean making changes to your food and way of life, as well as called insulin or oral medicines.
Medicines and Treatment For Gestational Diabetes
People who have gestational diabetes can control it by closely watching their blood sugar, making changes to their lifestyle, and sometimes by taking medicine.
Keep an eye on your low blood sugar. There may be times during the day when your doctor will tell you to check your blood sugar if you have gestational diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) tells pregnant women who test their blood sugar to aim for the following levels:
- Less than 95 mg/dL before a meal
- Less than 140 mg/dL an hour after a meal
- 120 mg/dL or less two hours after a meal
Eat well and stay healthy. It’s too bad that the risk of developing gestational diabetes won’t go away while the woman is still pregnant. All those metabolic changes that cause insulin resistance are still happening. However, diet alone can sometimes control it.
Women should eat 30 to 40 percent carbohydrates and you should choose carbs that are digested more slowly and don’t cause blood sugar to rise too quickly. Most of these foods have a lot of fiber. You could eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread or whole fruit instead of fruit juice. You can find a qualified diabetes care and education specialist and a registered dietitian nutritionist through the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists. These professionals can help you make a diet that is good for a healthy pregnancy.
Do some movement. Talk to your doctor about how much and what kind of exercise is best for you while you’re pregnant. Fay usually tells all of her patients to work out for 30 minutes at least five days a week. She also says that going for a walk after meals can help lower blood sugar.
Take your medicine. Changing the way you live might not always be enough to control if diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Insulin is used to treat gestational diabetes if blood sugar levels stay high even after changes to the diet. “This is safe for pregnant women and reduces your risk.
You will learn how to give yourself insulin shots with a small needle from your doctor. Some doctors might give you a different pill to swallow.
How to Avoid Risk For Gestational Diabetes
While there is no surefire way to avoid getting gestational diabetes, there are things you can do to make it less likely.
Eating right and staying at a healthy weight before and during pregnancy, as well as getting more exercise, are the best ways to lower your risk of getting gestational diabetes
If you want to have a better baby, you might want to lose this extra weight before you get pregnant.
Fruits, veggies, and whole grains are all healthy foods that are low in fat and high in fiber. Every day, try to do some kind of mild exercise for at least 30 minutes. You can make changes to these healthy habits that will last and help you through your pregnancy.
Although, women who are a healthy weight, work out, and eat well may still get diabetes sometimes. In these situations, it’s likely to happen because of how maternal chemicals work. Gestational diabetes is more likely to happen in women who have a first-degree cousin (like a mother or father) with diabetes. This suggests that genetics may also play a role.
Complications Of Gestational Diabetes
There are many problems that can happen for both the mother and the baby when a woman has diabetes. Some risks of gestational diabetes are:
If you do not take good care of your Extra-Large Baby’s Diabetes, the baby’s blood sugar can rise, which can cause them to be “overfed” and grow extra-large. Fay says, “This can raise the risk of needing a cesarean delivery or shoulder dystocia during vaginal delivery. Shoulder dystocia is a condition where the head delivers and the shoulders get caught behind the pubic bone. This can raise the risk of birth trauma.”
Preeclampsia or high blood pressure: Gestational diabetes can make a woman more likely to get preeclampsia, a dangerous form of high blood pressure that can cause early delivery. It can also make the woman more likely to have seizures or a stroke during labor and delivery.
Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar: People who have diabetes and take insulin can get too little sugar in their blood. This is a very bad illness that can even kill you if you don’t get help right away. Women who are pregnant can keep their blood sugar levels from dropping too low, which can be risky.
Gestational diabetes can also lead to “a number of metabolic complications after delivery, such as low blood sugar for the baby, breathing problems, and neonatal jaundice.” There is a straight line between the mother’s blood sugar and the risk of these problems. This means that the higher the blood sugar, the higher the risk.
FAQs Regarding Pregnancy with Type 2 Diabetes
Does drinking plenty of water improve gestational diabetes?
Hydration is good for everyone, especially gestational diabetics. Hydrating helps diabetic women avoid overeating, which is crucial to treating the illness.
Women with gestational diabetes deliver early?
Gestational diabetes may cause preterm birth. Most women with the disease have full-term pregnancies, however, problems may need early induction.
Is nutrition responsible for gestational diabetes?
Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause diabetes. When pregnant, eating more, exercising less, and having extra fat might cause insulin resistance.