Gestational diabetes is diagnosed during pregnancy and can cause blood sugar levels to become too high. When glucose enters our bloodstream, our cells use it as fuel. Insulin and other cells help absorb glucose from your blood. During pregnancy, a woman’s body naturally becomes more resistant to insulin, so that more glucose is available to nourish her baby.
For most women, it isn’t a problem unless her pancreas can’t keep up with increased demand for insulin and lead to blood sugar levels to rise too high. This leads to gestational diabetes, which needs to be recognized and treated quickly to avoid health complications.
Women at Risk for Developing Gestational Diabetes
Anyone can develop gestational diabetes, and not all those who do get it have known risk factors. Around 5 to 10 percent of all pregnant women get gestational diabetes. Your chances of developing it are higher if you:
- Are 25 years or older
- Have close relative
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher
- Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Have medical conditions such as glucose intolerance
- Have had gestational diabetes before
- Have delivered a big baby earlier (macrosomia)
Although it is difficult to predict whether you will get gestational diabetes or not, but you can cut your risk by adopting a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
Gestational diabetes doesn’t have any symptoms and that’s why doctors suggest a screening test for the same between week 24 and 28 of pregnancy. Your doctor may suggest doing the test earlier if you have any risk factor for gestational diabetes.
Effect of Gestational Diabetes on Pregnancy
Most women with gestational diabetes can successfully keep their glucose level under control and have a healthy pregnancy. However, some of them may develop complications such as:
- Early or Preterm labor
- Preeclampsia or High Blood Pressure
- Macrosomia or having a bigger baby
- Larger baby leading to C-section delivery
- Baby having hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and breathing trouble
When to Call Doctor
You may need to see your doctor frequently in case you have gestational diabetes. Even so, if you notice any unusual symptoms in between visits, go to your doctor right away. Some of these symptoms include:
- Extreme thirst
- Peeing more than usual
- Feeling very tired
- Feeling nauseous
- Having blurred vision
In this case, your doctor may ask you to take additional tests to make sure that you and your baby are doing well. If you are having problems keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level, your doctor can refer you to a specialist.
Gestational diabetes is not permanent. Your blood sugar returns to normal once a baby is born. However, having gestational diabetes can make developing diabetes more likely in the future. For any assistance or guidance on gestational diabetes, visit our team of experts at KIMS Cuddles.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.