Gestational Diabetes: Symptoms, Risks and Treatment

Diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose is too high, this may occur due to decreased level of the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar (insulin), or there is no insulin at all, or there is increased insulin resistance.

Elevate blood sugar during pregnancy (diabetes) may be:

  • Type 1
  • Type 2, this condition called preexisting diabetes
  • Affection during pregnancy, called Gestational diabetes: develops during pregnancy and the patient become free from diseaseshortly after delivery of the fetus.

Gestational diabetes is the type of diabetes that affects a pregnant woman who have high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy. The rate of prevalenceof diabetesdisease among pregnant women is as high as 9.2%.

During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that lead to accumulation of glucose in blood, normally the pancreas produces sufficient amount of insulin that can deal with increased level of glucose. If not, blood sugars trapped in blood and not used by cells and increase causing gestational diabetes.

This type of diabetes occurs more common in pregnant women who are:

  • Their Age greater than 25
  • Overweight
  • Have Family history of diabetes
  • Have Previous history of gestational diabetes

How can diabetes affect you and your baby?

  • The baby may suffer from macrosomia and this may lead to birth problems, or increase the need to do caesarian section
  • Miscarriage or stillborn baby
  • Hypoglycemia of the baby may occur
  • The baby may suffer from obesity or diabetes mellitus in the future
  • The mother may suffer from high blood pressure and preeclampsia

Diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus:

Tests for detection of gestational diabetes mellitus are done between the period of 24 weeks up to 28 weeks of pregnancy, firstly we do the glucose test after taking a known amount of glucose, if the result of this test shows high blood glucose, the patient will need to do oral glucose tolerance test to make sure that the diagnosis of gestational diabetes is true.

Ways to treat diabetes during pregnancy:

The patient must have a healthy eating plan by eating high fiber and low fat and calories diet, and be physically active, if this plan is not enough to control blood glucose, patient may need to receive insulin.

How to prevent gestational diabetes?

  • Avoid overweight by losing extra weight and being physically active
  • Eat healthy food and receive efficient dose of folic acid


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