Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a condition in which women without previous diagnosis of diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy, especially in the last 3 months. This is caused when the body of a woman does not produce enough insulin required during pregnancy, leading to increased blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of Gestational diabetes
The symptoms of gestational diabetes are increased thirst and urination, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, bladder and yeast infection and, blurred vision.

Diagnosis of Gestational diabetes
This can be done by performing a simple test called Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). This test is generally done between 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. You are not supposed to eat or drink anything but sips of water before 8 to 14 hours of this test. This test is advised in the early morning hours.

When you arrive at the lab the technician will take a blood sample to test your fasting blood glucose level and then ask you to drink a more concentrated dose of glucose solution. Then your blood is tested every hour for the next three hours. If two or more of your readings are as below; then you are tested positive for gestational diabetes:-
a) A fasting plasma glucose of more than 105mg/dl
b) A 1 hour glucose level of more than 190mg/dl
c) A 2 hour glucose level of more than 165mg/dl
d) A 3 hour glucose level of more than 145mg/dl.

Effects of Gestational diabetes
If uncontrolled the mother might deliver an extra fat or heavy baby. The neonates are also at an increased risk of hypoglycaemia, jaundice and hypomagnesemia. The baby and mother have a lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Hence, it should be controlled in due time.

Management of Gestational diabetes:
Gestational diabetes can be monitored by taking care of the following points -

Monitoring blood sugar levels: Checking your blood sugar levels at home several times during the day and effectively controlling it is advised by the doctor.

Take care of your diet: Follow a healthy diet plan after consulting a dietician or a doctor Follow these simple diet tips:
a) Eat 3 small meals and 2 snacks at regular intervals every day. Your breakfast and bed-time snack should contain 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates.
b) Drink at least 8 cups of liquids per day.
c) Foods rich in fibre like rice, cereals, whole grain breads, pasta, fruits and vegetables should be taken.
d) Avoid fried and greasy foods.
e) Take adequate intake of minerals and vitamins in your daily diet.

Exercise regularly: You should exercise moderately for about 2 hours daily. Regular and moderate exercise helps to control blood sugar levels and use insulin effectively.

Go for regular medical check-ups: If you are diagnosed for gestational diabetes go for medical check-ups. Your doctor might check your blood pressure and take a sample of your urine to test the blood sugar levels. Do as per the doctor’s advice.

Take insulin if necessary: If you are not able to control your blood sugar levels by diet and exercises then you might need insulin shots. Man-made insulin can help to decrease the blood sugar levels.

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