Home Endocrine system Gestational diabetes: causes, symptoms and treatment

Gestational diabetes: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops only in pregnancy and at the same as the condition of type 1 and type 2, requires significant care, especially regarding the power to prevent glucose levels ascend so dangerous, putting both mother and fetus at risk. Controlling your diet and engaging in moderate exercise is crucial to maintaining adequate glucose levels and ensuring the well-being of both. If you want to know the causes, symptoms, and treatment of gestational diabetes, read this article by FastlyHealcarefully.

Causes and risk factors of gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is considered to be a diabetic condition that is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. This condition, which affects around 10% of pregnant women, is one of the most common illnesses during pregnancy, primarily due to obesity and being overweight and the family history of this pathology.

During pregnancy, the many hormonal changes that occur can block or interfere with the work of insulin, a hormone responsible for making cells absorb the sugar we consume in our diet and convert it into energy. When this process fails, glucose accumulates dangerously in the blood, giving rise to this disease.

There are groups much more likely to suffer from this condition. The main risk factors for gestational diabetes are:

  • Women of Hispanic American, African American, Native American, Southeast Asian, or Pacific Islander origin are at higher risk for this condition.
  • You suffer from obesity.
  • You have gained a lot of weight during pregnancy.
  • You have a history of diabetes in your family.
  • You have had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies.
  • You suffer from conditions like high blood pressure or polycystic ovaries.

In all these cases, it is advisable to consult your doctor about the possibility of determining in advance the possible alteration in blood glucose levels.

Symptoms of this condition

It is essential to be clear that gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed, in most cases, during a routine blood glucose test that all pregnant women must undergo. For this reason, and because diabetes is a condition that progresses slowly, there are usually no signs of this disease.

When there are, symptoms of gestational diabetes can include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Frequent infections, especially in the bladder or skin.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst and increased urination due to excess water.
  • Possible weight loss despite eating more.

Diagnosis of gestational diabetes

All pregnant women must undergo a study known as the oral glucose tolerance test between weeks 24 and 28. After ingesting 75 grams of glucose is measured between 30 and 60 minutes after ingestion, blood glucose levels by extracting blood glucose samples. The test can take up to 3 hours and is used to reveal if there is gestational diabetes.

In the case of those women who have risk factors for developing this condition or who have had it in a previous pregnancy, the glucose tolerance test can be done earlier.

Treatment for gestational diabetes: diet, exercise, and medical care

As with type 2 diabetes, the primary treatment of gestational diabetes resides in strict dietary control and exercise. In very few cases, the woman needs to take some medication or inject insulin, a decision that will depend strictly on the medical evaluation.

The dietary recommendations for gestational diabetes are:

  • Eliminate from the diet or minimize any food containing added sugar or a lot of sugar, such as packaged or natural juices, sweets, pastries, chocolate, jams, jellies, or soft drinks.
  • Control your fat intake to the maximum and prefer consuming lean proteins such as chicken, fish, turkey, and some cuts of pork and beef with low-fat content.
  • Eat a balanced diet that includes vegetables and complex carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, or whole grains without added sugar.
  • He prefers to consume whole fruits instead of juices, but keep in mind that some of them contain a lot of fructose, a natural sugar whose intake you should also moderate. Apple, pear, plum, melon, banana, or figs should be eaten sparingly due to their high fructose content.

Exercise is also key to controlling gestational diabetes, so it is essential to make sure with your doctor that your pregnancy allows you to engage in a physical activity fully. In that case, daily walks of at least half an hour, yoga or swimming can help you lower blood glucose levels and stay much more active and healthy during pregnancy.

Complications of this condition

If gestational diabetes is treated and sugar levels are properly maintained, the pregnancy usually develops without posing a risk to the mother or the fetus.

However, when diabetes is not controlled, high blood glucose levels can cause complications in delivery and affect the baby’s health in the medium and long term. The most common complications of uncontrolled gestational diabetes are:

  • Babies who are more significant than usual and are somewhat fat due to the accumulation of glucose in their body from excess sugar in the mother’s blood. This situation makes natural delivery difficult and can cause the baby’s shoulder to get stuck in the birth canal, causing possible trauma to the child and forcing a cesarean section to be performed.
  • In babies with a low glucose level, the fetal pancreas begins to overproduce insulin to use up all the sugar that the mother passes through her blood. At the time of delivery, the baby stops receiving this glucose. Still, the pancreas continues to work excessively, which leads to rapid consumption of sugar and a decrease in its levels, which the doctor must closely monitor.
  • Children born from pregnancies with uncontrolled gestational diabetes are more likely to develop childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

Will i still be diabetic after pregnancy?

In most cases, glucose levels return to normal after delivery. However, a small percentage of women who have had gestational diabetes may continue to be diabetic after delivery. Usually, 12 weeks after giving birth, tests are done again to determine glucose levels in the body.

Once you have had gestational diabetes, you are at greater risk of:

  • I am suffering from this condition again in a future pregnancy.
  • She had type 2 diabetes shortly.

After childbirth, it is essential to take extreme precautions to minimize the risks of suffering from diabetes mellitus. That is why it is recommended:

  • Lose weight in cases of obesity or overweight. The help of a nutritionist may be necessary to achieve this.
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in vegetables, lean proteins, and fruits.
  • Avoid excess sugar and fat in the diet.
  • Exercise frequently.
  • Perform a complete blood test annually where, among other values, glucose levels are also measured.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Gestational Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment, we recommend that you enter our Endocrine System category.

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