The Detailed Information About Gestational Diabetes


What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that pregnant women are affected with. It is a condition which impacts how a pregnant womans’ body’s cells utilise sugar. It causes a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. According to a study 10% percent of pregnant women are affected by gestational diabetes every year.

It doesn’t matter if you are a diabetic or not, gestational diabetes can impact anyone who is pregnant.

Usually gestational diabetes goes away once mothers deliver their babies but it raises the mother’s chances of getting type 2 diabetes somewhere later in life.

What are the types of gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes can be classified into two types first is class A1 and the second is class A2. Women diagnosed with class A1 are able to manage gestational diabetes through changes in diet and following an exercise routine. Whereas women with class A2 diabetes need to take insulin and other medications.

What are the signs of gestational diabetes?

According to Gynecologist in Lahore, women with gestational diabetes complain about feeling more thirsty and hungry. Some of them also notice an increase in their body’s urine output.

However in most cases women are not able to differentiate the symptoms of gestational diabetes, maybe because they confuse them for pregnancy symptoms. But with the help of routine screening doctors are able to know if a woman has gestational diabetes or not.

How is gestational diabetes caused?

Under normal circumstances when you eat your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. This hormone moves sugar also known as glucose from the blood into your cells which utilise it for energy.

During pregnancy hormones made by your placenta start building up glucose in your blood and when the insulin from your pancreas becomes insufficient to handle them your blood sugar levels rise and you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes

What are the risk factors of gestational diabetes?

Some pregnant women are more likely to get gestational diabetes than others. These are the risk factors of getting gestational diabetes:

     If you were overweight before getting pregnant

     If you’re a prediabetic

     If you have a family member with diabetes

     If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome

     If you have high blood pressure

     If you have high cholesterol

     If you have heart disease

     If you have previously given birth to a large baby (weighing more than 9 pounds)

     If you have previously had a miscarriage

     If you are older than 25

     If you are African American, Hispanic, Alaska native, Asian, Pacific Islander or Native American

     If you have had gestational diabetes in your previous pregnancies

Can gestational diabetes affect the fetus?

If you and your doctor manage to keep your blood sugar levels under control your baby won’t be impacted. But in some cases gestational diabetes can cause following complications that can impact your baby:

     Excessive birth weight: high sugar levels cause babies to grow larger than normal. Large babies can get birth injuries or may need a C section birth.

     High sugar levels increase the risk of early labour hence premature birth.

     Babies whose mothers have high blood sugar levels may experience respiratory distress syndrome which causes breathing difficulties.

     If gestational diabetes is left untreated it can cause a baby to die.

How can gestational diabetes affect the mother?

Mothers who have gestational diabetes are more likely to have a C-section birth.

They are also at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure later in their lives.

How can gestational diabetes be diagnosed?

Best Gynecologist in Karachi recommends getting tested for gestational diabetes between 24 and 48 weeks of pregnancy. Diagnosis should be done earlier if you are symptomatic or are at high risk of getting gestational diabetes.

A glucose tolerance test is performed to diagnose gestational diabetes. For this test your phlebotomist will give you 50g glucose diluted in a sweet drink. An hour later a blood sample will be collected to see how your body tackled that additional amount of sugar. If the results show an increase in the level you will be recommended to get a 3-hour oral glucose tolerance test in which you will be given a 100g glucose drink and blood sample will be collected 3 hours after that.

Some doctors recommend fasting for 12 hours before the test and then they give you a 75g glucose drink and collect a blood sample after 2 hours.

How can gestational diabetes be treated?

If your test results come out positive then you will need to be treated as soon as possible to keep things easy and smooth for you and your baby. For the treatment, your doctor will ask you to:

  1. Eat a healthy and low in sugar diet which means trading all the synthetic sugary stuff with naturally sweet items like fruits and raisins.
  2. Divide your meals in five small sections throughout the day.
  3. Stay active and maintain a workout regime. Heavy exercise routines are not recommended during pregnancy but you can still run, walk, swim or do biking to stay fit.
  4. If medication or insulin is prescribed to balance the sugar levels then take them regularly.

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