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Gestational Diabetes

Overview

Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of diabetes that some women can develop during pregnancy. It can often be managed with a healthy diet and exercise, but in some cases, insulin may be required. Proper management is crucial for the health of both the mother and the baby.

Definition

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy in women who didn’t have diabetes before. It affects a small percentage of pregnancies and proper management is crucial for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Gestational Diabetes

Symptoms 

Gestational diabetes typically doesn’t have noticeable symptoms. However, some people may experience:

  1. Frequent urination.
  2. Nausea.
  3. Thirst.
  4. Tiredness.

Risk Factors : 

  • Have given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds.
  • Are overweight.
  • Are more than 25 years old.
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Have a hormone disorder called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
  • Are an African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander person.

Causes

  1. Hormonal Changes: During pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations can impact insulin function.
  1. Insulin Function: Insulin is essential for breaking down glucose from food and maintaining blood sugar levels.
  1. Interference During Pregnancy: Hormones during pregnancy can disrupt insulin function, leading to gestational diabetes.
  1. Genetic Influence: Genes may contribute to the risk of gestational diabetes.
  1. Weight Factor: Being overweight (BMI over 25) can play a role in the development of gestational diabetes.

Treatment for Gestational Diabetes

By,

  1. Checking your blood sugar
  2. Eating healthy food in the right amounts at the right times
  3. Being active
  4. Monitoring your baby

5 Tips for Women with Gestational Diabetes

  1. Eat Healthy Foods
  2. Exercise Regularly
  3. Monitor Blood Sugar Often
  4. Take Insulin, If Needed
  5. Get Tested for Diabetes after Pregnancy

Target Blood Sugar Levels for Women During Pregnancy

  • Fasting Blood Sugar (Before Meals): 95 mg/dL or less
  • One Hour After Eating: 140 mg/dL or less
  • Two Hours After Eating: 120 mg/dL or less

Gestational Diabetes Tests

  1. Glucose Challenge Test: You drink a sweet liquid, and after about an hour, a blood test checks your blood sugar level. If it’s high, a glucose tolerance test may follow.
  2. Glucose Tolerance Test: An oral glucose tolerance test is done if your challenge test results are unusual. You fast for eight hours before the test. Blood is drawn before and at one, two, and three hours after drinking a sweet liquid to confirm a diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

Diet Tips During Pregnancy

  1. Eat 3 meals and 2–3 snacks per day
  2. One 8-ounce cup of milk at a time
  3. One small portion of fruit at a time
  4. Eat more fibre
  5. Breakfast Matters
  6. Avoid fruit juice and sugary drinks
  7. Strictly limit sweets and desserts

Conclusion

Now that you know about the types of diabetes, treatments, and some useful resources for implementation, you can start right away. If you need further assistance, feel free to reach out to us.

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