Gestational diabetes is diagnosed in about 10% to 2% of pregnant women and is considered a health issue of pregnancy. There can be various causes for the increase in the level of glucose in blood. This can be due to inadequate secretion of insulin in the body or due to poor response of cells to insulin. Insulin helps glucose reach into bloodstream.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
The food that people eat is broken down to glucose in the human body. That is, the energy that the body gains due to food reaches to every cell in the form of glucose. Cells burn the glucose in the body in order to generate energy. Blood is the carrier of nutrients to all parts of the body. However, the glucose that is produced as result of breaking down of food particles reaches into the bloodstream with the help of insulin. This signifies the importance of adequate secretion of insulin in the human body.
Inadequacy of insulin in the body means insufficient absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Since glucose is the fuel to cells of body, its insufficiency may or may not result into various health issues. However, the glucose that is left to be absorbed remains in the bloodstream and thus, the blood-sugar level rises.
Another major reason for gestational diabetes is poor response of cells towards insulin. In this case, insulin is sufficiently present in the body and works properly but the receptors in cells do not respond properly. Either ways, the level of glucose in the blood increases, which is called diabetes after a certain extent. This can be considered as an elementary explanation of diabetes.
Partial effects of both the causes are involved in Gestational diabetes. Its frequent occurrence in pregnant women may be due to hormonal changes that the body goes through during various stages of pregnancy.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
Almost every pregnant woman goes through glucose-screening test between 24th and 28th week of her pregnancy. This is necessary to diagnose Gestational diabetes since it has no symptoms. However, presence of sugar in urine and other symptoms are indications of higher risk of diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes Care
Gestational diabetes, under normal circumstances, improves or disappears after delivery of the baby. However, women affected by it might be more prone to other types of diabetes in later years of their lives. Through appropriate guidance and care, the risk can still be reduced or avoided. On the other side, appropriate diet, exercise and proper medication are required to deal gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Consultation with a registered dietician is the best way to ensure healthy and planned food during pregnancy. Chances of increase in diabetic conditions are reduced with appropriately balanced diet. Exercises that are acceptable during pregnancy can assist in glucose processing. Lastly, importance of medication as prescribed by the physician does not have to be signified.