Diabetes is the condition of having excessive amounts of sugar in the blood. Gestational diabetes is the kind of diabetes which occurs to a woman during pregnancy. Appropriate exercise and proper diet, along with medication, can help to cure the gestational diabetes. The development of this kind of diabetes takes place after trimester and is cured after the baby’s birth.
There are often situations with no symptoms shown in cases of gestational diabetes and the disease is detected usually at the time of routine screening. On occasions, some symptoms may develop such as blurred vision, recurrent infections like thrush, tiresomeness, frequent urination, dry mouth, and thirst.
At the time of pregnancy, a number of chemicals or hormones, such as the human placental lactogen, progesterone, and oestrogen are produced by the body. These hormones hinder the insulin from taking the excess glucose from the blood and this increases the level of sugar in the blood of the mother carrying child. The effect of this hormone consists in allowing the nutrients and extra glucose in blood to pass into the foetus that helps it to grow. Some women, however, at the time of pregnancy, fail to produce the required amount of insulin to cope with increased level of glucose.
The risks for having gestational diabetes increased when the body mass index exceeds 30, when the woman has already had a baby weighing 4.5 kg or more, when the woman had gestational diabetes in her previous pregnancy, or when the woman has a diabetic family history.
Detection and diagnosis
Gestational diabetes is tested or detected using OGTT, or oral glucose tolerance test. The test is performed at twenty four to twenty eight weeks. For the test, a sample of the blood of the mother is tested following which she is offered glucose drink. After two hours a second sample of blood is taken for testing how the body is reacting to the glucose. In case the woman has already had gestational diabetes in the previous pregnancy, the Oral glucose test is performed at 10th – 18th week. If the results are normal, the test is performed again at 28th week.
If detected with gestational diabetes, the woman shall have to continually monitor the blood glucose levels. Appropriate diet is advised by the doctor for controlling gestational diabetes. Eating starchy carbohydrates that have low Glycaemic Index helps keeping the blood sugar level in a stable condition. Pasta, grainy bread, easy cook rice, oats, and natural muesli helps in maintaining fitness during pregnancy and do not cause the blood glucose level to accelerate.
Plenty of vegetables and fruits offer vitamins to the mother and also to the foetus. The medicines prescribed by the doctor that include metformin, glibenclamide and insulin keep the blood glucose at lower levels. Apart from this, the doctor advises certain physical exercises to ensure a healthy mother and a healthy baby.