Gestational diabetes is something that is not to be overlooked by pregnant mothers. This type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy to women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes before.
The actual cause of gestational diabetes is still unknown, although there is a strong possibility that the hormones responsible in the development of the placenta have something to do with it.
If you are looking for tell-tale signs to know if you do have gestational diabetes, you may only get frustrated. The usual signs of diabetes such as increased thirst, increased urination and fatigue may be confused with the normal signs of pregnancy.
Test for Diabetes
While not every expecting mother is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, pregnant women are nonetheless advised to undergo certain tests (usually on the 5th month of their pregnancy) to determine whether or not they have gestational diabetes. One of these tests is the oral glucose tolerance test in which you will be made to drink a glass of glucose solution. After an hour you will undergo a blood test to measure the levels of sugar in your blood.
It has to be emphasized that this form of diabetes can hurt both you and the baby. Although it does not cause birth defects as it usually occurs after the organs of the baby have already developed, it can nonetheless lead to a host of problems such as a fatter baby, hypoglycemia, jaundice, respiratory distress, and developmental problems like difficulty in walking, jumping, etc.
On your part, you will be at greater risk for:pre-eclampsiaurinary tract infectionsTreating gestational diabetes
So what should a mother do if she has gestational diabetes? When you have gestational diabetes, you need to seek treatment immediately. Go to a diabetologist at once so he can assess your needs and come up with the right treatment plan.
The treatment plan in gestational diabetes has the principal goal of regulating blood sugar levels through:the right dietexercisemedicationsThe Right Diet
The right diet for you in this case includes fruits and vegetables and whole grains. As much as possible you must refrain from eating foods that are high in fat and low in essential nutrients. It is also recommended to eat at least six meals a day.
Regular exercise is to be encouraged as this can prevent weight gain which can trigger or worsen complications. If it’s okay with your doctor, engaging in aerobic exercises is a good way of regulating blood sugar levels.
For some women, eating the right foods and exercising are enough to maintain normal blood sugar levels, but for others, they need insulin injections, along with diet and exercise.
Close monitoring is very important in this case; your diabetologist may even advise you to use a special device to monitor your blood sugar levels throughout the day. Your doctor, too, will monitor the development of your baby. He may request for ultrasounds and run other tests to make sure that the baby is coping well.
Although this type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, mothers are at greater risk of developing type II diabetes later in life. That is why monitoring of blood sugar levels, as well as eating the right foods and engaging in regular exercise, will prove to be of great value to a woman with gestational diabetes.