What Is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes occur only in pregnant women. This diabetes is caused due to disorder in the placenta of the pregnant women. When the pancreas of the women fails to produce extra insulin, the blood sugar level becomes unusually high. This condition is termed as gestational diabetes. It is essential for all future mothers to have a complete knowledge of the link between women and gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed when the woman is about 24-28 weeks pregnant. It is diagnosed by “oral glucose tolerance test” in which the woman is instructed not to eat for 4 to 8 hours. Then her blood sugar level is measured by the medical caretakers.
After checking the normal sugar count, she is given a sugar drink and after 2 hours the sugar level test is redone to assess abnormality in blood sugar level. If the women’s sugar level is below 140 mg/dl then she is certified to be in the safe limit. However, if the sugar count is more than 140 mg/dl, she is diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is more likely to happen in obese women more than 25years of age and who have following records –
A family record of diabetes or has prior experience of this disease in past pregnancies can lead to gestational diabetes.
Women who delivered an unusually large and healthy baby or a baby born with birth defects in the past can have gestational diabetes.
If the women has excess amount of amniotic fluid, she is prone to gestational diabetes.
Symptoms and risk factors
Symptoms of gestational diabetes can be assessed by the delivery of baby and both the mother child condition-
The blood sugar level of diabetic pregnant women becomes abnormally high.
The fetus that nourishes in this abnormally large amount of sugar level becomes large enough to be delivered by vagina. One needs surgical operation to deliver the baby.
Doctors notice high amount of insulin in the body of the newborn baby. After few days the baby is exposed to the condition of hypoglycemia i.e. low level of blood glucose because the baby is no more influenced with mother’s high sugar level.
Unusual hunger, thirst, weight gain or high blood pressure is sign of gestational diabetes.
Recurrent vaginal infection and excessive urination are signs of gestational diabetes.
A planned and balanced diet devoid of sweets is prescribed to the diabetic women to keep the sugar level in the normal range of 60 to 120 mg/dl. The diabetic lady should exercise at least 3 or 4 days a week to maintain the sugar level in the body by burning excess fat. Balanced food and exercises can help in maintaining the normal pregnancy weight gain which is vital for treating gestational diabetes.
In case of severe gestational diabetes, a weekly or daily glucose level test is advised to the diabetic mother. If all these treatments prove ineffective, then insulin injections are recommended by the doctors to control the blood sugar level in the diabetic lady.
If the disease of gestational diabetes is left untreated or is not properly controlled than the baby can develop certain complications that includes- Macrosomia, jaundice, respiratory distress syndrome, death after 28 weeks of pregnancy or in infancy. Gestational diabetes can occur in future pregnancies as well.
So the pregnant ladies must seek doctoral advice and get complete details of how to prevent this diabetes in future as well as present pregnancy.
40 Years on the Stick
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I cannot believe I missed the exact date maybe 2 weeks ago, but it was 40 years ago in late October I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic.
The story is a good one. One day, out of the blue, I woke up and told my Mom I did not want to go to school, that I had a stomach ache. This alone was odd, since I was a school loving geek. I cannot even remember what compelled me to lie, but it may have been the last one I tried.
She scared me because she said, "Oh if you are sick, we are going to see Doctor Kramer."
And I was scared cause I was sure they would unveil my deception. What I did not know was that Mam had been tracking some symptoms- excessive thirst, strange eating patterns, some bed wetting, irritability (my sisters would say, "well he always was a brat"), but Mom’s radar was on alert.
I do not remember what tests they did, but at some point I sat out in the hall while Dr Kramer conferred with Mom. I was sure they were smiling and figuring out what my punishment would be.
So it was with some surprise when i was called in, and, not catching all the words, but something about "going to the hospital" and "disease". I started bawling and trying to confess, but it was to no avail.
I was admitted to Sinai Hospital and was subjected to injections and strict diet (and here it was a few days before halloween and I was being told I could not eat candy?!!!! I would have said WTF if I knew the term).
And I was there for 10 days (you can tell it was a long time ago!) as they got my blodd sugars under control and started my education of urine testing for glucose levels and daily injections. I got my first practice on an orgagen, which honestly, does not much to prepare you for popping a needle into yuor own skin.
What did make the difference was the burly nurse who sternly told me I could not go home til I gave myself my own shot, and then that day when she more or less "guided" my hand into pushing needle into my thigh.
It’s 40 years later, and I am still on insulin, though now it is geneticaly derived from human DNA rather than harvested from slain cows, I test my bloog sugar with an electronic device rather then doing urine tests in a test tube with fizzy pills, and I wear an insulin pump which manages my doses much better than daily injections.
So I am glad to be here 40 years later– and my way of celebrating has been to train to run a half marathon on January to raise money for thr American Diabetes Association (and I HATE running). You can support my cause, and the millions of people affected by the disease (and the many more family members affected by the affection) — see dommy.com/ihaterunning
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