A woman, who has earlier not suffered from diabetes, might suddenly experience high blood sugar level during pregnancy. This form of diabetes, which affects a woman during pregnancy, is known as gestational diabetes. It is estimated that nearly four out of hundred pregnant women suffer from gestational diabetes.
Causes of gestational diabetes
Unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes, in gestational diabetes poor pancreatic activity is not responsible for low insulin level in the body. The fault lies with the placenta. Nourishment from the mothers enters the fetus via the placenta. Hormones secreted by the placenta might obstruct the mother’s body from absorbing the insulin, causing insulin resistance. If the pancreas is unable to produce extra insulin to overcome insulin resistance, diabetes occurs. The risk of gestational diabetes is highest among overweight women, women with a family history of diabetes and if gestational diabetes occurred during a previous pregnancy. Certain ethnic communities, such as Asians, Hispanics, Africans and people from Pacific Islands are more prone to gestational diabetes. Presence of excess amniotic fluid can also cause gestational diabetes. Woman who had earlier given birth to a stillborn child or baby with birth defects can experience high blood sugar level during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes symptoms
Gestational diabetes generally starts during the second trimester of pregnancy. The symptoms of gestational pregnancy are hardly noticeable and are often overlooked. Nausea, fatigue, increase in thirst, increase in urination, weight loss despite increase in appetite are some of the common symptoms of gestational diabetes. It is recommended that every pregnant woman should be screened for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th month of pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes dangers
Gestational diabetes adversely affects both the mother and the baby. The baby might have low blood sugar level, respiratory problems and jaundice and may be large sized. Large babies complicate the delivery procedure. The risk of preeclampsia is high among women suffering from gestational diabetes.
How to deal with gestational diabetes
A well balanced diet could help to control blood sugar level. You should eat high fiber foods. Limit consumption of simple carbohydrates. Moderate exercising can also help to normalize your blood sugar level. Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition. The blood sugar level becomes normal after delivery.