What is Gestational Diabetes?
Diabetes that develops during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. The mother’s blood glucose levels remain higher than normal and these elevated blood glucose levels are harmful to both the mother and the baby.
It is a temporary condition in which the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels, is not produced in sufficient quantities during pregnancy.
Prenatal care is essential for staying healthy during pregnancy. Nurse service at home provides complete nursing care for pregnant women, assisting and educating them on the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy, and monitoring their health status on a regular basis to avoid pregnancy complications.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy?
Gestational diabetes can be caused by various reasons, some of which are as follows:
Low Insulin Production:
Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas secretes. It controls the body’s glucose levels. Gestational diabetes develops when the body is unable to produce the extra insulin needed during pregnancy. Women who are unable to produce enough insulin develop gestational diabetes.
During pregnancy, the body produces additional hormones and undergoes various changes like weight gain. Because of these unavoidable changes, the body may be unable to properly utilise insulin, resulting in insulin resistance.
Obesity is also associated with gestational diabetes. Before becoming pregnant, obese women may already have some insulin resistance.
Family History of Diabetes:
Gestational diabetes can be also caused by a strong family history of diabetes, as genes play a significant role.
What are the Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes?
Signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes may include:
- Excessive hunger and thirst, even as compared to other pregnant women
- Frequent urination
- Frequent urinary and vaginal infections
- Presence of sugar in the urine
- Blurring of vision
- The sudden feeling of tiredness
What are the Risks of Gestational Diabetes for the Mother and the Baby?
High blood glucose levels during pregnancy can harm the baby and cause issues such as:
- Premature delivery, or the birth of a child before the due date
- The baby is usually overweight which can make delivery difficult and lead to injury
- Low blood glucose immediately after birth
- Breathing problems
- Increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth Later risk of type 2 diabetes in the child
With increased levels of proteins in urine during the second half of pregnancy, pregnant women with gestational diabetes are more likely to develop preeclampsia and high blood pressure. It also increases the likelihood of requiring a C-section because the baby’s head may be large.
Pregnant women who have gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life, as well as its complications such as diabetic retinopathy, heart and kidney disease, and nerve damage.
How to Treat Gestational Diabetes?
Controlling blood sugar levels in pregnant women can help prevent gestational diabetes. If diet and exercise are insufficient to control blood glucose levels, some women may require medication.
What Food Should be Avoided During Gestational Diabetes?
Diabetics must understand which foods should be avoided. Here are some foods that are high in sugar:
On food labels, salt can also appear as sodium. The ADA recommends that people limit their daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams, which is the same as the general population’s recommendation.
Moderate alcohol consumption should not pose a serious risk to diabetics and should have no effect on long-term glucose control. People who use insulin therapy or an insulin secretagogue may be at a higher risk of hypoglycemia when drinking alcohol.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, whether they have diabetes or not.
Carbohydrates are a necessary component of all foods. People with diabetes, on the other hand, will benefit from limiting their carbohydrate intake in a balanced diet or combining those carbs with a protein or a healthy source of fat.
Fruits with high GI
Most of these fruits have a low GI, except for melons and pineapples, which have a high GI. This means they can cause blood glucose levels to rise even higher.
Though it can happen at any stage of pregnancy, gestational diabetes is more common in the second half. If you are experiencing any suspicious symptoms, it is always best to consult your doctor.
A prenatal nurse at home in Bengaluru conducts routine testing to detect and prevent potential pregnancy complications.