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Gestational Diabetes - Knowing All The Basics

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By Author: Jessica Cristina
Total Articles: 19
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For any woman, no other news could spell more happiness than to know that she would soon be becoming a mother. However, with the good news, there is also a downside as pregnancy raises several health complications attached to it. One such being gestational diabetes, which is among the other critical types of diabetes i.e. type 1 and type 2.

How does gestational diabetes develop?
Insulin, a hormone secreted in the pancreas, helps the body to use the glucose effectively, and convert it into energy. Insulin also controls blood sugar levels. But there may come a certain period during pregnancy when the pancreas is not able to meet the needs of the body and is unable to produce the required amount of insulin.

About diabetes during pregnancy, it can also be said that women tend to gain weight due to the release of female hormones. It is because of these hormonal changes that some of the cells are not able to utilize insulin in a proper way, leading the body to become resistant to insulin.

Pregnant women usually become insulin resistant during late pregnancy. While most of them can overcome the problem of insulin resistance by producing adequate insulin, other women end up developing gestational diabetes.

What are the risk factors?
Several risk factors increase the chances of a pregnant woman to develop gestational diabetes. Some of the most common risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

• Obesity
• History of gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies
• A parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes
• Prediabetes
• The previous baby delivered weighed around 4.5kg or more

Is it detectable?
One of the most shocking aspects of gestational diabetes is that it does not cause any warning signs or symptoms. Hence, typically there are no noticeable gestational diabetes symptoms suggesting that a pregnant woman is affected by the condition. However, would-be moms may experience signs like dry mouth, frequent urination, and increased thirst and hunger, especially during later stages of pregnancy.

Signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes may not be quite evident at first, as they may be mistaken for common pregnancy phenomenon. Hence, to avoid further complications, it is important for expecting mothers to keep tabs on their health with frequent doctor visits.

How does it affect the baby?
Surprisingly, women with gestational diabetes go on to deliver healthy babies, but only when they have received proper care and timely treatment. However, women with higher blood glucose throughout pregnancy, deliver a baby who would also be having elevated blood glucose.

High blood glucose impacts the baby in a way that it would be larger than normal. The baby is also at the risk of having low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) right after birth.

In order to avoid risks of gestational diabetes, women should follow a proper health care routine before, during, and after pregnancy. A healthy lifestyle including moderate physical exercises and well-balanced diet can lessen the chances of developing gestational diabetes in the long run. Exercise is important part of our life to maintain a healthy weight. Both before and during pregnancy, exercise can help prevent gestational diabetes.

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