What is Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes kit
Gestational diabetes kit

ReadForHealth.xyz - Gestational diabetes is developing diabetes during pregnancy. Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your baby's pregnancy and health.

Every pregnancy complication is sure to worry, but there is good news. Pregnant women can help control gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising and, if necessary, taking medication. Controlling blood sugar can prevent a difficult birth and keep you and your baby healthy.

In gestational diabetes, blood sugar returns to normal immediately after delivery. But if you have ever had gestational diabetes, you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. You should continue to see a doctor to monitor and manage your blood sugar because for most women, gestational diabetes does not cause any obvious signs or symptoms.

When you have gestational diabetes, you need to regularly check your blood sugar levels. The frequency of a blood sugar test will depend on the test results after you have delivered your baby.

What causes gestational diabetes?

Researchers do not know why some women develop gestational diabetes. By understanding how gestational diabetes occurs, you can also understand how pregnancy affects the glucose process in your body.

Your body digests the food you eat to produce sugar (glucose) that enters your bloodstream. Then, the big pancreas-gland behind your stomach-produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose move from the bloodstream into the cells of your body, which is then used as energy.

During pregnancy, the placenta, which connects your baby to your blood supply, will produce a variety of other high-level hormones. Almost everything they prevent the action of insulin in your cells and increase your blood sugar. A moderate increase in blood sugar after meals is normal during pregnancy.

As your baby grows, the placenta produces more insulin barrier hormones. In gestational diabetes, placenta hormones trigger a rise in blood sugar to levels that can affect your baby's growth and wellbeing. Gestational diabetes usually develops during the last half of pregnancy-sometimes the early 20th week, but generally not more than that.

What are the factors that can make me at risk for gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes can develop in every woman, but some women have a higher risk. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

  • Age over 25 years. Women over age 25 are more likely to develop gestational diabetes
  • Family or personal health history. The risk of gestational diabetes increases when you have a prediabetes-a slight rise in blood sugar that may be a clue to type 2 diabetes or if a family member, such as a parent or relative, has type 2 diabetes. You are likely to develop gestational diabetes if your previous pregnancy suffered diabetes, or if you give birth to a baby weighing more than 4.1 kilograms, or if you have a stillbirth without any explanation
  • Excess weight. You are likely to develop gestational diabetes if you are significantly overweight with a body mass index of 30 or more.
  • Not a white race. For no apparent reason, Negro, Hispanic, American-Indian or Asian women are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.

Tests and diagnosis for gestational diabetes

Medical experts have not yet agreed on a set of screening guidelines for gestational diabetes. It remains questionable whether gestational diabetes screening is necessary if you are younger than 25 and have no risk factors. Others say that all pregnant women need to be screened to identify all cases of gestational diabetes.

When should I do a test?

Your doctor will probably evaluate your risk factors for gestational diabetes early in your pregnancy.

If you are at high risk for gestational diabetes - for example, your body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy is 30 or higher or you have a mother, father, sibling or child with diabetes - your doctor may test for diabetes at the start of your prenatal visit.

If you are at an average risk of gestational diabetes, you may have a screening test during the second trimester-between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy.

What should I do if I am diagnosed with gestational diabetes?

Your doctor may often recommend check-ups, especially during the last three months of pregnancy. During this examination, your doctor will monitor your blood sugar. Your doctor may also ask you to monitor your own blood sugar as part of a treatment plan.

If you have trouble controlling your blood sugar, you may need to use insulin. If you have other pregnancy complications, you may need additional tests to evaluate your baby's health. This test will assess the function of the placenta, the organ that supplies oxygen and nutrients to your baby by connecting the baby's blood supply to you.

If your gestational diabetes is difficult to control, it can affect the placenta and endanger the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the baby.

Your doctor will also perform tests to monitor your baby during pregnancy.

Blood sugar tests after childbirth

Your doctor will check your blood sugar after delivery and then within six to 12 weeks to ensure that your blood sugar level has returned to normal. If your test is normal, you should check your diabetes risk at least every three years.

If future tests show diabetes or prediabetes - a condition in which your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered as diabetes-talk to your doctor about increasing prevention efforts or starting a diabetes management plan.

Treatments and medicines

It is important to monitor and control your blood sugar to keep your baby healthy and avoid complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

You also need to monitor your blood sugar levels in the future. Your treatment strategy may include:

Monitor your blood sugar. When you are pregnant, your health care team may ask you to check your blood sugar 4-5 times daily in the morning and after meals-to ensure your blood sugar levels stay within a healthy range. This may sound uncomfortable and difficult, but it will be easier when practiced.

To test your blood sugar, take a drop of blood from your finger using a small needle, then place the blood on the test strip and insert it into the blood glucose meter - a device that measures and displays your blood sugar levels.

Your health care team will monitor and manage your blood sugar during labor and delivery. If your blood sugar rises, your baby's pancreas can release high levels of insulin - which can cause low blood sugar in your baby after birth.

Follow-up examination of blood sugar is also important. Having gestational diabetes increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Check with your doctor regularly to monitor your blood sugar levels. Maintaining healthy lifestyle habits, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, can help reduce your risk.

Healthy diet. Eating the right foods in healthy portions is one of the best ways to control blood sugar and prevent too much weight gain, which can put you at higher risk of complications. Doctors do not recommend losing weight during pregnancy because your body is working hard to support your baby's growth. But your doctor can help you set weight goals based on your weight before you get pregnant.

Sports. Regular physical activity plays a key role in every woman's health plan before, during, and after pregnancy. Exercise lowers your blood sugar by stimulating your body to move glucose into your cells, which will be used as energy. Exercise also increases the sensitivity of your cells to insulin, which means your body will need to produce less insulin to transport sugar.

As an added bonus, regular exercise can help alleviate some general discomfort during pregnancy, including back pain, muscle cramps, swelling, constipation, and insomnia. Exercise can also help you stay healthy during labor.

Drugs. If diet and exercise are not enough, you may need insulin injections to lower your blood sugar. Between 10 and 20 percent of women with gestational diabetes need insulin to achieve their blood sugar goals. Some doctors prescribe oral blood sugar control drugs, while others believe that more research is needed to confirm that oral medications are as safe and as effective as injecting insulin to control gestational diabetes.

Monitor your baby. An important part of your treatment plan is your baby's observation. Your doctor can monitor your baby's growth and development with recurrent ultrasound or other tests. If you have not given birth at the appointed time-or sometimes an earlier-the doctor may induce labor. Delivery after a specified time limit may increase the risk of complications for you and your baby.

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What is Gestational Diabetes What is Gestational Diabetes Reviewed by Risyal Ambiyansyah on November 17, 2017 Rating: 5

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