Gestational diabetes is diagnosed in pregnant women when their blood sugar levels are higher than normal. It usually presents as hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels. In addition to causing health complications for the mother and child, it can also be deadly. It is therefore essential that gestational diabetes is diagnosed early, followed by proper treatment, and then monitored over time.
Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar condition that can occur during pregnancy. The risks of gestational diabetes include high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, which can lead to complications such as macrosomia (a condition where the baby is larger than average), birth defects, and cesarean delivery. Gestational diabetes can also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Types of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed by a health care provider based on the mother’s symptoms and the results of her blood sugar levels. As there are two forms of gestational diabetes, it’s important to know which form your pregnancy falls under so that you can take appropriate treatment measures.
Type 1 is usually hereditary and starts in childhood while type 2 is usually caused by obesity or undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet and exercise plan are necessary for treating both forms of gestational diabetes. The pill treatment works faster in treating type 1 than the type 2 gestational diabetes as it causes the body to produce less glucose within 24 hours. .
It’s important to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan when treating your own or your spouse’s type 2 gestational diabetes. The best way to manage your blood sugar levels is through eating balanced meals with specific carbohydrate content as recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Exercise helps promote weight loss, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, promotes bone health and improves sleep quality among other benefits. While there are no major negative effects from following a healthy diet and exercise plan, it does take willpower and time to achieve this goal.
Gestational Diabetes Causes
There are a few things that can cause gestational diabetes. One is if the mother is overweight or obese. Another is if the mother has a history of diabetes. And finally, if the mother has high blood pressure, that can also lead to gestational diabetes.
Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born but women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Women who are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, are African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, or Asian Pacific Islander are at an increased risk for developing gestational diabetes. There are several things that women can do to lower their risk, such as maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, and avoiding sugary drinks. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it is important to control your blood sugar levels
The symptoms of gestational diabetes are often subtle and can go unnoticed. The most common symptom is increased thirst, but other symptoms may include increased urination, fatigue, nausea, and blurred vision. If left untreated, gestational diabetes can lead to serious health complications for both the mother and the baby.
How to Treat Gestational Diabetes
Following a healthy diet and exercise plan does wonder in treating gestational diabetes; however, it may also be reversed by taking medication— depending on how severe the condition is. It’s essential that pregnant women with severe cases of type 1 or type 2 gestational diabetes follow a strict diet and exercise plan so that their blood sugar levels don’t become higher than normal. To treat these elevated blood sugar levels, they need to take insulin— a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels within the body cells. A pill treatment works faster in treating type 1 than type 2 gestational diabetes as it causes the body to produce less glucose within 24 hours.
Gestational diabetes can be deadly if left untreated; therefore, it’s essential that doctors screen all pregnant women suspected of having this condition early on. Following a healthy diet and exercise plan helps lower blood sugar levels while pills help treat elevated ones— either one will result in an improved pregnancy for both mother and baby alike.