There are many health conditions that women may develop during pregnancy. One of the most common health concerns that they should watch out for is gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes goes away after the baby is delivered. However, careful monitoring and proper management is required to avoid complications and to ensure healthy pregnancy.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
The cause of gestational diabetes is still unknown. It is highly associated with the hormones produced by the placenta. The hormones affects the absorption of insulin which leads to sugar build up in the blood. If the pancreas fail to produce more insulin, glucose in the blood will continue to rise and lead to gestational diabetes.
Who are at risk?
- Women that are obese or overweight
- Women with family history of diabetes
- Women of Hispanic, Native American, Asian or African-American descent.
- Women who developed gestational diabetes on their previous pregnancies
- Women over the age of 35
How to Diagnose Gestational Diabetes
Typically, women that are suspected to have gestational diabetes are asked to provide urine sample to identify the level of sugar in the urine. A glucose screening test, followed by a glucose tolerance test, is also required. Most tests are done between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. If the patient has a family history of gestational diabetes or is at-risk of the same, the healthcare provider may request for the test earlier in the pregnancy.
How to Prevent Gestational Diabetes
The complications of gestational diabetes include macrosomia, increase risk for C-section, preeclampsia and jaundice, breathing problems and low blood sugar levels in babies. Therefore, pregnant women are highly encouraged to prevent pregnancy induced diabetes by following a healthy diet and staying active throughout the pregnancy.
Treatment for Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy induced diabetes has similar treatment as with the other types of diabetes. Fortunately, it can easily be controlled and managed by monitoring the blood glucose level every morning before and after meals, maintaining a low carb, low sugar diet and taking prescribed medications religiously.
The most common drugs used to treat gestational diabetes are insulin and oral drugs such as glyburide. Always keep in mind that it is essential to take your medications on time and never miss a dose. Find out, too, if your healthcare provider can provide an e-prescription, so getting your refills will be easier.
The preceding post was a guest post written by Marie Miguel for HEALTHandMED.com