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What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition when there is a high blood glucose level during pregnancy. This happens because the placenta produces hormones making your cells resistant to insulin. Sometimes even the extra insulin produced by the pancreas is not enough, resulting in excess glucose in your blood, however these usually return to normal after childbirth

Possible Causes: 

If you do not have diabetes before pregnancy, but your blood sugar level is high during pregnancy, then you have gestational diabetes. The placenta produces hormones to sustain your pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes causes are linked to these hormones, as they could cause your cells to become insulin-resistant and your blood sugar level could increase.

Risk Factors:

There are certain factors that increase the risk of gestational diabetes:

  • Age: women older than 25 years are at a higher risk.
  • Hereditary.
  • Personal history: you are at a higher risk if you had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy.
  • Weight: women who are overweight before pregnancy are at a higher risk.

Signs & Symptoms:

Gestational diabetes may have mild symptoms, such as excessive thirst or frequent urination. Some women don’t have any gestational diabetes signs at all, although the condition is present.

Diagnosis:

Pregnant women are usually advised to take a blood test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes. A gestational diabetes diagnosis is based on the results of this and other blood tests.

At Medcare, you can have these tests done conveniently, and consult the diabetes specialist as well as your gynaecologist to discuss the line of treatment.

Treatment Options:

The diabetes specialist at Medcare Endocrinology clinic will outline the right gestational diabetes treatment for you. You may be able to manage your gestational diabetes with changes in your diet and an exercise routine. If your doctor feels that medication is necessary, you may be prescribed insulin.

FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, will this harm my baby?

    A: With the right care, your baby will not be harmed due to your condition. Gestational diabetes affects women at a later stage of pregnancy, when the baby’s body has been formed, so it is not linked to birth defects. Make sure that you monitor your blood sugar level and follow all instructions given by your doctor to manage diabetes correctly.

  • How can I manage my gestational diabetes with diet and exercise?

    A: It is important to eat healthy food, and the quantity and timing is also very important to ensure your blood sugar levels stay within control.

    Physical activity can help you to control your diabetes, and also remain healthy throughout your pregnancy. Check with your doctor and select a fitness program that is safe for you.

  • Will I need to monitor my diabetes after my baby is born?

    A: If you have gestational diabetes, then you need to check your blood sugar level within 12 weeks after your delivery. If your blood sugar is high, you may need to be treated by a diabetes specialist. Even if it is normal, you should check it
    regularly.

  • How can gestational diabetes affect my baby?

    A: Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy, especially when an expectant mother is obese, over the age of thirty-five, and has a family history of diabetes.

    This form of diabetes can lead to an excessive weight gain in the fetus due to an increase in blood sugar level. The baby may also develop hypoglycemia or low blood sugar level shortly after birth, resulting in Type 2 diabetes later in life. 

    In addition to this, gestational diabetes could prompt an early delivery, which in turn could cause respiratory distress syndrome or breathing issues for the baby. Some other side-effects include yellowing of the skin and eyes. However, proper medication can control the condition and improve the health of the fetus.

    Visit a Medcare gynaecologist today to learn how you can stay healthy throughout your pregnancy and childbirth.

  • What are the warning signs of gestational diabetes?

    A: Women who develop gestational diabetes usually experience frequent urination, nausea, unusual thirst, recurring vaginal/bladder infection and fatigue. However, most of these symptoms are similar to pregnancy symptoms and could often be overlooked.

  • How can I determine if I have gestational diabetes?

    A: Doctors recommend doing a screening test to determine the sugar level in the urine, which is a more accurate way to gauge whether or not a patient has gestational diabetes. Mothers should also get tested 6-12 months after giving birth as a pro-active measure to stay healthy.

    Gestational diabetes doesn't only affect mothers, but can lead to health issues in the baby too. Consult a Medcare gynaecologist today and ensure good health for your baby and yourself.

  • Is gestational diabetes serious?

    A: Gestational diabetes is a serious condition as it affects both, the expectant mother and her baby. For mothers, it may result in a higher chance of having a Caesarean delivery, high blood pressure, preeclampsia and diabetes at a later point in life.

  • How can gestational diabetes affect my baby?

    A: In the case of the baby, it could lead to early birth, high birth weight, respiratory distress syndrome, low blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes in the future. Thus, it is extremely important to get a screening done for gestational diabetes as proper medication and diet control can be used to counter its effects.

    Wondering if your symptoms could be more serious than they appear? Visit a Medcare gynaecologist today for a consultation and get tested to keep your baby and yourself safe.

  • Is gestational diabetes high risk?

    A: Gestational diabetes tends to create certain discomfort, such as nausea, frequent urination and bladder infection. It also increases the risk of high blood pressure in an expectant mother, which can lead to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. This can further lead to premature birth or stillbirth. 

  • Is gestational diabetes a threat for the baby too?

    A: Yes. Gestational diabetes can affect the fetus by causing rapid weight gain and increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes later in life. Hence, it is imperative for expecting mothers to get screened for gestational diabetes and take precautions such as eating healthier to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

    If you’re an expectant mother, we highly recommend getting tested for gestational diabetes to ensure a healthy and happy pregnancy. Book an appointment with Medcare Gynaecologist today!

  • How can I lower my blood sugar during pregnancy?

    A: Our blood sugar levels depend on the insulin produced by the body, and this level of insulin mainly depends on what we eat. Therefore, monitoring your diet and reducing your consumption of sugary drinks and food rich in carbohydrates, such as white bread, rice and pasta can positively affect the blood glucose level. These should be replaced with foods rich in fibre such as raw fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 

    Additionally, exercising can also help regulate the sugar level, as muscles tend to absorb more glucose when you work out. Hence, a moderate exercise routine even during pregnancy is imperative.

    Still unsure about how to manage your blood sugar levels during pregnancy? Visit a Medcare gynaecologist today for the right consultation.

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