Gestational diabetes is a temporary type of diabetes that occurs in the pregnant woman. In this condition, the body is not able to regular the sugar content in blood during pregnancy. It is possible to have a healthy baby even with gestational diabetes by managing sugar levels. And in most of the cases, the condition resolves after delivery. That is, you may not have diabetes after the birth of the baby. But, gestational diabetes may increase your risk of developing type II diabetes at a later stage. Gestational diabetes may also lead to larger than normal baby and complications during delivery.
Causes and risk factors
The pancreas makes the hormone insulin that regulates the amount of sugar in the blood. During pregnancy, placenta makes hormones that causes a buildup of sugar in the blood. If the amount of insulin is not enough to maintain normal blood sugar levels, it may lead to gestational diabetes.
The risk of gestational diabetes increases if
- You are overweight
- Have a family history of diabetes
- You had gestational diabetes in earlier pregnancy
- You have high blood sugar levels
The most common symptoms of gestational diabetes include
- Frequent urination
- Persistent thirst
- Increased sugar in blood
- Increased sugar in urine
If you have a high risk of getting this condition, your doctor may ask for blood sugar test soon. If you are not at risk, your doctor may check for gestational diabetes between 24th and 28th week of pregnancy.
Pregnant women with gestational diabetes will have to get blood sugar levels tested regularly. Urine tests are also recommended to check for ketones that shows unmanaged diabetes. Maintaining a proper diet is the best way to manage sugar. Regular exercise will also help in controlling blood sugar levels. If diet and exercise are not enough to manage sugar levels, insulin therapy may be suggested. If gestational diabetes is well managed, the risk of complications reduces considerably.