Gestational diabetes symptoms and considerations

 

 

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a high level of blood sugar that sometimes develops during pregnancy. Studies show a prevalence in 2% - 4% of pregnant women. It usually occurs in the later stages of pregnancy, often in women who have not had a history of diabetes.

Unlike other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes is not permanent. When a baby is born, the sugar level will probably return to normal quickly. However, the fact remains that with gestational diabetes, the chance of getting some type of diabetes later in life increases to some extent. 

Symptoms of gestational diabetes

Pregnant women generally do not have any special symptoms. However, the following symptoms sometimes occur:

  • unusual thirst
  • frequent and copious urination (unlike early pregnancy when urination is frequent but scanty)
  • unusual fatigue (which is sometimes difficult to distinguish from the usual trunic fatigue)
  • urine sugar detected on a routine urine test 

What causes gestational diabetes?

It is believed that gestational diabetes occurs due to many changes that occur in a woman's body during pregnancy (mostly hormonal in nature), which can create a predisposition to the development of insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone of specific cells in the pancreas, which enables the body to efficiently metabolize glucose for later use as fuel (energy). When insulin levels are low, or the body cannot use it effectively - due to the developed resistance to insulin, then the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood rises. 

Some degree of insulin resistance, as well as reduced glucose tolerance, are considered normal for later stages of pregnancy. However, in some pregnant women, these changes develop to such an extent that they can create complications for her and the baby, and then she is diagnosed gestational, ie. gestational diabetes.

  

Risks of gestational diabetes per pregnancy

Although gestational diabetes can be controlled quite successfully, we will mention the risks of certain complications that this condition can cause, such as:

  • premature birth
  • preeclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy)
  • heavier and larger than average baby (which may make it difficult to give birth or require a caesarean section)
  • the baby may have a lower blood sugar level ( hypoglycaemia ) and breathing problems are possible

Keep in mind that if you have this diagnosis, with appropriate measures and regular visits to the doctor, you can successfully complete the pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. 

gestational diabetes

 

Risk groups of pregnant women

Although there is no guarantee that gestational diabetes سكري الحمل will not develop in any pregnant woman, regardless of age, medical history, and family cases, there are certain factors that can increase the likelihood of developing this condition, and these are:

  • that a pregnant woman is over 30 years old
  • that she is obese
  • to have a family history of diabetes
  • that she had diabetes in her previous pregnancy
  • that she had or has glucose intolerance
  • to have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • that she had hypertension before pregnancy
  • to use certain drugs from the group of glucocorticoids, beta-blockers and antipsychotics
  • that he is a smoker or often surrounded by smokers
  • that on the doctor's recommendation he must lie down in order to maintain the pregnancy (due to immobility, the chances of obesity increase, and then elevated sugar)

In some pregnant women from this group, it is necessary to do an OGTT test at the very beginning of pregnancy. 

It should be noted that if you belong to these groups, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of developing the disease, primarily by adopting a healthy diet and regular, moderate, physical activity with the prior consent of a doctor.

Diagnosis

All pregnant women are tested for gestational diabetes as part of routine check-ups at some stage of pregnancy. This test is called the OGTT ( oral glucose tolerance test ) and most pregnant women do it between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy.

The basic analysis is performed in the laboratory, by taking a blood sample before meals, and in the morning, after abstaining from food for at least 10 hours. 

 

After this first blood draw (zero result), the solution is drunk with 75 g of pure glucose (in some cases the test is done with a higher dose, than 100 g, or with a lower dose, than 50 g, depending on the doctor's recommendation). One hour after drinking the glucose solution, a blood sample is taken again, then again after an hour another sample, and after an hour a third blood sample (a total of 4 blood samples).

Based on the test results, the doctor will assess whether the pregnant woman belongs to the risk group and accordingly recommend repeating the test in order to make a definitive diagnosis. 

Is the OGTT test uncomfortable?

The test can be somewhat demanding for a pregnant woman because it is long-lasting and requires a stay (sitting) in the laboratory for several hours. No food or drink is ingested between blood draws, so the stomach is completely empty. The glucose solution is extremely sweet, so some pregnant women may feel nauseous after taking the glucose solution, and it also happens that they vomit. In this case, the test is interrupted and repeated another day.

Therapy

Many women manage to keep gestational diabetes under control through a healthy diet and moderate exercise. The basic recommendations are a diet that includes whole grains, lean meat, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, or foods that release sugar slowly. It is necessary to control fat intake ( control, not eliminate ) and limit salt intake.

As for physical activities, moderate ones, such as walking, swimming, yoga and Pilates, are beneficial.

Sometimes, however, drug therapy is needed, and among them, the most common is receiving insulin injections. Since these injections are received 3 times a day, they are mostly given to yourself, and a doctor or medical technician will instruct you in detail in this simple procedure. 

 

In addition to giving injections, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is very important within the therapy. This is done with a special device with a needle, with which you can easily draw blood from your finger, in the morning and an hour or two after a meal. You should also consult your doctor about the use of this device, who will give you detailed instructions on the entire therapy.

 

When to call a doctor?

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, pay attention to the following symptoms, which require consultation with a doctor:

  • a frequent feeling of thirst
  • frequent urination
  • great fatigue
  • nausea
  • blurred vision

It is possible that the doctor will recommend more frequent check-ups to monitor the condition of you and your baby, and if he deems it necessary, he will recommend a specialist check-up.

 

What is gestational diabetes?

Symptoms of gestational diabetes

What causes gestational diabetes?

Risks of gestational diabetes per pregnancy

How is gestational diabetes diagnosed?

Is the OGTT test uncomfortable?

Risk groups of pregnant women

Therapy

When to call a doctor?

Gestational diabetes

By saso saso

Gestational diabetes

what is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. "Diabetes" means that your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Having too much glucose in your blood is not good for you or your baby.

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