Gestational Diabetes: Everything You Should Know About It!

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Have you heard of having high levels of blood sugars during pregnancy? Yes! It is gestational diabetes. And it doesn’t mean you have diabetes before your pregnancy. And in most of the cases, women recover from this condition after giving birth to their baby.

According to the American Diabetes Association,

Nearly 10 percent of pregnancies in the U.S. are affected by gestational diabetes every year.

Gestational Diabetes or Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) usually occurs between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. And this condition remains till the birth of your baby. You can consult your gynecologist to get information and know the risks associated with GDM. Consult the best gynecologists in Karachi through Marham.

Here are some important facts about GDM:

Cause

The exact cause behind this type of diabetes is unknown. But most probably the hormones producing during pregnancy inhibit the action of insulin and produce insulin resistance in the mother’s body. So the mother’s body doesn’t show response to the insulin produced by the pancreas.

In another situation, the mother’s body is not producing enough insulin. Hence, the blood glucose levels rise and condition knows as hyperglycemia is produced.

Diagnosis

Your gynecologist takes your complete family history and keeps it in the record as a family history of Diabetes mellitus does matter in this scenario. Secondly, your blood sugar levels are tested at the start of your pregnancy. And after the 24th week of pregnancy, your OBGYN also suggests Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) to diagnose gestational diabetes. If the blood sugar levels are high in reports or on borderline, the doctor starts working on you according to that. So that you and your baby remain safe during pregnancy and birth.

Treatment

The aim of treatment is to control the sugar levels. Doctors usually suggest insulin in this condition. And they also work on your diet and exercise.

This should be the target levels;

  • Before a meal– 95 mg/dl or less
  • One hour after a meal–140 mg/dl or less
  • Two hours after a meal–120 mg/dl or less

Risk factors for GDM

You are at high risk of developing GDM if you;

  • Are 25 years old or more when you become pregnant
  • Have a family history of diabetes mellitus
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Are obese when you get pregnant
  • Are gaining extra weight than normal during your pregnancy
  • Have a history of giving birth to an overweight baby
  • Are having twin or more pregnancies
  • have the previous history of GDM
  • And have a history of stillbirths or miscarriages

If you develop gestational diabetes during your pregnancies, chances are more to develop diabetes mellitus in later ages. But other factors also influence this case.

Complications

If you left the GDM untreated or uncontrolled level of blood sugars, it may lead to developmental problems in your fetus. And it also leads to difficulties in childbirth. Your baby becomes overweight. And he/she has a high risk of developing diabetes mellitus in later ages.

It is not possible to prevent GDM but you can manage it and control your sugar levels to avoid complications and risks associated with it. But you can control your weight before conceiving to lessen the chances of GDM if you also have a family history of diabetes mellitus. Even losing some pounds can help you to reduce the risk of getting GDM.

Your OBGYN can guide you about how to reduce the chances of getting this diabetes. Or if you develop it during pregnancy, how to control it then. You can consult the best gynecologists in Karachi through Marham.

During COVID-19 pandemic, Marham is facilitating you in so many ways. Now you can consult your doctors online through Marham mobile app or website. Just click on the link and get in touch with the best gynecologists in Pakistan online.

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Aiman Usman (Doctor of Pharmacy)
She is a pharmacy graduate and worked as a hospital pharmacist. Her interests are teaching, blogging, and scientific writings. She likes to write about medicines, health issues, health and beauty-related natural remedies, the nutritional value of different foods, and mental health.
Aiman Usman (Doctor of Pharmacy)

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