Gestational Diabetes develops in some women during pregnancy. Statistics indicates that there are between 2-10 % of pregnancies which women will develop this illness. This is quite common so doctors will test for this disease during regular checkups. Because Gestational Diabetes generally does not show with symptoms, this precaution is understandable for doctors.
Causes of Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy comes with its own general concerns and when the pregnant woman is told she has Gestational Diabetes her concern levels are that more acute. Gestational Diabetes is caused by hormones manufactured during pregnancy by the Placenta and is unable to process the build up of excess sugar in the blood. The Pancreas which is the organ that produces insulin to regulate the blood sugar levels in the blood is unable to do so, hence Gestational Diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes only occurs in pregnant women. Other factors that are related to this illness are your ethnic background; being Hispanic, African American, Asian, or Native American are prone to this illness. Persons who have family members that are diabetic or have experienced Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy are more likely to develop this during their pregnancy. If this is not your first pregnancy and you had Gestational Diabetes during your first pregnancy; then the likelihood of you developing this illness the next time around is definitely possible.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
Generally there are no symptoms from Gestational Diabetes. Unlike Diabetes which usually shows symptoms, this one is very quiet. Doctors will as a general rule of treatment for pregnant women, have a test done during the 24 and 28 week of pregnancy. The test done requires you drinking a high sugar drink; after an hour a sample of blood is taken and tested. If the test reveals a spike in your blood sugar level of 140 mg/dL or above, you will be asked to fast for a few hours. After the fast you will have another blood test done to determine if you have Gestational Diabetes. If the test is normal, then you will need to be closely monitored to ensure you do not develop this illness. Monitoring is for you to do periodic blood sugar test to ensure you are safe. Diabetes presents itself with persons experiencing the need to drink lots of water, urinating often and find their appetite has increased. If you find you are experiencing these symptoms and are pregnant, let your doctor know.
Diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and Treatment
Being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes requires a very regimental treatment. Your doctor will prescribe you take samples of your blood at least four times daily. The results you will record, showing your doctor at your next checkup, or if the reading is anything above the required number level, the doctor must be notified. So you must have a portable blood sugar testing device with you at all times.
Eating healthy is always good for all but in the case of a pregnant woman, who has Gestational Diabetes the stress is even greater. Sticking to a diet that is prescribed by your doctor is highly recommended. This is to ensure your sugar levels are kept at a constant, and not show cause for alarm. Exercising is also a definite recommendation, and this also must adhere. Gestational Diabetes without exercising is not good. Both diet and exercise are required for any person with Diabetes, so even a person with Gestational Diabetes it is also necessary. These prescribed treatments are to ensure your weight is kept to a needed level which is essential in treating Gestational Diabetes.
Some pregnancies cause women to gain a considerable more weight than others. If you are in this category and you are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, the possibility of being prescribed insulin is great. Some women may require taking other medications to control their blood sugar level.
Your urine also needs to be monitored. This test also will indicate if your blood sugar level is under control. For the pregnant woman diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes if her urine test reveals the presence of Ketones; this means her sugar levels are not under control. Other measures will have to be taken to stabilize the patient.
Is it Possible to Prevent Gestational Diabetes
The medical fraternity has no known scientific result to determine that Gestational Diabetes can be prevented. Their advice to all pregnant women is to work at maintaining a balanced diet. Their weight must be regularized and exercise is also necessary. These key points are generally important for everyone, so it is also important for even a mother to be. If you have the propensity to have Gestational Diabetes from previous pregnancies, you know that these are required of you if you find you are pregnant again.
Some medications may also hinder insulin to be regulated in the blood. Prednisone and some other medications have this adverse effect. If you are taking these meds and are pregnant and you may develop Gestational Diabetes, your doctor needs to be advised.
Understanding the Likelihood of Gestational Diabetes
Although Gestational Diabetes is a common illness during pregnancy; many women need to be very aware. Apart from the genetic and ethnic factor there are other things that need to be considered. Remember that about 4% of all pregnancies will develop into Gestational Diabetes.
Women who have certain issues are more prone to this illness. If you are obese or very overweight the likelihood of you developing Gestational Diabetes is great during pregnancy. Giving birth to large babies is also a consideration. Mothers having babies of nine pounds and over are more likely to develop this illness. Women who have given birth to babies that are stillborn may also develop this form of Diabetes.
As mentioned earlier, an ethnic and racial background is also a factor to consider, and if you had Gestational Diabetes in your previous pregnancy; the possibility of you developing this illness at another pregnancy is highly likely.
Women 30 and over are more at risk for developing Gestational Diabetes. More than half of pregnant women who are not within the medical statistic may develop this illness, so it is right that doctors test for it.
Risk factors with Gestational Diabetes
Having a large baby will require cesarean birth or any assisted birth. With any of these births, the baby may need assistance with a sugar injection to help stabilize the blood sugar level. With this occurrence, the baby may be exposed to developing the condition called Jaundice. This condition has symptoms of a yellow color in the whites of the eyes and yellowing of the skin, also possible breathing problems. All these issues will develop because the mother has Gestational Diabetes.
Some mothers with Gestational Diabetes if they do not adhere to doctor’s prescribed treatment will put the baby at risk. During birth, the baby may have injuries to the shoulders, and arms. Nerves may also be a concern in these areas of the body for the baby after birth; these issues are called Macrosomia.
Birth defects are not a general concern for women who have Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy. The main concern is if the illness goes untreated or if the blood sugar levels are not tightly controlled. This will cause the babies to develop Type 2 Diabetes later in life, and will have weight issues.
With Gestational Diabetes, some women may develop Diabetes 10-20 years after giving birth. During this window of time, your blood sugar level will return to normal after giving birth, so the need to do is maintain a proper diet and exercise. Self-control is always the key to maintaining proper health.