Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy in women who did not have diabetes before becoming pregnant. It is caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy that make it more difficult for the body to use insulin effectively.
Symptoms of gestational diabetes may include:
However, some women may not experience any symptoms at all, which is why screening is important during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is caused by high levels of glucose in the blood, which may result from a lack of insulin or the body’s inability to properly use insulin. It is more likely to occur in pregnant women who are overweight or obese, have a family history of the condition, and/or have had gestational diabetes in the past.
Treatment for gestational diabetes typically involves making lifestyle changes, such as following a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise. In some cases, medication may be necessary to help manage blood sugar levels. Insulin injections may also be needed in some cases.
Women with gestational diabetes will need to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly to make sure they stay within a healthy range. This may involve using a glucose meter to test blood sugar levels at home, as well as regular check-ins with endocrinologist or Obgyn.
If left untreated, gestational diabetes can lead to a range of complications, including high blood pressure, preterm labor, and larger-than-average babies (which can make delivery more difficult)
Fortunately, with proper management, most women with gestational diabetes are able to have healthy pregnancies and deliveries. After delivery, blood sugar levels usually return to normal, although women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and should be regularly screened.
In most cases, exercise is safe and beneficial for women with gestational diabetes. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate level of exercise and any necessary modifications.
Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of certain health complications for both the mother and the baby, including macrosomia (a large baby), preterm birth, and low blood sugar in the baby after birth.
The treatment for gestational diabetes typically involves a combination of diet and exercise modifications, as well as blood sugar monitoring. In some cases, medication, such as insulin, may be needed to manage blood sugar levels.
In some cases, gestational diabetes can be managed with diet and exercise modifications alone. However, medication, such as insulin, may be needed to manage blood sugar levels in some women.