Gestational Diabetes or Diabetes During Pregnancy

Diabetes may be seen in women prior to the pregnancy which is diabetes mellitus or peculiarly during pregnancy called gestational diabetes. Some women are prone to prediabetes as a warning sign of increasing blood sugar levels. Women with or without a family history of diabetes, overweight and obesity, globalization changes in their lifestyles, inactive body functions, may possess diabetes at any stage of their life. The onset of diabetes when you are planning for a baby’s arrival is not an obstacle for it. Early detection and diagnosis of the disease, and the diabetes management plans provided by the health care teams can make your pregnancy experience healthier with a healthy baby.

Gestational diabetes:

The prevalence of gestational diabetes is higher in urban areas with up to 14 percent while compared with rural areas with 13.2 percent. The gestational diabetes spread in India is more increasingly parallel with diabetes mellitus growth. As the diabetes is more established in the southern states of India, so is gestational diabetes with 18 percent in Tamil Nadu, 10 is west of India and least in Kashmir with 3.8 percent. 4 million Indian women are affected by gestational diabetes at one time or the other.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes:

Frequent urination and excessive urination that is seen in early pregnancy, high sugars in urine due to the inability of kidneys to filter the fluids, lethargy and fatigue, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms of gestational diabetes do not stand out in particular form as that of diabetes mellitus. It is generally noticed in the second trimester that is about 28 weeks of pregnancy. Blood sugar test is used to diagnose gestational diabetes.

Glucose challenge test: It is taken in two steps, with fasting that is not eating for 8 hours before the test and a test two hours after the meal or direct process. If the test shows more than 130 it is normal. If the blood sugar is higher than this, you need to get a glucose tolerance test followed by regular follow up tests. This confirms your diabetes.

Causes of Gestational Diabetes or Diabetes During Pregnancy:

If you are obese at any age before pregnancy, if you have prediabetes, if diabetes runs in your family genes, if you are affected with polycystic ovarian syndrome, if you already had gestational diabetes during your elder one’s pregnancy, if you had carrying defects or baby with birth defects, and terminated or stillborn pregnancies earlier, having unhealthy food habits, hormonal rushes you are vulnerable to diabetes during pregnancy. If you are an Asian or an African, or a citizen of any tropical country, and a nonwhite you are likely to get gestational diabetes.

What happens in gestational diabetes:

Diabetes is of various forms, familiarly known as type one and type two. The type one diabetes is an autoimmune disorder where insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destructed by our own immune system. Type two is the inability of our pancreas to provide a sufficient supply of insulin required by our body, which is chronic and escalating. Gestational diabetes is much closer to the diabetes mellitus with similar signs and symptoms besides it goes away mostly after pregnancy.

The hormones and their disproportions right from the implantation to the delivery cause a lot of changes in women’s body. The pancreas deals with the insulin resistance offered by the cells by producing the insulin more than the normal to beat the increasing blood sugar levels in the body. The increase in the blood glucose levels is a direct adaptation in the pregnant woman’s body to meet the glucose needs of the growing fetus. The failure of the pancreas in reverting this situation ends up in gestational diabetes. Women with more than 29 and 30 body mass index before pregnancy and overweight are usually expected with diabetes in pregnancy.

Complications in the baby:

Heavy weighing baby, nerve defects and abnormalities in the fetus, causing a caesarian necessity, high blood pressure in mother, risks of brain and heart stroke in babies that are newborn, preterm birth, seizures in the newborn, low blood sugar in baby, proteins in the urine of mother, kidney and thyroid diseases, eye disease, heart and blood vessel disease, neonatal hypoglycemia, macrosomia, perinatal death, babies may have type two diabetes in future if they are born out of gestational diabetes, mothers with age greater than 25 hen conceived, history of pre-diabetes, jaundice, respiratory chronic issues are seen.

Gestational diabetes care:

Careful Diet:

Gestational Diabetes diet

create a meal plan with high vitamins, nutrients, fresh vegetables and fruits with fewer sugars, wholesome foods, and grains, meats with lean fat, dairy products, supplements, fiber foods. Cut off the extra sugars, extra carbs and processed foods, artificial sweeteners. A well-followed diet plan stipulated by a trusted dietician and nutritionist which is approved by your obstetrician is necessary for a healthy pregnancy.


Diabetes Medicine

As a pregnant woman, you may already have your medicines and dosages prescribed by your gynecologist and obstetrician, hence it is crucial to inform the doctor about your diabetes and alter the medication as to the insulin intake that is additionally included.

Monitoring blood sugar levels:

checking diabetes

A regular check on the increasing blood sugar levels is important. Prick your fingers for the blood and self-test using the monitoring devices or lancing device. Stay in touch with your doctor and inform him of any abnormality.

Physical activity:

diabetes exercise

Walk for at least 30mmins a day either a stroll or a brisk walk that shreds off the cholesterol deposits and prevents foot issues that arise randomly in diabetes, swimming, trekking, cycling, low-intensity exercises that create a low impact should be done. Pregnant who exercise regularly are at fewer risks of gestational diabetes than the others. Inactiveness and too much sleep make the body passive.

Insulin dose:

insulin dosage

An insulin medication, pumps or pens as prescribed by the doctor are to be taken regularly, no matter whether diabetes leaves or stays persistent after the pregnancy.

Regular check-ups:

Medical checkup

checking on gestational diabetes during and after pregnancy is necessary as it is unpredictable and even its symptoms are unrecognizable.

Tests to evaluate the functioning of the placenta are to be done regularly. The placenta is the gateway for oxygen to nutrient supply to the fetus from the mother. The hormonal changes may stunt its function. Hence the tests are mandatory.

Blood tests should be done on regular regime after pregnancy to detect any persistent cases of diabetes.

Healthy habits:

Healthy habits

stay away from smoking and alcohol, both of these dreadful habits raises your blood pressure causing risks of heart strokes and blood vessel thickening. It also leads to alarming levels of high blood glucose in the blood.

add extra proteins and nutrients. keep blood pressure and cholesterol healthy, maintain sugar level less than 90 in fasting and more or less than 120 after meals,

Check for the ketone levels:

ketone check

The body, when deprived of insulin, burns the ketone bodies causing acidosis rather than the fats. An eye on ketones should be maintained.

Weight loss:

weight loss

No matter the medications, exercises, and diet your weight should always be balanced. It should satisfy the body mass index needed and the metabolic rate of the body.


The disorder in which the blood glucose levels are high but not yet enough to be a diabetic.

Preventive care for prediabetes can revert the onset of chronic disease easily.

Changes in the lifestyle, working out regularly, shredding out extra weight, cholesterol control, regular visits to the doctor, no smoking and drinking, eating healthy, etc reverts this efficiently. The complications and symptoms of prediabetes include fatigue, lethargy, easy exhaustion, sleeplessness, feet infections, excessive thirst and appetite, blurred vision, delay healing sores, sudden weight gain or loss, yeast infection mostly seen in women, reactive hypoglycemia, sweet tooth for various foods that add weight, hormonal imbalance, and chronic pain in abdomen, kidney and limbs.

Myths about Gestational Diabetes:

Myths about Gestational Diabetes

  • Diabetes is not contagious and your baby is not going to attain diabetes even if you have one during the pregnancy. And yes, there may be complications but they are capable of handling.
  • You need not deprive completely out of carbs if detected with diabetes, you just need to cut down the potions of the carbs in the diet and compensate the others.
  • Diabetes can’t alone be treated by insulin dosage, it needs your disciplined lifestyle and changes.
  • Diabetics need not eat special they just need to alter.
  • A diabetic can be pregnant, cant become a mother is just a myth, a careful medication helps a healthy delivery.
  • Diabetic complications can be reverted, treated and pushed back. They are untreatable is just a misconception.
  • A diabetic can also attend parties, can sport, can travel, can drive too
  • They do not surely lose the eyesight, and need not become crippled.
  • Only overweighed people don’t get diabetes.
  • People without a history of diabetes in their family can also get diabetes.
  • No jobs are excluded from a diabetic.
  • Eating sugar doesn’t cause diabetes.

Also, read about All You Need to Know About Diabetes


gestational diabetes

WebMD – Better information. Better health.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – NIH

American Diabetes Association®

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