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Pregnancy & Diabetes

01 Sep 2021 by Admin
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Gestational diabetes is a condition in which pregnant females, who did not have previously diagnosed diabetes, get high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. It is caused by improper insulin responses, when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar efficiently.

During pregnancy, the placenta -- the organ that feeds and delivers oxygen to your baby -- releases hormones that help your baby grow. Some of these hormones interfere with mother's insulin and prevent it from functioning properly, thus leading to a rise in mother's blood glucose levels.

It's unclear why some women develop gestational diabetes while others do not. Doctors theorize that genetic predisposition, environmental issues (such as obesity prior to pregnancy), and/or behavioral factors (such as diet and exercise habits) may contribute. Although the condition can strike any pregnant woman, there are several risk factors that could increase your chances of developing it. You may be more likely to get this disease if:

  • You were overweight before you got pregnant. Extra weight makes it harder for your body to use insulin.
  • You gain weight very quickly during your pregnancy
  • You have a family history of diabetes (parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes)
  • You had pre-diabetes before pregnancy (blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes)
  • You had gestational diabetes in a past pregnancy
  • You have history of unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth
  • You are over age 25
  • You gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • You have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • You have high blood pressure

Your doctor will recommend lifestyle modifications such as - limiting carbohydrates, increasing fiber intake, having an active routine etc. Most women can get the condition under control quickly and normalize blood sugar levels through healthy lifestyle practices. Treatment for gestational diabetes aims to keep blood glucose levels equal to those of pregnant women who don't have gestational diabetes. If target blood glucose levels cannot be achieved with modified diet and activity, then insulin injections are required. Treatment for gestational diabetes helps reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy and during the birth of your baby. It also lowers the risk of a cesarean section birth that very large babies may require.