Different types of diabetes vary from the way they occur, treatment, and even control. Unlike the other types, gestational diabetes can only be diagnosed women only, pregnant women to be precise. These women develop this form of diabetes while having a pregnancy. In most cases, gestational diabetes is noticed in the middle of the pregnancy.
Just like any other type of diabetes, gestational diabetes causes high sugar levels, which affect the health of the mother and may also affect the baby. The sugar levels, however, come back to normal as soon as the mother delivers the child.
How Gestational diabetes develops
During pregnancy, the placenta produces a lot of hormones. The functioning of these hormones impairs insulin’s effect on the cells, which in turn leads to high sugar levels. More of these hormones are produced as the pregnancy grows to make the sugar levels to rise. This happens mostly on the 26th to 28th week of the pregnancy.
The cause of gestational diabetes is yet to be known. However, there are some risk factors that are associated with it. These are;
- Old age- according to research, pregnant women who are 35 years and above tend to develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancies.
- Excess weight- women who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above are more likely to develop this type of diabetes.
- Health history- women who have pre-diabetes are more likely to develop gestational diabetes. Also, if a close family member has type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is not easy to be noticed until the second half of the pregnancy. Some of the symptoms that may be detected are;
- Sugar in urine: a lab test can only diagnose this
- Frequent urination
- Virginal, bladder and skin infections
- Too much thirst
All pregnant women should, however, be tested for gestational diabetes to avoid future complication and harming the baby.
- Healthy eating
The primary control measure for mothers with gestational diabetes is controlling sugar levels. Mothers are advised to eat healthy foods that will not increase their sugar levels. Their daily meals should be like that of any diabetic person.
- Constant exercise
Exercising regularly helps the body to keep the sugar levels in check. However, one should first consult their doctor on the type of activities to indulge in. Exercising for 30 minutes daily in 5 days a week will do.
- Regular monitoring of blood sugar
Blood sugars tend to spike during pregnancies due to the changes that occur in the body. Pregnant mothers should check their blood sugars regularly as prescribed by the doctor.