Diabetes during pregnancy, also known as gestational
diabetes, is a condition that is developed by expecting mothers during the term
of their pregnancy. It usually goes away after pregnancy and can be avoided by
taking a few simple steps like regular exercise and practicing certain dietary
Gestational diabetes affects how a woman's body uses
sugar during pregnancy. A lot of hormones come into play when considering a
patient who might have the condition.
There are two classes of gestational diabetes:
Both conditions are manageable, if not treatable. Pregnant women can take steps to ensure that they do not leave any lasting effects in the future.
There are no clearly defined symptoms of gestational
diabetes. Many of the symptoms aren't even noticeable among most patients. Most
women find out about it through regular screening or check-ups. Hence, stay in
touch with your doctor regarding any complications.
Some symptoms that could point to gestational diabetes
Some researchers believe
that having excessive weight before pregnancy is a contributing
factor to an increased risk of gestational diabetes. In these cases, an active
lifestyle may prove beneficial in curbing the condition.
At its core, gestational diabetes is the result of
hormonal changes during pregnancy. These are the ways in which hormones can
lead to the condition:
Certain genetic and health factors come into play when
considering the patients who more susceptible to this condition as compared to
others. They are:
Gestational diabetes usually occurs in the second half
of pregnancy. It is crucial that expecting women consult their doctors
regularly between weeks 24 and 48 to diagnose this condition.
First, patients undergo a non-fasting oral glucose tolerance test, also known as
OGTT. It involves testing blood sugar after consuming the consumption of a
sugary substance. If the blood sugar is excessive, the patient is at a higher
risk of developing blood sugar not only during pregnancy but even in the later
At this point, your doctor
will conduct a fasting OGTT. The procedure for this test is the same as before,
except here, patients do not eat anything beforehand. Your doctor will monitor
the difference in the sugar levels after a few hours.
The best course of action to
take when treating gestational diabetes is managing your blood sugar via a
healthy routine of diet and exercise. Whatever steps you do decide to take,
make sure they are moderate and easy on the body.
Simple exercises like
walking, light jogging, and swimming will help avoid a rise in blood sugar
levels and also keep your body fit and active. The level of exercise has to be
moderate and easy-going. Make sure that your exercise is not very strenuous
since it can cause other adverse effects on pregnancy.
To avoid gestational
diabetes, pregnant women must eat a healthy and balanced diet. Do not make
extreme changes to your diet as that can lead to drastic effects on your body.
Just make sure your diet includes a little bit of all important nutrients and
vitamins. Also, wherever possible, try not to eat excessive sugars and keep
your diet as sugar-free as possible.
Some other steps you can
take to ensure a healthy pregnancy is checking your blood sugar level
regularly. Also, check your urine for ketones, as that could lead to diabetic
Gestational diabetes is something most women come out of
completely. As soon as the delivery is done, there is a visible difference in
the sugar levels of the mother. But if this doesn't happen,Consult a
doctor and try to learn more about the type of diabetes you have
developed and steps you can take to minimize it.
Throughout your pregnancy and even sometime after the
delivery, it is imperative to stay in constant touch with your gynecologist and
get professional help regarding any doubts or issues you might be facing. Be
informed about the conditions you have, whether they are temporary or could
lead to something life-long, and how you can help make it better.
Dr. Astha Dayal
MBBS, MD (Obstetrics & Gynaecology) MRCOG
Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
C K Birla Hospital, Gurugram