Gestational Diabetes: Symptoms & Treatment
Though common, gestational diabetes can be a scary diagnosis, especially when you do not exactly know what it is. Read on to know everything about it.
Pregnancy is a beautiful phase in every woman’s life. However, it is also a period where one must be extremely careful of their health conditions. During those nine months, women can develop certain medical conditions which go away after they give birth.
Gestational diabetes is one such condition which develops during pregnancy. This leads to an increase in blood sugar levels and could lead to various other health complications.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is the first-time occurrence of diabetes during pregnancy. It is the onset of elevated glucose during that period. Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes also affects how your cells utilise glucose.
Gestational diabetes is generally a temporary condition that develops during pregnancy and goes away after birth as the glucose level returns to normal. However, it can affect your baby’s health and raises your risk of getting type 2 diabetes later in life. That is why it is crucial to take active steps and get it treated properly.
Signs and Symptoms
In most cases, gestational diabetes does not cause any noticeable symptoms unless your blood sugar is very high. Also, a few symptoms of diabetes can overlap with the symptoms of pregnancy. Most women are diagnosed with it during a routine screening.
Routine screening for gestational diabetes is typically done between 24 to 26 weeks for all pregnant ladies by a Glucose challenge test or oral glucose tolerance test. This screening can be done at the first antenatal visit if any additional risk factors such as obesity, GDM in previous pregnancy etc, are present.
If you have gestational diabetes, you may notice:
– Feeling hungrier and/or thirster than usual
– Frequent urination
– Feeling nauseous
– Extreme tiredness
Treatment of Gestational Diabetes
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will need treatment as soon as possible. Early detection and timely treatment are crucial to keeping you and your baby healthy during pregnancy and delivery.
Discipline is the key to successful outcome in GDM. You will be advised diabetic diet which needs to be strictly followed. Post meal 10-15minutes walk is found to be very helpful. Self-monitoring of blood glucose with a glucometer can help keep a check on your blood sugar control. In case the fasting and pre meal values exceed 95 or 2hour post meals exceed 120 then Insulin or oral hypoglycemic medicine may be required.
Strict watch of fetal movements and more frequent antenatal visits may also be necessary. The timing of the delivery needs to be decided based on maternal blood sugar control and test done for fetal well-being. Safe delivery can be achieved by good antenatal care and compliance.