Gestational diabetes is a condition that develops in pregnant women. It is not a permanent condition and usually blood sugar levels will return to normal once the mom has given birth to their baby. Having gestational diabetes does mean the baby is at risk of developing diabetes in the future.
What exactly is gestational diabetes?
Every time food is eaten the digestive system breaks it down into glucose, which is a sugar. Glucose is used as fuel which requires insulin, amongst other things, to be absorbed from your blood. If the body does not produce enough insulin then the glucose is not absorbed and remains in the blood stream.
When pregnant, the body becomes more resistant to insulin so that glucose is available to nourish your baby. The pancreas secretes more glucose when then body needs this. For most mom’s this doesn’t become a problem. There are times though where the pancreas is unable to keep up with the production of insulin, this results in blood sugar levels rising and ultimately gestational diabetes.
Who is at risk?
Roughly 5 to 10 percent of women develop gestational diabetes. Anyone is open to developing the condition but the below factors increase the risk.
- Pregnant woman is 25 or over.
- There is a family history of diabetes
- Overweight woman with a BMI of 30 or higher
- Woman with polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Suffer from glucose intolerance
What are the symptoms?
There often aren’t symptoms of gestational diabetes but if you have any or all of the following you need to contact your healthcare provider;
- Feeling tired
- Have a dry mouth
- Thirsty all the time
- Urinate a lot
- Recurring infections like thrush
- Blurred vision
Can it be treated?
You should be able to get gestational diabetes under control with a healthy eating plan combined with some safe exercise. If this does not get your levels under control then you may need to take medication prescribed by your healthcare provider.
If you are concerned about anything during your pregnancy please contact your health care provider. This post was approved by a health care professional but does not take the place of a diagnosis.
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