How Do You Know If You Have Gestational Diabetes
Your health care provider tests you for gestational diabetes with a prenatal test called a glucose tolerance test. You get the test at 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your provider thinks youre at risk for GDM, you may get the test earlier.
If your glucose screening test comes back positive, you get another test called a glucose tolerance test to see for sure if you have gestational diabetes.
What Is The Treatment For Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Specific treatment for gestational diabetes will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the disease
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Treatment for gestational diabetes focuses on keeping blood glucose levels in the normal range. Treatment may include:
What Causes Diabetes During Pregnancy
Some women have diabetes before they get pregnant. This is called pregestational diabetes. Other women may get a type of diabetes that only happens in pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. Pregnancy can change how a woman’s body uses glucose. This can make diabetes worse, or lead to gestational diabetes.
During pregnancy, an organ called the placenta gives a growing baby nutrients and oxygen. The placenta also makes hormones. In late pregnancy, the hormones estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen can block insulin. When insulin is blocked, its called insulin resistance. Glucose can’t go into the bodys cells. The glucose stays in the blood and makes the blood sugar levels go up.
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Can Gestational Diabetes Go Away During Pregnancy Blood Sugar Support
Diabetes can be a difficult thing to live with. There particularly can be many struggles when a individual is freshly identified, however the primary one is remaining in rejection about it. Some individuals might get fantastic blood sugar control with diet plan and physical fitness just, however then just having glucose inspected when at the doctors visit. Another battle might be the lack of interest, products or care to inspect that glucose a minimum of once a day.
For many people with diabetes, food is the greatest battle. The millions of us who have ever tried a diet plan understand how tough it is to change how we consume. Diabetes is filled with food misconceptions, so most need assist knowing whats true and whats not. Your time and money will be well spent if you choose to get some education from a registered dietitian or a licensed diabetes educator.
No matter how you or a liked one is fighting with diabetes, theres constantly hope in those battles going away or getting better. Were here to assist do simply that! Initially, lets dive a little deeper into the depths of this disease and get a food understanding of what everything suggests.
Can Gestational Diabetes Be Prevented Or Avoided
Gestational diabetes cannot always be prevented or avoided. According to the National Institutes of Health, you may be more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you:
- Are older than 25 while you are pregnant.
- Come from a higher-risk ethnic group, such as Hispanic, Black, Native American, Southeast Asian, or Pacific Islander.
- Have a family history of diabetes.
- Gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds or had a birth defect.
- Have high blood pressure.
- Have too much amniotic fluid.
- Have had an unexplained miscarriage or stillbirth.
- Were overweight before your pregnancy.
- Gain too much weight during your pregnancy.
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome .
There are things you can do to reduce your chances for developing gestational diabetes.
- If you are overweight, try losing weight before you become pregnant.
- Do not use pregnancy as an excuse to eat sugary foods, such as cakes, candy, and ice cream.
- Talk to your doctor about safe exercises you can do while pregnant. Getting even a little exercise each day can do a lot to prevent diabetes.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Although the cause of GDM is not known, there are some theories as to why the condition occurs.
The placenta supplies a growing fetus with nutrients and water, and also produces a variety of hormones to maintain the pregnancy. Some of these hormones can have a blocking effect on insulin. This is called contra-insulin effect, which usually begins about 20 to 24 weeks into the pregnancy.
As the placenta grows, more of these hormones are produced, and the risk of insulin resistance becomes greater. Normally, the pancreas is able to make additional insulin to overcome insulin resistance, but when the production of insulin is not enough to overcome the effect of the placental hormones, gestational diabetes results.
How Do You Manage Gestational Diabetes
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it is important that you are supported and know what to do to manage it. Health professionals such as your doctor, a dietitian, a diabetes nurse educator, or sometimes, a diabetes specialist will help you understand what to do and will support you.
Family also can be a great support. It is important that your family understands gestational diabetes and how it is managed.
Management of gestational diabetes aims to keep blood glucose levels in the recommended range during pregnancy. This can prevent problems during birth and also helps reduce the babys risk of being overweight in childhood and developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Management of gestational diabetes involves:
- monitoring blood glucose levels
- healthy eating. Referral to a dietitian is an important part of management. Often this will be organised for you via your health care team
- regular physical activity
Some women may need insulin injections to help manage their gestational diabetes.
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How Is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Diagnosed
The American Diabetes Association recommends screening for undiagnosed type 2 diabetes at the first prenatal visit in women with diabetes risk factors. In pregnant women not known to have diabetes, GDM testing should be performed at 24 to 28 weeks of gestation.
In addition, women with diagnosed GDM should be screened for persistent diabetes 6 to 12 weeks postpartum. It is also recommended that women with a history of GDM undergo lifelong screening for the development of diabetes or prediabetes at least every three years.
Testing For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes generally develops around week 24-28 of pregnancy. A test is usually done at or around week 28.
Most commonly, an oral glucose tolerance test is used to determine how well your body is able to remove glucose from the blood stream. In this test, pregnant women are given 50 grams of quickly absorbable dextrose in liquid form .
After an hour, blood sugar is tested. Under 140 mg/dL is considered normal. Between 140 and 199 mg/dL would be considered impaired glucose tolerance, which would indicate the need for the 3 hour OGTT. Anything over 200 mg/dL is consider diabetic.
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What’s The Best Way To Manage It
Unless your doctor has restricted exercising, keeping active is important. It keeps you and the baby healthy and it minimizes weight gainwomen who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
Dr. Esakoff also recommends consulting a diabetic nurse educator, dietitian, or doctor to find a way of eating that works for you.
“Controlling gestational diabetes is about finding a correct balance of protein, fats, and carbs,” she explains. “A lot of patients assume if they cut carbs, things will be better, but you do need carbs when you’re pregnant.”
Some women also need medication or insulin injections.
What Are The Complications Of Gestational Diabetes
If your blood sugar levels remain high during your pregnancy, this may lead to pregnancy problems such as a large baby, miscarriage or stillbirth. Having a large baby can lead to complications and injury during the birth, and increase the chances of having intervention in labour such as a caesarean birth. But the baby will not be born with diabetes.
If you have gestational diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure while you are pregnant and a 50% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Your baby is also at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life.
To reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes:
- keep to a healthy weight
- eat a healthy diet
- be physically active
- check your blood glucose levels
You can also call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse for advice and support.
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How Can I Keep Myself Healthy And Prevent Having Diabetes In The Future
There are several lifestyle changes you can make to help your body use insulin better. These changes may help keep you from getting gestational diabetes with your next pregnancy. A healthy lifestyle can also prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes.
Eat Well: Eat healthy well-balanced meals. It is best to eat 3 small- to medium-sized meals, with snacks in between. Be careful about how much you eat at each meal. Use a smaller plate and split a meal when you eat out. Fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables of different colors. Eat 2 to 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy a day. At least half of your grains should be whole grains. Be careful about how much fat you are eating. Drink water or unsweetened drinks instead of sugary drinks like soda and juice, which have lots of sugar and calories.
Stay Active: Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Your goal is to get your heart rate up and to sweat. Find activities you enjoy. Walk, swim, bike, or dance. You can stay motivated by changing what activities you do. Also, find a friend who will exercise with you. Exercising with a friend or in a class will help you keep exercising regularly.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease: Information about gestational diabetes.
United States Department of Agriculture: Information on eating healthy and losing weight.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Women who have gestational diabetes have a high chance of developing type 2 diabetes at some point later in their lives. However, type 2 diabetes can be prevented. The following steps can reduce your risk:
- maintain a healthy eating plan
- maintain a healthy weight for your height
- do regular physical activity
- have regular follow-up blood tests every one to 3 years to check your blood glucose levels, especially if you have further pregnancies.
Talk to your doctor about follow-up blood tests to check for diabetes. The frequency of the tests will depend on your risk for developing diabetes.
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What Changes Should I Make In My Diet
Your doctor or a dietitian can help you plan what to eat. Its important to eat well-balanced meals with plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains. Your doctor will probably suggest that you cut back on foods that have a lot of sugar, such as cakes, cookies and soft drinks. You may need to eat less at each meal, depending on the weight you gain during your pregnancy. Your doctor or a dietitian will talk to you about weight gain during pregnancy, too.
Are There Any Tricks For Pregnant Women Who Are Testing For Diabetes
Field: Its a misconception that you can trick the system. If you take two women who are both thin, and one fasts for 12 hours before the test while the other goes to IHOP and eats the whole left side of the menu, the second woman is going to have a lower value. Thats because theres more circulating insulin. When the glucose comes down, its going to be sucked up in the cells, leaving less to be measured in the blood stream. People should not try to alter the test they are more likely to have an abnormal value.
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Ayurvedas Relation With Gestational Diabetes
Ayurveda calls Diabetes as Madhumeha kshaudrameha. Madhumeha is Excessive urination with honey-like sweet taste.
There is no detailed description or mention of gestational in the Ayurvedic texts. There is a term called Garbha Vriddhi, which means it is a complication of this disease.
With Garbha Vriddhi increases the abdomen size with enhanced perspiration. It makes normal labour a problematic option, especially with high Blood Glucose Levels.
Ayurvedic Medicines for diabetes aids in better management of gestational. Additionally, many simple steps can help you get rid of gestational diabetes.
Problems Of Gestational Diabetes In Pregnancy
Blood sugar that is not well controlled in a woman with gestational diabetes can lead to problems for the pregnant woman and the baby:
An Extra Large Baby
Diabetes that is not well controlled causes the babys blood sugar to be high. The baby is overfed and grows extra large. Besides causing discomfort to the woman during the last few months of pregnancy, an extra large baby can lead to problems during delivery for both the mother and the baby. The mother might need a C-Section to deliver the baby. The baby can be born with nerve damage due to pressure on the shoulder during delivery.
A C-section is an operation to deliver the baby through the mothers belly. A woman who has diabetes that is not well controlled has a higher chance of needing a C-section to deliver the baby. When the baby is delivered by a C-section, it takes longer for the woman to recover from childbirth.
High Blood Pressure
When a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, protein in her urine, and often swelling in fingers and toes that doesnt go away, she might have preeclampsia. It is a serious problem that needs to be watched closely and managed by her doctor. High blood pressure can cause harm to both the woman and her unborn baby. It might lead to the baby being born early and also could cause seizures or a stroke in the woman during labor and delivery. Women with diabetes have high blood pressure more often than women without diabetes.
Low Blood Sugar
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What About The Mother After Baby Is Born
After baby is born and the placenta is delivered, the cause of gestational diabetes has gone. Mothers should be tested for diabetes following birth.
Our post birth testing page explains more details of testing after baby is born and future testing. Post birth testing is important as women that have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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Gestational Diabetes And Your Baby
Gestational diabetes can affect your developing baby in a couple of ways:
- High birth weight Exposure to higher sugar levels from the maternal bloodstream can result in a larger baby and a high birth weight. The baby’s pancreas produces extra insulin in response to the higher glucose, which results in the baby storing extra fat and growing larger. A larger baby can make delivery more complicated for both mother and baby.
- Low blood sugar If your blood sugar has been elevated during the pregnancy, your baby may have low blood sugar, called hypoglycemia, shortly after birth. The extra insulin that your baby produces when your blood sugar is high continues to bring your baby’s blood sugar down for a short time after birth. Without the continued supply of sugar from maternal blood, your baby’s blood sugar level may fall too low.This is temporary, though, and the nurses and doctors caring for your newborn will monitor your baby carefully and treat any episodes of low blood sugar that may occur.
Gestational Diabetes And Wellbeing
Some women can feel vulnerable and anxious when theyre pregnant. And finding out you have gestational diabetes might make these feelings worse.
“Theres a lot of shame and misconceptions attached to being a diabetic. I was really upset and in denial for a while. I was worried about the baby. I was also worried if I would be diabetic in future. I was encouraged by my diabetes team to stay active. I made time to do it for myself, for my mental sanity at this difficult time.” Rei
If youre feeling anxious, talk to your care team and ask for support. This support might come from healthcare professionals, voluntary organisations or other services. You can find out more on the NHS website.
Pregnancy can also cause depression in some women. Symptoms may include not wanting to do anything or see anyone, feeling down for long periods of time, not sleeping well or sleeping too much, overeating or not eating enough and feeling bad about yourself.
During pregnancy, your midwife and care team should ask if youve ever had problems with your mental health and whether youre having any now. Dont be afraid to be open and ask for support. Its a hard thing to do, but asking for help and talking about how youre feeling can be really helpful.
Id really recommend newly diagnosed mums speak to other mums with, or whove had, gestational diabetes, if they can. The moral support really helps. Vicky, a journalist from London
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