Screening For Gestational Diabetes
During your first antenatal appointment at around week 8 to 12 of your pregnancy, your midwife or doctor will ask you some questions to determine whether you’re at an increased risk of gestational diabetes.
If you have 1 or more risk factors for gestational diabetes;you should be offered a screening test.
The screening test is called an oral glucose tolerance test , which takes about 2 hours.
It involves having a;blood test in the morning, when you have not had any food or drink for 8 to 10 hours .;You’re then given a glucose drink.;
After resting for 2 hours, another blood sample is taken;to see how your body is dealing with the glucose.
The OGTT is done when you’re between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant.;If you’ve had gestational diabetes before, you’ll be offered an OGTT earlier in your pregnancy, soon after your booking appointment, then another OGTT at 24 to 28 weeks if the first test is normal.
Find out more about an OGTT.
How Does Gestational Diabetes Affect Me And My Baby
With proper treatment and regular monitoring by your practitioner, gestational diabetes can be managed and is not harmful to you or your baby. But if GDM is not treated, and excessive sugar circulates in a mother’s blood and the baby’s, the potential problems for both mother and baby are serious.
Women who have uncontrolled GDM are at risk for having a too-large baby , making delivery more difficult and C-section more likely. They are also at risk for preeclampsia and stillbirth.
And because gestational diabetes is considered a pregnancy complication, pregnant women who have it may be more likely to be induced, since most doctors won’t let their pregnancies progress past their due dates.
Uncontrolled diabetes could also lead to potential problems for the baby after birth, such as jaundice, breathing difficulties and low blood sugar levels. Later in life, baby may be at an increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
But keep in mind, these potential negative effects don’t apply to moms who follow their doctors’ recommendations to keep their blood sugar under control.
How Do I Know If I Have Gestational Diabetes Theres A Test For That
There arent any symptoms for gestational diabetes. All pregnant women are tested for the disease somewhere between 24-28 weeks. Heres what youll do when you take the gestational diabetes test:
- After one of your routine doctors appointments, youll be asked to visit the clinic laboratory.
- The lab tech will give you a sugary drink and after drinking it youll wait for one hour in the waiting room. This gives your body time to digest the drink so we can see how your body is handling glucose.
- When your hour is up, youll get your blood drawn and your glucose levels will be tested. Your doctor will share your results usually within 1-2 days.
If your glucose levels are high, dont panic. This just means youll need to schedule another appointment at the lab to take a longer glucose test so we can take a closer look. Heres what to expect:
- First, youll need to fast for 12 hours before the test. Dont try to fool the test. Altering your diet in anticipation for the test doesnt work.
- Youll come back to the lab and have your blood drawn once you arrive. Then, youll drink the sugary drink and wait for one hour.
- After that hour, youll get your blood drawn again. Then, youll go back to the waiting room and wait for a second hour. After the second hour, youll get your blood drawn again. Then youll wait for a third hour and get your blood drawn at the end of the third hour.
- Your doctor will share your results usually within 1-2 days.
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Can Diabetes Be Prevented
As yet, there is no known prevention strategy for type 1 diabetes; but type 2 can sometimes be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices.
If you have a family history of type 1 diabetes, if you notice symptoms of diabetes in your toddler or if your child has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you can prevent complications by:
Helping your little one maintain good blood sugar levels as much as possible
Encouraging your toddler to get active
Scheduling regular visits with your childâs diabetes care team.
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by making appropriate lifestyle choices, so encourage healthy habits in your toddler from an early age by:
Providing healthy meals and snacks. Make sure your child eats a healthy, balanced diet, focusing on fruit, vegetables, lean sources of protein and dairy and whole grains, and avoiding giving sugary sweets and drinks, high calorie treats and food high in fat.
Keeping your toddler physically active. Try to make sure your little gets at least 60 minutes of exercise a day â make it fun and maybe even do it together. Staying fit and active together can have great health benefits for you too!
- How do you know if your child has diabetes?
There is no single sign of diabetes in children, but symptoms can include
- increased thirst
Who’s At Risk Of Gestational Diabetes
Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but you’re at an increased risk if:
- your;body mass index is above 30 use the healthy weight calculator to work out your BMI
- you previously had a baby who weighed 4.5kg or more at birth
- you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
- 1 of your parents or siblings has diabetes
- you are of south Asian, Black, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern origin
If any of these apply to you, you should be offered;screening for gestational diabetes;during your pregnancy.
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Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors
You may be at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes if you:
- Are overweight or obese
- Were previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes, depression, or polycystic ovary syndrome
- You gave birth to a baby that weighed nine or more pounds.
;If you are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Latino, or Asian, you are at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. The risk factors for prediabetes are the same as the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.;
Food List For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes, just like any other diabetics patient needs to follow a strict diet pattern in order to control the symptoms. The specific diet for gestational diabetic patient needs to plan considering the weight of the woman, height of the woman, a physical activity the woman engages into, personal food preferences, and the needs of the growing baby within the woman. The diet is also planned based on the levels of glucose intolerance according to OGTT. Some of the general diet and dietary habits prescribed for gestational diabetes include
- Eating a variety of foods throughout the day such that carbohydrates and calories are consumed at different intervals of time throughout the day. Consuming moderately sized meals and two to four snacks at regular intervals is advisable.
- Consumption of carbohydrates should be less as compared to normal diet and combining complex carbohydrates which contain high fiber with lean protein will help in better control of blood sugar levels while giving the energy to sustain.
- Skipping meals is not advised as this might hamper the blood sugar levels in the body. Especially breakfast should not be neglected at any cost.
- High fiber foods , whole grain cereal products , and lean protein are advised since they are broken down easily by the body and thus maintain a healthy sugar level in the body.
- Limiting the intake of sugars , at times even milk, yogurt, fast food like pasta, cookies, breads, and pastries
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What Complications Are Associated With Gestational Diabetes
If your gestational diabetes is poorly managed, your blood sugar levels may remain higher than they should be throughout your pregnancy. This can lead to complications and affect the health of your child. For example, when your baby is born, he or she may have:
- a high birth weight
- low blood sugar
- shoulder dystocia, which causes their shoulders to get stuck in the birth canal during labor
They may also be at higher risk of developing diabetes later in life. Thats why its so important to take steps to manage your gestational diabetes by following your doctors recommended treatment plan.
Warning Signs Of Diabetes
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers diabetes as a chronic health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy.
- The three main types of diabetes include gestational diabetes , type 1, and type 2 diabetes.
- There are different signs and symptoms of diabetes and knowing about them helps you detect diabetes early and manage it better.
Diabetes is a condition characterized by high levels of blood sugar. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , it is a chronic disease that affects how you choose your diet because it has something to do with how the body converts food into energy.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for 90% of all cases, followed by type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is common among adults while Type 1 diabetes occurs mostly in children and adolescents and gestational diabetes is experienced during pregnancy.
Below are some of the warning signs of diabetes. Know more about them and ensure early diabetes detection.
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Can Eating Too Much Sugar Cause Gestational Diabetes
This is a common misunderstanding about gestational diabetes. Eating sugary foods, like candies or soda drinks, doesnt increase your risk for developing gestational diabetes. However, eating too much sugar does cause weight gain, and obesity increases your chance of developing gestational diabetes.
What Are The Home Remedies For Gestational Diabetes
Some of the home remedies to manage the diabetes are as follows :
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How Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed
Youve probably noticed by now that your doctor asks for a urine sample at every office visit. Thats in part to check for sugar in your urine, which can be a sign of gestational diabetes .
In addition, the U.S. government now recommends that all pregnant women be screened specifically for gestational diabetes. Between week 24 and 28 of pregnancy, your practitioner will give you a glucose screening test, where you’ll drink a sugary liquid and have your blood drawn an hour later.
If your bloodwork picks up high sugar levels, your doctor will have you take a three-hour glucose tolerance test to determine whether you have gestational diabetes.
Warning Signs Of Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy
The warning signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes during pregnancy are important to be followed and understood so that necessary precautions and measures can be taken timely. Some of the warning signs of gestational diabetes during pregnancy include
- Increasing and frequent feeling of thirstiness
- A frequent tendency of urination and resulting increase in the frequency of urination
- Dryness of the mouth usually due to the frequent thirstiness
- Constant feeling of fatigue and tiredness
- Frequent vaginal, skin, or bladder infection
- Sugar in urine which can be only detected after a thorough test and check-up
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Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes Onset In An Infant Or Child
The young child who is urinating frequently, drinking large quantities, losing weight, and becoming more and more tired and ill is the classic picture of a child with new-onset type 1 diabetes. If a child who is potty-trained and dry at night starts having accidents and wetting the bed again, diabetes might be the culprit.
Although it is easy to make the diagnosis diabetes in a child by checking blood sugar at the doctors office or emergency room, the tricky part is recognizing the symptoms and knowing to take the child to get checked. Raising the awareness that young children, including infants, can get type 1 diabetes can help parents know when to check for type 1 diabetes.
Sometimes children can be in diabetic ketoacidosis when they are diagnosed with diabetes. When there is a lack of insulin in the body, the body can build up high levels of an acid called ketones. DKA is a medical emergency that usually requires hospitalization and immediate care with insulin and IV fluids. After diagnosis and early in treatment, some children may go through a phase where they seem to be making enough insulin again. This is commonly called the honeymoon phase. It may seem like diabetes has been cured, but over time they will require appropriate doses of insulin to keep their blood sugar levels in the normal range.
What Types Of Diabetes Are There
There are two main types of diabetes that could affect your child: type 1 diabetes and type 2. A third type â gestational diabetes â only affects mums-to-be during pregnancy, but this could also affect your newborn babyâs health and wellbeing if it goes untreated.
So what is the difference between the different types of diabetes?
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Favorite App For Gestational Diabetes
This app acts as a reliable companion to aid management of gestational diabetes. It can help you analyze dips and rises in your blood sugar readings, offers education about blood sugar management, and facilitates connecting you virtually with a certified diabetes care and education specialist. MySugr is free on Android and iOS with in-app purchases available.
For more of our favorite diabetes apps, check out our list.
Can Gestational Diabetes Be Prevented
You can reduce your chance of developing gestational diabetes by:
- Maintaining a healthy weight before you get pregnant
- Eating a balanced diet, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood and lean meats
Following a regular exercise schedule will also reduce your risk.
Talk to your doctor if youre not sure about which exercise regimen would be best for you.
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How Is Gestational Diabetes Managed After Pregnancy
Research has shown that women with gestational diabetes have a 3 to 7 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within five to 10 years which is why its so important to make those healthy habits routine during pregnancy and keep a check on your health even after your pregnancy is over.
Here are a few ways to stay healthy after baby is born:
What Are The Symptoms And Complications Of Diabetes Seen In Pregnancy
Diabetes during pregnancy can be a risk to the mother as well as the fetus, if uncontrolled. Hence, it is necessary to control and monitor the blood sugar level during pregnancy.
The common symptoms seen in gestational diabetes are:
- Increased thirst
The complications of gestational diabetes are:
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Extremely Dry Mouth And Constant Thirst
Having an alarmingly dry mouth during the day is a glaring symptom of gestational diabetes.
As a result you may be inclined to drink exorbitant amounts of water each day, upwards of 5 litres or more. This habit feeds back into the excessive urination cycle The more you drink, the more you pee.
Why does this happen?;This is the bodys natural response to increased fluid loss. Excessive urination leaves us extremely dry and thirsty.
Easy To Follow Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan:
During pregnancy, if you develop gestational diabetes you should follow a healthy balanced diet plan to get all the nutrients your body needs.
Generally, you should eat:
- Plenty of whole fruits and vegetables
- A moderate amount of lean proteins and fats
- A moderate amount of whole grains, such as bread, cereal, pasta, and rice.
- Limit the foods that have lots of sugar e.g. soft drinks, fruit juices, and pastries.
- Cut off the processed foods and junk foods.
Eat small-sized three meals and one or more snacks in a day.
Besides, you should not stay hungry for a long time. Try not to skip your meals.
Try not to fluctuate the amount and type of food every day.
This can help you to keep your blood sugar stable.
Now we will briefly look for a meal plan you should follow if you have gestational diabetes:
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Duration Of Gestational Diabetes
Diabetes that appears during pregnancy typically goes away right after delivery, but that is not always the case.
For true gestational diabetes it should resolve immediately after birth, since the insulin resistance is driven by the metabolic and hormonal changes in pregnancy, says Emily Fay, MD, a maternal-fetal-medicine specialist at UW Medicine, who helps run the Diabetes in Pregnancy Program there. However, sometimes when we diagnose a woman with gestational diabetes in pregnancy, it is actually that she has pre-gestational diabetes that we diagnosed during pregnancy.
Pre-gestational diabetes is any diabetes arising prior to pregnancy, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as other more rare types of diabetes like medication-induced diabetes or Cystic Fibrosis-related diabetes. Pre-gestational diabetes will not resolve after delivery.
The way to tell whether the patient had gestational diabetes or pre-gestational diabetes, Dr. Fay explains, is by doing a glucose test at the postpartum visit. This allows your doctor to screen for pre-gestational diabetes and insulin resistance.
If you have pre-gestational diabetes that was diagnosed during pregnancy, your doctor will discuss a treatment plan with you. This may include diet and lifestyle modifications, and use of insulin or oral medications.