Awareness of Gestational Diabetes
You may be aware of Diabetes in general, but awareness of gestational diabetes may also be crucial especially if you are going through the pregnancy period. Well, gestational diabetes is a type of diabetic disorder which is mainly associated with pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is one of the commonly diagnosed diseases that appear at some stage in pregnancy.
If left untreated, it may eventually lead to numerous complications that are harmful both for the mother and the newborn. An important reality to know about gestational diabetes is that it is absolutely curable. To achieve this, one has to be well aware of the causes, symptoms, and remedy of the disease.
The occurrence of Gestational Diabetes among women of different ages is about 4 to 7 per cent, and in some cases, this ratio may rise to 10 percent where higher risk populations are concerned. The proper diagnosis may be carried out during the period of 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. For most women, the symptoms do not appear clearly in the start so we must understand the possible symptoms and causes of Gestational Diabetes.
Important Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
As mentioned earlier, the symptoms can be subtle to notice and needs to be careful during pregnancy. Some important symptoms of Gestational Diabetes are given below:
- Fatigue: A common symptom of Gestational Diabetes can be feeling tired most of the time during pregnancy.
- Increased Hunger: The important symptoms of Gestational Diabetes include an unusual increase in hunger may also indicate the occurrence of Gestational Diabetes. You may neglect it as this also happens during normal pregnancy, but you should visit your doctor for proper diagnosis.
- Increased/Unusual Thirst: You may feel an excess of thirst feeling more than natural or normal level. This may be an indicator of Gestational Diabetes as well.
- Frequent Urination: One of the most common symptoms is the need to urinate more than normal. If you are facing such a symptom, it is better to consult a medical specialist.
- Sugar in Urine: This can be discovered through a test by your doctor. It is also a clear indicator of Gestational Diabetes.
- Blurred Vision: It is a common symptom among other types of diabetes as well. In Gestational Diabetes, this can be an early indicator of the onset. So if you feel any changes in your visual sense, go to the doctor soon.
- Nausea: Apart from being the common symptom of pregnancy, nausea can be a symptom of the onset of Gestational Diabetes as well. So, you should also keep this thing in mind.
- Frequent Infections: Another indicating symptom of Gestational Diabetes can be frequent infections. They can be vaginal, bladder or skin infections.
Apparently, lots of these signs are quite normal at some stage in being pregnant. But, if these gestational diabetes signs appear among 24-28 weeks of gestation duration, medical doctors typically suggest getting a glucose tolerance test, a diagnostic technique used to locate blood glucose ranges and diabetes. If you timely understand Gestational Diabetes, it will prove fruitful in the proper and timely treatment of it.
Some Other Gestational Diabetes Facts
- Implications of sugar in the blood
To better understand the Gestational Diabetes facts and realities you must have an idea of sugars in the body. Sugars are required by the cells of the body and occur within the blood quite naturally when you intake food. Sugars are the basic requirement of body cells and they are produced after we eat any food. The main components or constituents of food are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates along with water as an essential component. While carbohydrates are the main suppliers of sugars in the body and are found in potatoes, bread, beans, and vegetables. Sweets and soft drinks can also be good sources of sugars.
Sugars are like fuel to the body and are crucial for any kind of activity. These are necessary for normal functionalities of body cells and body as a whole. The problem of Gestational Diabetes arises when body cells are unable to maintain a proper level of sugars in the body
The recommended levels for blood sugar throughout pregnancy:
The recommended values given below are as tips and are supported by publications of the Canadian polygenic disorder Association (CDA) dated 2008. But for a comprehensive treatment, you have to follow your immediate doctor. The Canadian Diabetes Association’s information is adequate and is competent enough to be compared with other data available on gestational diabetes facts.
The recommended levels for the majority of women are as follows:
- Proposed levels for fasting: 68.4 to 93.6 mg/dL (3.8 to 5.2 mmol/L)
- Proposed levels after an hour of eating a meal: 99 to 139 mg/dL (5.5 to 7.7 mmol/L)
- Proposed levels after 2 hours of eating meal: 90 to 119 mg/dL (5.0 to 6.6 mmol/L)
- Proposed A1c Levels are 6.0 % or less(The A1c is a type of test which gives the average reading of blood glucose levels during the period of last 3 months and provides the measurement of hemoglobin percentage having glucose attached to them). Hemoglobin is the major constituent of blood and blood contains about 35% of it.
- While Fasting is typically the duration of 8 to 12 hours after eating the dinner and till next morning before breakfast.
Some Treatments for Gestational Diabetes
- Meal Planning
- Regular Exercise
- You must keep a sharp eye on your weight keeping in mind the ideal height and weight ratio (body mass index of 20-25). You must keep your waist below 32 inches. For this, if you have to lose weight, go for it. This will help your body to consume less insulin and lower the causes of insulin resistance. A weight loss of around 8 to 10 percent will largely minimize the risk of type 2 diabetes. You must not cut your meals as a whole, but gradually decreasing the amount of food intake will work best.
- Become a more active person. An active person is less at risk of insulin resistance. Any physical activity will burn the extra calories and hence decrease the consumption of extra insulin.
- Decrease in the amount of refined sugar and eating unrefined foods will work better as well; including fresh fruits, vegetables, and beans. Moreover, find low calorie and lower fat foods you normally eat.
The main purpose of treatments for Gestational Diabetes is to keep the levels of blood glucose normal. There are many strategies involved in these treatments. Enough data has been gathered regarding benefits of treatments for Gestational Diabetes in different countries.
The studies revealed that the majority of pregnant women are treated effectively using dietary programs and lifestyle changes. For this purpose, your doctor must refer you to a specialist in nutrition once he or she makes the proper diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
The normal recommendations for weight gain during normal pregnancy are from 25 to 35 pounds for normal women; 25 to 29 pounds in women who are overweight, and 11 to 20 pounds for obese women. While those suffering from Gestational Diabetes, the maximum recommended weight gain is around 17 pounds according to the experts which are not possible to achieve without proper dietitian guidance.
Meal planning can be the first milestone to achieve during the Treatments for gestational diabetes. The doctor will suggest the diet plan for you and you have to follow the exact footsteps suggested during your pregnancy. A list of foods to eat and to avoid will also be explained to you. Regular blood sugar testing is necessary so you should buy a glucose monitor from a pharmacy. The role of exercise is also a crucial part of the plan. The suggested exercises must also be followed accordingly.
Talking about physical activity, moderate physical exercises are recommended. Modest physical exercises include abrupt walking, gardening, a house walk, and daily chores, and playing with children. The main aim to be achieved is the attainment of about minimum 30 minutes per day with accelerated heart rate. Few studies propose that due to exercises decrease the concentrations of glucose in the blood and it also reduces the number of women with GDM to go for insulin therapy.
Minimizing the Possible Risk of Permanent Type 2 Diabetes In The Future
The chances of getting Type 2 diabetes are higher if you are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes; therefore, special care is needed in this regard. If you have gestational diabetes or you had it in the past, you are more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future, but this is not certain. You have options available to deal with it after your baby is born to minimize the risk of developing it.
After gaining awareness of Gestational diabetes you should also note that it cannot always be prevented; however, as mentioned earlier, obesity is a major factor for developing the disease. The proper and well-maintained lifestyle with good nutritional planning before and during pregnancy can lower your chances of getting Gestational Diabetes.
Please comment below if you have any questions
Garry (Type 1)
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