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Control Gestational Diabetes and Have a Healthy Baby

Diabetes is the condition of having excessive amounts of sugar in the blood. Gestational diabetes is the kind of diabetes which occurs to a woman during pregnancy. Appropriate exercise and proper diet, along with medication, can help to cure the gestational diabetes. The development of this kind of diabetes takes place after trimester and is cured after the baby’s birth.


There are often situations with no symptoms shown in cases of gestational diabetes and the disease is detected usually at the time of routine screening. On occasions, some symptoms may develop such as blurred vision, recurrent infections like thrush, tiresomeness, frequent urination, dry mouth, and thirst.


At the time of pregnancy, a number of chemicals or hormones, such as the human placental lactogen, progesterone, and oestrogen are produced by the body. These hormones hinder the insulin from taking the excess glucose from the blood and this increases the level of sugar in the blood of the mother carrying child. The effect of this hormone consists in allowing the nutrients and extra glucose in blood to pass into the foetus that helps it to grow. Some women, however, at the time of pregnancy, fail to produce the required amount of insulin to cope with increased level of glucose.

The risks for having gestational diabetes increased when the body mass index exceeds 30, when the woman has already had a baby weighing 4.5 kg or more, when the woman had gestational diabetes in her previous pregnancy, or when the woman has a diabetic family history.

Detection and diagnosis

Gestational diabetes is tested or detected using OGTT, or oral glucose tolerance test. The test is performed at twenty four to twenty eight weeks. For the test, a sample of the blood of the mother is tested following which she is offered glucose drink. After two hours a second sample of blood is taken for testing how the body is reacting to the glucose. In case the woman has already had gestational diabetes in the previous pregnancy, the Oral glucose test is performed at 10th – 18th week. If the results are normal, the test is performed again at 28th week.


If detected with gestational diabetes, the woman shall have to continually monitor the blood glucose levels. Appropriate diet is advised by the doctor for controlling gestational diabetes. Eating starchy carbohydrates that have low Glycaemic Index helps keeping the blood sugar level in a stable condition. Pasta, grainy bread, easy cook rice, oats, and natural muesli helps in maintaining fitness during pregnancy and do not cause the blood glucose level to accelerate.

Plenty of vegetables and fruits offer vitamins to the mother and also to the foetus. The medicines prescribed by the doctor that include metformin, glibenclamide and insulin keep the blood glucose at lower levels. Apart from this, the doctor advises certain physical exercises to ensure a healthy mother and a healthy baby.

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About Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy in Brief

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed in about 10% to 2% of pregnant women and is considered a health issue of pregnancy. There can be various causes for the increase in the level of glucose in blood. This can be due to inadequate secretion of insulin in the body or due to poor response of cells to insulin. Insulin helps glucose reach into bloodstream.

What Causes Gestational Diabetes?

The food that people eat is broken down to glucose in the human body. That is, the energy that the body gains due to food reaches to every cell in the form of glucose. Cells burn the glucose in the body in order to generate energy. Blood is the carrier of nutrients to all parts of the body. However, the glucose that is produced as result of breaking down of food particles reaches into the bloodstream with the help of insulin. This signifies the importance of adequate secretion of insulin in the human body.

Gestational Diabetes

Inadequacy of insulin in the body means insufficient absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Since glucose is the fuel to cells of body, its insufficiency may or may not result into various health issues. However, the glucose that is left to be absorbed remains in the bloodstream and thus, the blood-sugar level rises.

Another major reason for gestational diabetes is poor response of cells towards insulin. In this case, insulin is sufficiently present in the body and works properly but the receptors in cells do not respond properly. Either ways, the level of glucose in the blood increases, which is called diabetes after a certain extent. This can be considered as an elementary explanation of diabetes.

Partial effects of both the causes are involved in Gestational diabetes. Its frequent occurrence in pregnant women may be due to hormonal changes that the body goes through during various stages of pregnancy.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

Almost every pregnant woman goes through glucose-screening test between 24th and 28th week of her pregnancy. This is necessary to diagnose Gestational diabetes since it has no symptoms. However, presence of sugar in urine and other symptoms are indications of higher risk of diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes Care

Gestational diabetes, under normal circumstances, improves or disappears after delivery of the baby. However, women affected by it might be more prone to other types of diabetes in later years of their lives. Through appropriate guidance and care, the risk can still be reduced or avoided. On the other side, appropriate diet, exercise and proper medication are required to deal gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Consultation with a registered dietician is the best way to ensure healthy and planned food during pregnancy. Chances of increase in diabetic conditions are reduced with appropriately balanced diet. Exercises that are acceptable during pregnancy can assist in glucose processing. Lastly, importance of medication as prescribed by the physician does not have to be signified.

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