Gestational diabetes is temporary diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It means having a higher blood sugar level than normal blood glucose during pregnancy. Almost 9% of pregnant women suffer from this condition.
It is crucial that those with GD get treatment in time to prevent the baby or mother developing health issues. The main aim of GD treatment is to keep the gestational blood glucose level as close to normal as possible.
GD treatment usually includes scheduled physical activities, special meal plans, and at times glucose testing and medication. It after a week or two of changing diet your blood sugar level is not under control, medication can be prescribed.
When treated in time, the mother will have a lower risk of C-section birth that is common with large babies. It is crucial that a pregnant woman with GD sticks to the treatment plan to have a healthy pregnancy and birth and avoid future poor health for the baby.
Metformin tablets or insulin injections can be used if exercise and diet change does not help lower the blood glucose level. The blood glucose levels may be under control in the beginning but progress with pregnancy forcing one to take the medication.
Occasionally, glibenclamide tablets may be used. If the tablets do not help control blood sugar level then insulin injections are necessary.
Once a pregnant woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, they can be given a testing kit and trained on the schedule and procedure of testing the blood sugar. It is crucial that you test the blood sugar before breakfast and an hour after each meal.
It is imperative that you make changes to your diet to help control blood sugar. A dietician or a diabetes support group is the best way to learn what to eat and how to prepare your meals. You should eat regularly and avoid skipping meals.
Starchy foods like whole wheat products, beans, pulses, and muesli are the best at controlling your blood sugar. At least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day will give you what you need to stay healthy. Keep away from sugary foods and drinks and eat lots of lean protein sources like fish.
Plan and make it a bit to take part in physical activities to help lower your blood glucose. It is important to do only the right and safe exercises when pregnant to avoid injuries and complicating the pregnancy. The safest and easiest exercise is about 150 minutes of walk each week.
Simple indicators like baby’s kick count can help monitor the baby’s activity level. Fetal ultrasound can also help monitor the baby’s development.
With gestational diabetes comes increased visits to the doctor to monitor blood pressure, blood sugar, urine test, weight, and to review your exercises and diet.
Since the postnatal blood glucose may get lower than normal, it is crucial that it be monitored for a few weeks after birth. The exercise regime, healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight are all important to lower the mother’s risk of evolving to diabetes mellitus.
Normally, gestational diabetes disappears after the pregnancy, however, the mother needs to undergo testing for about 6 to 12 weeks after giving birth. Regular testing is also necessary for type 2 diabetes every 2 years in case you plan for another pregnancy or every three years in case no other pregnancy is planned.
Many women who have suffered gestational diabetes proceed to develop type 2 diabetes hence the need for regular testing. They may need to continue the GD treatment after pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes may not be preventable in some women, but it is possible to lower the risk of developing it. It is important that you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and maintain regular exercising in addition to eating healthy.
These will help keep the blood glucose in a healthy range.
Women who undergo hours of regular exercises each week before and during pregnancy have a 70% lower risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Increasing fiber intake by about 10 grams a day has a 26% effect on reducing the risk of developing GD.
These are found in yogurts and fermented foods and have been found to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
The first thing one should be concerned with is maintaining a healthy weight before pregnancy. Being overweight increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes and makes GD treatment more difficult. Having a BMI of more than 30 predisposes you to three times the risk of developing the condition.
Having a high glucose level can expose the baby to an increased blood sugar and cause excessive growth. Losing weight before becoming pregnant will lower the risk of GD as it is not recommended that one loses weight during pregnancy.
Keeping to the right diet goes a long way in preventing many health conditions including gestational diabetes. A diet that does not raise the blood sugar level helps in managing a healthy range of blood glucose.
Avoid processed foods and any food that is poor in calories and increase your portions and frequency of eating vegetable and fruits.
There is no cure for gestational diabetes. Once you develop this condition, the risks of developing type 2 diabetes are increased.
One can, however, lower the risk of developing health complications during and after pregnancy by committing to a healthy lifestyle and diet.
Metformin is very beneficial for treating type 2 and gestational diabetes. It is considered safe for use in pregnancy. The medication does not cross the placenta and has not been associated with an increase in birth complications and defects.
Those already on metformin before pregnancy may be advised to continue with it even after getting pregnant, though the first line GD treatment is insulin.
Bovine insulin and human insulin have a minimal difference in their amino acid sequence. It is just 3 amino acids which make it function a little closer to human insulin hence its preference in the past.