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Gestational Diabetes: What is it

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women. Like other forms of diabetes, this disease involves a cellular inability to use sugar (glucose) properly.

Gestational diabetes raises blood sugar levels in pregnant women, which may give you uncomfortable symptoms during your pregnancy or pose a threat to your baby’s health.

Gestational Diabetes Definition

Gestational Diabetes Is Defined As High Blood Sugar That Only Develops When A Woman Is Pregnant But Disappears After One Gives Birth.

Gestational diabetes mellitus can occur in either the first half or the second half of pregnancy but is there is a high likelihood of experiencing gestational pregnancy in the second half.

It is a form of diabetes that arises as a result of the body failing to produce sufficient insulin to meet the unique needs during pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone produced by the body that helps to effectively control your blood sugar levels.

Detecting Gestational Diabetes

While gestational diabetes often does not have any major, detectable symptoms, some women with the affliction may experience excessive hunger, excessive thirst and fatigue.

This fatigue may lead to lightheadedness, fainting spells and pins and needles. It also characterizes itself in muscle strains and mild soreness around joints. Another common symptom is frequent urination or yeast infections.

Yeast infections can be oral or cutaneous but most commonly occur in pregnant women on the vagina. It also often leads to redness on the labia (at either side of the vagina).

However, these symptoms aren’t necessarily signs of gestational diabetes, as the latter requires a professional diagnosis.

Complications Involved With Gestational Diabetes

Most women that suffer from Gestational diabetes end up having healthy babies. However, when the gestational diabetes is poorly treated, blood sugar levels can fluctuate drastically and even necessitate having an early, emergency C-section after week 34.

Complications For Your Baby Range From The Following

  • Macrosomia

Macrosomia refers to a baby growing particularly large because of excess insulin production. Very large babies may weigh more than 9 pounds and can be stuck in the birth canal during delivery and sustain birth injuries that could lead to partial paralysis.

  • Respiratory Distress Symptoms

Premature babies are at greater risk of developing RDS, which involves difficulty breathing in infants. Babies born with this ailment may require breathing assistance or to be put “under the lights” until their lungs have fully developed.

  • Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, also referred to as hypoglycemia may be a consequence of elevated insulin levels in babies. At worst, they may lead to seizures, which may cause brain damage. In order to avoid this, babies with low blood sugar levels need to be frequently fed.

  • Type 2 diabetes at a later stage in life

Mothers suffering from gestational diabetes deliver children that may be prone to obesity as well as type 2 diabetes later in life.

  • Death

An advanced, untreated stage of gestational diabetes can cause the infant to have a deadly seizure shortly after death or be stillborn.

Complications For The Mother

  • Pre-eclampsia/High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can lead to paralysis, seizures, strokes and cardiac arrest. It can also lead to miscarriages that can be deadly for both infant and mother.

  • Future diabetes

Women with this affliction are more likely to develop the condition again in future pregnancies. They may also develop 2 diabetes later in their lives.

They would be required to immediately make healthy lifestyle choices that range from improvements in diets and increased exercise to prevent their diabetes from being permanent.

Risk Factors Of Gestational Diabetes

The women at greater risk of experiencing gestational diabetes are either:

  • Older than 25 at the time of the pregnancy
  • Have family members that have suffered from gestational diabetes
  • Already have type 2 diabetes or elevated blood sugar levels
  • Have excessive weight (a BMI of over 30)
  • Aren’t Caucasian (for reasons unknown black, Hispanic, American and Asian women are at greater risk of developing gestational diabetes)

To learn more information please go to the next page to learn more about GD Symptoms>>