Gestational Diabetes 101

Just under 10% of pregnant women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a form of the disease that occurs during pregnancy. Although it’s alarming to think of what could happen if complications occur, regular monitoring of blood sugars, as well as diet and exercise, help prevent the unthinkable of occurring.

After your doctor has diagnosed you with gestational diabetes, you’ll be required to see him or her regularly to ensure that the disease isn’t worsening with time.

Here is what you need to know about gestational diabetes.

The placenta is to blame for the blockage of insulin you’re experiencing.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that converts fats and carbs and uses the sugars that your body makes as a source of energy. When you’re unable to produce insulin on your own, the blood sugars go haywire and can cause irreparable damage to the body. It can negatively affect your blood vessels, nerves, and vital organs.

Gestational diabetes typically occurs in the middle stages of pregnancy.

You’re most likely to develop it during the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. Blood tests administered by your doctor reveal the disease. You’ll then be forced to take your blood sugars regularly with a glucometer to monitor them. Hyperglycemia occurs when the insulin in your body is low or non-existent which causes your blood sugars to skyrocket.

There are risk factors that increase the likelihood of you having gestational diabetes.

You’re at higher risk for the disease if you’re overweight, older, and have a history of gestational diabetes. If your mother or grandmother had diabetes during pregnancy, you, too, could have it. These are things to consider when visiting with your primary care physician. Giving detailed information about your family history and personal experience with gestational diabetes helps the medical professional determine the course of action that is best for you.

You’ll notice some rather significant symptoms with the disease.

If you can’t seem to quench your thirst and need to go to the bathroom frequently, it’s likely due to the gestational diabetes.

Other symptoms include fatigue and sugar present during urine analysis. Your physician will let you know if it is present so that you can do what you can to prevent the disease from worsening.

Ways to treat gestational diabetes range in approach and level of difficulty.

There are many ways to treat gestational diabetes. Among the easiest is through diet and exercise. By eating right and being more physical, you’re able to prevent blood sugar levels from increasing. Eating small meals and snacks throughout the day can prevent your blood sugar from dropping. It also keeps you from bingeing on foods that you shouldn’t eat because you feel like you’re starving.

Don’t Let Gestational Diabetes Progress into Another Type of Diabetes

If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it’s important that you follow your physician’s instructions for diet and exercise. That way, you don’t exacerbate the problem and cause harm to yourself or your unborn child. This form of diabetes usually goes away after birth but could turn into adult onset diabetes if not closely monitored.

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