The prevalence of Gestational diabetes in India varies between 3.8% to 21% and is an alarming medical complication. Read more to know its effects…
While you may take good care of yourself already, pregnancy is a phase when you need to take the utmost care. Stable and in control blood sugar levels play a key role in the growth and development of the baby and pregnancy outcome. Have you been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), a form of diabetes that appears only during pregnancy? As much as it may seem overwhelming at first, it turns out to be much more common and can impact your pregnancy in more than one ways.
What causes GDM?
During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones leading to a build-up of glucose in the blood. Pancreas usually provides enough insulin to handle the build-up. If it fails to do so then the blood sugar levels rise causing gestational diabetes.
You are at the risk of GDM if you are-
- Obese or living a sedentary lifestyle
- Over the age of 35
- Had a past history of GDM
- Having a family history of diabetes
However, women without the above-mentioned risk factors may also develop GDM. Hence, it is important to devise a plan for managing these risk factors.
It is important to keep an eye on the below symptoms-
- Blurred vision
- Unusual thirst
- Frequent urination
- Sugar in the urine
Complications of GDM on the mother-
- May make delivery more difficult
- Long-term complications- Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Heart disease.
Diabetes at the time of conception increases the baby’s risk for-
- Macrosomia (Excessive birth weight)
- Preterm birth
- Birth defects
- Hyperbilirubinemia(excessive buildup of bilirubin manifesting characteristic jaundice symptoms)
- Hypocalcemia, an electrolyte imbalance indicated by low levels of calcium in the blood.
- Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar)
- Diabetes and obesity in future
Whether you are planning a baby or already pregnant, undergoing a blood sugar level test is a key!
- Blood Sugar test- measuring the levels of blood sugar to identify diabetes.
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)– Post checking for fasting glucose levels, a 75gm sugar solution is ingested and after a waiting period of two hours, the blood sugar levels are checked for again. If levels are found elevated, a three-hour tolerance test may also be recommended.
WHO guidelines on GDM diagnosis;
- Fasting plasma glucose concentration is 95 – 125 mg/dL
- 1-hour plasma glucose levels of 180 mg/dL following a 75 g oral glucose
- 2-hour plasma glucose levels of 153 – 199 mg/dL following a 75 g oral glucose test
The usual window for diagnosis of GDM is between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy but can also be recommended earlier if there is history.
Concerned over GDM after knowing it? Manage it with these interventions
- Prioritize nutrition wisely
- Stay active
- Monitor blood sugar level
- Take medications
“Diabetes during pregnancy- an intruding sweet spot!”