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Gestational Diabetes

Overview

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that affects pregnant women. In other words, it can be said that the disease is diagnosed for the first time when a women is pregnant. Statistically, it has been observed that in the U.S., out of every 100 cases of pregnancy, 3-8 cases of the gestational diabetes are common. In U.S., every year 135000 cases of the diabetes are noticed. Diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar level becomes too high. Glucose intolerance during pregnancy and gestational diabetes mellitus are alternative names of the condition.


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Causes

During pregnancy, it happens that those hormones that help in development of placenta block the insulin in mother’s body. This problem is referred as insulin resistance. In some cases it happens that during pregnancy, a mother may need 3 times more insulin for allowing glucose to leave the blood and gets transformed into the energy. However, due to insulin resistance, the insulin does not able to perform its function that eventually results in the condition of gestational diabetes. Other factors like obesity, a family history of type 2 diabetes, etc also results in the diabetes.


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Signs & Symptoms

Normally, pregnant women do not experience any symptoms. And if women experience symptoms, they are mild in nature and do not cause any life-threatening results. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Increased urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections of vagina, bladder, skin
  • Increased thirst
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Prevention

Regular check-ups during pregnancy help in detecting the condition at earlier stages.


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Treatments
Diet control Modern Medicine

The treatment of gestational diabetes basically aims at controlling sugar level in such a manner that fetus should remain healthy. The blood sugar level is controlled through meal and exercise plan.

Eating healthy and balanced diet plays crucial role in treating the gestational diabetes in effective manner. The dietician or doctor will tell you the food items that you should incorporate or avoid in your daily diet. Along with food items, the diet plan will also provide guidelines regarding which food to eat and at what time in how much quantity it should be eaten. The dietician may recommend eating more fiber rich food like fruits, whole grains vegetables, etc. Avoid eating sweets is common recommendation given to women during pregnancy. Physical activity like walking, swimming, etc is recommended as it helps in maintaining blood sugar level. However, it is strictly advised that do not eat or practice any exercise without doctor’s recommendation.

At regular intervals, doctors may prefer conducting ultrasound and non-stress test in order to check the health and size of the fetus. Sometimes, insulin injections are also given to women for controlling the sugar levels.

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