Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes: Diet, Meal Plan and Treatment

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Almost all pregnant women may develop gestational diabetes (also known as Gestational Diabetes Mellitus – GDM). Normally, this type of diabetes develops during the third trimester of pregnancy. It is initiated by changes of hormones in the body during pregnancy.

The placenta (the organ that connects the baby by the umbilical cord to the uterus) of supplying the baby with nutrients and water from the body circulation, produces a number of hormones essential to the pregnant women. Some of these hormones have a blocking effect on insulin.

As the placenta grows larger, more hormones will be produced. As a result, greater blocking effect on insulin. In most women, the pancreas is able to make additional insulin (about three times the normal amount) to overcome this insulin resistance. If there is not enough to overcome the effect of the placenta’s hormones, gestational diabetes resulted.

The main job of insulin is to keep the level of sugar in the bloodstream within a normal range. If the insulin reduces, the level of sugar in your bloodstream increases.

High sugar levels in the bloodstream can be unhealthy for both the mother and baby. If the gestational diabetes is not treated, the baby may be more likely to have problems at birth. For instance, the baby may have a low blood sugar level, jaundice, or weigh much more than normal.

Gestational diabetes can also affect pregnant woman health. For example, if your baby is very large, the pregnant mother may have more difficulties during delivery or, she may need a cesarean section; besides, it may increases the risk of developing Precambrian which the condition could be serious if untreated.

Gestational diabetes usually clears up when the baby is born as the placenta is removed after giving birth. Although it disappears when the baby is born, some women may suffer from diabetes at their later age. Studies have reported that almost 40% of women who have this type of diabetes will go on to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Hence, if the women have gestational diabetes, it is advisable to be screened for Type 2 diabetes on yearly basis. Nevertheless, the pregnant mother has nothing to worry about her delivery or her child, if she can keep the sugar levels under control.

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