Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases marked by high blood sugar, and gestational diabetes is one type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Let us talk about Gestational Diabetes Causes and Precautions!
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes. This condition develops in pregnant women when their blood sugar levels get too high. It usually appears during the middle of pregnancy, between 24 and 28 weeks.
Developing gestational diabetes doesn’t mean you already had diabetes before you got pregnant. The condition appears because of the pregnancy. Women with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have their own challenges when it comes to pregnancy.
Causes of Gestational Diabetes:
Gestational diabetes comes from hormonal changes, and the way our bodies convert food into energy.
A hormone called insulin breaks down the glucose from food and delivers it to our cells. Insulin keeps the level of glucose in our blood at a normal level. But if insulin doesn’t work right or we don’t have enough of it, sugar builds up in the blood and leads to diabetes.
During pregnancy, hormones can interfere with the way insulin works. It may not regulate your blood sugar levels like it’s supposed to, which can lead to gestational diabetes.
When levels of insulin are low, or the body cannot effectively use insulin (i.e., insulin resistance), blood glucose levels rise.
Can the risk of gestational diabetes be lower?
The best way to lower the risk for gestational diabetes is to stay healthy and prepare your body for pregnancy.
If you’re overweight, you can take the following steps to prepare for pregnancy:
- Work to improve your diet and eat healthy foods.
- Establish a regular exercise routine.
- Consider weight loss.
If you’ve had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy and you’re planning to become pregnant again, consult with your doctor. They will help you with early screening to identify your risk factors and ensure you have a healthy pregnancy.
How can gestational diabetes be treated?
Women are able to manage gestational diabetes through diet and exercises, which can be very effective at controlling blood sugar levels.
One needs to pay special attention to carbohydrate intake and portion sizes. It’s also important to avoid eating and drinking certain items, including alcohol, processed foods, and starches such as white potatoes and white rice.
Exercises that are safe to perform during pregnancy include:
- weight training
You’ll also need to monitor your blood sugar levels to make sure your glucose isn’t too high.
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