Pregnant women with gestational diabetes
Diabetes is a disease where food is improoerly uses in our body. Its gets main energy source from glucose or from a breakdown of complex carbohydrates such as starches. when sugar and starches are digested, they enter the blood stream in the form of glucose. Insulin assists the body in getting the glucose from the blood stream to the muscles and other body tissues. The pancreas is where insulin is manufactured. So without insulin glucose cannot get into the body cells. Instead, glucose accumulates in the blood and is excreted into the urine through the kidneys.
Women with gestational diabetes have plenty of insulin. The problem is that the insulin is partly blocked by hormones made in the placenta. This is called insulin resistance. In women without gestational diabetes
, the pancreas makes enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance. But when the pancreas makes all the insulin it can and it still cannot overcome the effect of the placenta's hormones, that woman has gestational diabetes.
Preventing complications is control of blood sugar levels immediately after the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. A comforting fact is that gestational diabetes does not cause birth defects. But many babies are born much larger than average. The baby can grow too large for a vaginal birth and a cesarean section delivery is necessary. In some cases, the baby is born with hypoglycemia. In this case, the baby will be given glucose intravenously. These two examples are manageable and preventable. The key is careful control of blood sugar levels in the mother immediately after the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. An important component in caring for gestational diabetes is a strict diet.
Diagnosed of gestational diabetes
During the 24th week of pregnancy gestational diabetes
is always diagnosed
This is when insulin resistance started. Informed your doctor if you have gestational diabetes before as the doctor can performed the test during pregnancy.
The doctor usually will ask you to get regular blood tests to check your blood sugar level. After the blood test, we will know that a normal blood sugar level is less than 105 mg per dL. This happen when you haven't eaten for a number of hours before the test (fasting) and less than 120 mg per dL 2 hours after a meal. These blood tests will let your doctor know if your diet and exercise are keeping your blood sugar level normal. If your blood sugar level is regularly higher than these levels, your doctor will ask you to start taking insulin to help lower blood sugar level.
gestational diabetes : Risk for babies born to mothers with Gestational Diabetes
Risk for babies born to mothers with Gestational Diabetes
macrosomia (large, fat baby)
shoulder dystocia (birth trauma)
neonatal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar in the newborn)
prolonged newborn jaundice
low blood calcium
respiratory distress syndrome
How to Prevent Gestational Diabetes?
Adult-onset diabetes can be prevented through healthy eating and regular exercise. 85% of people with diabetes have adult-onset diabetes. It usually occurs in people over 40 years of age, especially those who are overweight. You can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetes by maintaining a healthy body weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating well.
How Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed? Gestational diabetes
is usually diagnosed between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy when insulin resistance usually begins. If you have had gestational diabetes before, or if your doctor is concerned about your risk of developing gestational diabetes, the test may be performed before the 13th week of pregnancy.
Cure for Gestational Diabetes?
A cure for Diabetes has not been found yet. However, it can be controlled. Ways to control diabetes are: maintaining blood glucose levels, blood fat levels and weight. Controlling diabetes is very important and should be supervised by a medical doctor. When diabetes is controlled, it will help prevent serious complications such as: infections, kidney damage, eye damage, nerve damage to feet and heart disease.
©2000 - 2006 MamasHealth.com
gestational diabetes : Risk for Developing Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes (also called glucose intolerance of pregnancy) is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. It affects two to four per cent of all pregnancies and involves an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child.
Gestational diabetes means diabetes mellitus (high blood sugar) first found during pregnancy. In most cases, gestational diabetes is managed by diet and exercise and goes away after the baby is born.
Risk for Developing Gestational Diabetes
A family history of diabetes in parents or brothers and sisters.
Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.
The presence of a birth defect in a previous pregnancy.
Obesity in the woman, BMI greater than 29.
Older maternal age (over the age of 30).
Previous stillbirth or spontaneous miscarriage.
A previous delivery of a large baby (greater than 9 pounds).
A history of pregnancy induced high blood pressure, urinary tract infections, hydramnios (extra amniotic fluid), etc.
Women of Hispanic, First Nations, or of African-American decent.
©2000 - 2006 MamasHealth.com
gestational diabetes : What tests will I need to have during my pregnancy?
Your doctor will ask you to have regular blood tests to check your blood sugar level. These tests will let your doctor know if your diet and exercise are keeping your blood sugar level normal. A normal blood sugar level is less than 105 mg per dL when you haven't eaten for a number of hours before the test (fasting) and less than 120 mg per dL 2 hours after a meal. If your blood sugar level is regularly higher than these levels, your doctor may ask you to begin taking a medicine called insulin to help lower it.
You may be asked to see a specialist if you have to start taking insulin.
What happens after my baby is born?
You may not need to have blood tests to check your blood sugar while you're in the hospital after your baby is born. However, it may be several weeks after your baby's birth before your gestational diabetes goes away. To make sure it has gone away, your doctor will ask you to have a special blood test one or two months after you have your baby.
Even if the gestational diabetes
goes away after the baby's birth, it makes you have a higher risk for diabetes in your next pregnancy and later in life. That is why it is important that you continue to exercise, watch your weight and eat a healthy diet. If you do these things, you may not get diabetes when you're older.
Copyright © 2000-2006 American Academy of Family Physicians
Gestational Diabetes: What it Means for Me and My Baby
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that starts during pregnancy. If you have diabetes, your body isn't able to use the sugar (glucose) in your blood as well as it should, so the level of sugar in your blood becomes higher than normal.
Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women. It usually begins in the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy (between the 24th and 28th weeks). Most often, gestational diabetes goes away after the baby is born.
How can gestational diabetes
affect me and my baby?
High sugar levels in your blood can be unhealthy for both you and your baby. If the diabetes isn't treated, your baby may be more likely to have problems at birth. For example, your baby may have a low blood sugar level or jaundice, or your baby may weigh much more than is normal. Gestational diabetes can also affect your health. For instance, if your baby is very large, you may have a more difficult delivery or need a cesarean section.
What can I do if I have gestational diabetes?
You will need to follow a diet suggested by your doctor, exercise regularly and have blood tests to check your blood sugar level. You may also need to take medicine to control your blood sugar level.
What changes should I make in my diet?
Your doctor may ask you to change some of the foods you eat. You may be asked to see a registered dietitian to help you plan your meals. You should avoid eating foods that contain a lot of simple sugar, such as cake, cookies, candy or ice cream. Instead, eat foods that contain natural sugars, like fruits.
If you get hungry between meals, eat foods that are healthy for you, such as raisins, carrot sticks, or a piece of fruit. Whole grain pasta, breads, rice and fruit are good for both you and your baby.
It's also important to eat well-balanced meals. You may need to eat less at each meal, depending on how much weight you gain during your pregnancy. Your doctor or dietitian will talk to you about this.
Why is exercise important?
Your doctor will suggest that you exercise regularly at a level that is safe for you and the baby. Exercise will help keep your blood sugar level normal, and it can also make you feel better. Walking is usually the easiest type of exercise when you are pregnant, but swimming or other exercises you enjoy work just as well. Ask your doctor to recommend some activities that would be safe for you.
If you're not used to exercising, begin by exercising for 5 or 10 minutes every day. As you get stronger, you can increase your exercise time to 30 minutes or more per session. The longer you exercise and the more often you exercise, the better the control of your blood sugar will be.
You do need to be careful about how you exercise. Don't exercise too hard or get too hot while you are exercising. Ask your doctor what would be safe for you. Depending on your age, your pulse shouldn't go higher than 140 to 160 beats per minute during exercise. If you become dizzy, or have back pain or other pain while exercising, stop exercising immediately, and call your doctor. If you have uterine contractions (labor pains, like stomach cramps) or vaginal bleeding, or your water breaks, call your doctor right away.
Copyright © 2000-2006 American Academy of Family Physicians
gestational diabetes : Expectations (prognosis)
There is a slight increased risk of the fetus or newborn dying when the mother has gestational diabetes, but this risk is lowered with effective treatment and careful watching of the mother and fetus. High blood glucose levels often go back to normal after delivery. However, women with gestational diabetes should be watched closely after giving birth and at regular intervals to detect diabetes early.
Up to 40% of women with gestational diabetes
develop full-blown diabetes within 5-10 years after delivery. The risk may be increased in obese women.
Low blood glucose or illness in the newborn
Increased incidence of newborn deaths
Development of diabetes later in life
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you are pregnant and symptoms of glucose intolerance develop.
An awareness of risk factors and prenatal screening at 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy will lead to early detection of gestational diabetes.
copyright U.S. National Library of Medicine
gestational diabetes : Treatment
Treatment of gestational diabetes
The goals of treatment are to maintain blood glucose levels within normal limits during the duration of the pregnancy, and ensure the well-being of the fetus.
Close monitoring of the mother and the fetus should continue throughout the pregnancy. Self-monitoring of blood glucose levels allows the woman to participate in her care. Fetal monitoring to assess the fetal size and well-being may include ultrasound exams and non-stress tests.
A non-stress test is a very simple painless test for you and your baby. An electronic fetal monitor (a machine that hears and displays your baby's heartbeat) is placed on your abdomen. When the baby moves, its heart rate normally increases 15 to 20 beats above its regular rate.
Your health care provider can look at the pattern of your baby's heartbeat in relationship to its movements and determine whether the baby is doing well. Your health care provider will look for three accelerations of 15 beats per minute over the baby's normal heart rate, occurring within a 20 minute period.
Dietary management provides adequate calories and nutrients required for pregnancy and to control blood glucose levels.
If dietary management does not control blood glucose levels within the recommended range, insulin therapy should be initiated. Self-monitoring of blood glucose is required for effective treatment with insulin.
copyright U.S. National Library of Medicine
gestational diabetes : Definition
is a carbohydrate intolerance of variable severity that starts or is first recognized during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed during the 24th to 28th weeks of pregnancy. In many cases, the blood glucose level returns to normal after delivery.
It is recommended that all pregnant women be screened for gestational diabetes during the 24th and 28th weeks of their pregnancy. The symptoms are usually mild and not life-threatening to the pregnant woman.
However, the increased maternal glucose (blood sugar) levels are associated with an increased rate of complications in the baby, including large size at birth, birth trauma, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and jaundice. Rarely, the fetus dies in the womb late in the pregnancy.
Maintaining control of blood sugar levels significantly reduces the risk to the baby. The risk factors for gestational diabetes are being older when pregnant, African or Hispanic ancestry, obesity, gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, having a previous baby weighing over 9 pounds, an unexplained death in a previous fetus or newborn, a congenital malformation (birth defect) in a previous child, and recurrent infections
Weight loss in spite of increased appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Frequent infections including those of the bladder, vagina, and skin
Note: Usually there are no symptoms.
copyright U.S. National Library of Medicine,