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Sunday, July 03 2022

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms, Causes, Risks And Prevention - 3 min read

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Gestational diabetes is referred to as a type of diabetes that manifests during pregnancy. Similar to other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes also affects glucose utilisation in your body. It causes high blood sugar that adversely affects pregnancy and the child’s health.

Where every complication during pregnancy is concerning and should be looked upon properly, there’s a relief in the case of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can be controlled by eating healthy foods, exercising, and taking medications (only if your doctor suggests so). Maintaining blood sugar levels during pregnancy is crucial to prevent your child from being unhealthy or born with any physical disability. Controlling blood sugar levels is also necessary to keep would-be mothers healthy.

If you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your blood sugar level may get back to normal after delivery. But if your blood sugar levels don’t return to normal, you have a higher risk of having type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes symptoms vary from person to person. Some have mild symptoms, while some rarely feel any symptoms.

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms

Gestational diabetes symptoms may vary in intensity from person to person. Some noticeable symptoms of gestational diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • More than usual urge to urinate

Causes of Gestational Diabetes

The blood sugar level of the body is controlled by the functioning of various hormones. Women face hormonal imbalance and changes during pregnancy, making it difficult for hormones to control blood sugar levels.

You are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes if:

  • You are obese
  • Have a history of prediabetes
  • Are physically inactive
  • Have a history of gestational diabetes during a past pregnancy
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Having previously delivered a baby weighing more than 4 kilograms
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are above the age of 25
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When to Consult a Doctor?

If you develop any of the above-mentioned gestational diabetes symptoms during pregnancy, you must consult with the doctor immediately. Symptoms are more likely to develop during the last three months of pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes Pregnancy Complications

If you ignore gestational diabetes, it can highly increase blood sugar levels in your body. High blood sugar levels cause serious health issues for you and your baby, including an increased chance of needing surgery for giving birth (also known as the C section).

If you feel any gestational diabetes, your baby has the following risks:-

  • Excessive weight of the baby during birth means your child has a higher chance of becoming obese. Babies weighing more than 4 kilograms often get stuck in the birth canal, have birth injuries or need C-section.
  • High blood sugar levels also increase the chance of early labour and delivery before the due date. It happens mostly because of the heavy weight of the baby. Babies born before the due date often suffer from respiratory distress syndrome, where they face difficulty breathing.
  • Risks of obesity and type 2 diabetes increase later in life.

How to Prevent Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes can be prevented if the gestational diabetes is detected on time. However, gestational diabetes cannot be prevented. Nonetheless, you can lower the chances of developing gestational diabetes by adopting healthy eating habits and lifestyle, even if you have a history of the disease.

  • Eat diabetes control food regularly like asparagus, avocados, broccoli, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, fatty fish, nuts and eggs, seeds, apple cider vinegar, etc.
  • Exercise regularly. Try to work out at least 30 minutes every day and go for morning walks regularly.
  • Plan pregnancy at a healthy weight. If you want to get pregnant, shed extra fat from your body and lead a healthy pregnancy period.
  • Try to not gain more than the recommended weight. It increases the risk of gestational diabetes.
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Health is wealth, and your health is your responsibility. A healthy, happy pregnancy period is every would-be mother’s wish. The effects of gestational diabetes can be reduced if gestational diabetes symptoms are recognised early on. The best way to avoid this condition is to have diabetes control food and adopt a healthy lifestyle, especially if you are at a higher risk.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

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