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Gestational Diabetes - How It Can Be Treated?

Dr. Sanjay Agrawal 87% (681 ratings)
MD - Diabetology, MBBS
Diabetologist, Surat  •  22 years experience
Gestational Diabetes - How It Can Be Treated?

Women tend to develop high levels of blood sugar during their pregnancy (especially within the 24th and 28th weeks), irrespective of whether they already had suffered from diabetes prior to their pregnancy. However, gestational diabetes, if not taken proper care of, might escalate the risks of developing diabetes in the near future for both the mother and the child, accompanied by complications in pregnancy or labor. Gestational diabetes is usually characterized by mild symptoms such as excessive urge to urinate, excessive thirst, blurred vision and fatigue.

Causes:
Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, allows for the utilization of the glucose for energy. The food consumed is broken down by the digestive tract of the body, converting carbohydrates into glucose before releasing it into the bloodstream. The glucose is then absorbed by the cells to be used as an energy source. Now, at the time of pregnancy, the placenta (organ nourishing the fetus) connecting the baby to the blood supply also produces various other hormones in high levels, for instance, estrogen and human placental lactogen. Most of these hinder the normal functioning of insulin in the cells, hence raising the blood sugar count. With subsequent growth of the baby, the placenta keeps on producing more amounts of such insulin resistant hormones to an extent that they are capable of meddling with the development of the baby.

Treatment:
1. Monitoring the blood sugar count at least four to five times a day and keeping it under control might help to ease the complication.
2. A healthy diet consisting of whole grains, vegetables and fruits in the right proportion and limiting sugar or other highly refined carbs meets the nutrition and fiber requirement of the body. Guard against additional weight gain during pregnancy as that hampers the entire process.
3. Exercise or regular physical activities help to normalize blood sugar level by boosting glucose absorption in the cells. Furthermore, exercises also enhance the sensitivity of the cells towards insulin. This means that only a little amount of insulin production by your body would be enough for the transportation of sugar.
4. Medication, If exercise and diet fall inadequate, insulin injections are often administered to control blood sugar count.
5. Keeping the baby under close observation with the help of repeated ultrasound and other tests to record its growth and development is an essential part of the treatment plan. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

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