The best advice on Gestational Diabetes | MOMSANDCHILD

Gestational diabetes or maternal diabetes is a condition of high blood sugar and the emergence of diabetes with known symptoms on a pregnant woman who has not been diagnosed with it before and often disappears after the end of pregnancy, although some consider it to be early stage type 2 diabetes.

    Women at risk of developing gestational diabetes:

  • For obese women
  • Women with previous gestational diabetes.
  • Women with diabetes in the urine.
  • Women who have a history of diabetes in their family or belong to a race known to have diabetes like the Arabs and the Australian population... 
  • Pregnant women at a late age. 
  • Women who previously gave birth to a child over 4 kg. 
  • Pregnant women over 25 years old. 

What are the signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes? 

  • Constant thirst and desire to drink water. 
  • High rate of urination which leads to many vaginal and skin infections.  
  • Weight loss accompanied by increased appetite. 
  • Fatigue and tiredness. 
  • Nausea and frequent vomiting. 
  • The pregnant woman's vision becomes blurry and unclear. 

Gestational diabetes diagnosis: 

     If you are at risk of developing gestational diabetes, for example, if you have obesity or any of the symptoms mentioned above at the beginning of pregnancy, your doctor may have a diabetes test done on your first visit to follow up on pregnancy. 
If you are at average risk of gestational diabetes, you are more likely to undergo a gestational diabetes test from time to time during the second trimester - usually between 24 and 28 weeks - of pregnancy. It is called tolerance of oral sugar in the blood test (OGTT).

Initial glucose challenge test: 

       you will have this test by taking a syrup glucose solution and after 1 hour, you will undergo a blood test to measure the level of sugar in the blood. 
A blood sugar level of less than 140 mg / dL (7.8 mmol / L) is usually considered normal in a glucose challenge test, although it may vary from a clinic or laboratory to another. 
If your blood sugar level is higher than normal, this only means that you are more likely to develop gestational diabetes. Your doctor will order a follow-up test to determine if you have gestational diabetes. 

Following-up glucose tolerance test:

 Regarding the follow-up test, you will be asked to fast all night, and then measure your blood sugar level while fasting.  
After that, you will have another sweet drink - which has a higher concentration of glucose - and your blood sugar level will be checked every hour for three hours. 
If at least two blood glucose test readings are above normal values, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. 

What are the risks of gestational diabetes on the mother and the fetus? 

  • Repeated abortion 
  • Increased rate of cesarean section 
  • Hypertension 
  • Eclampsia 
  • Increased amniotic fluid 
  • Having type 2 diabetes. 
  • The death of the fetus inside the womb 
  • Large size of the fetus: This may lead to causing fractures in the body during the birth period, as it may lead to many diseases in the respiratory and nervous systems, the heart, arteries, and may lead to obesity, diabetes, and delayed development of the brain in the future  
  • Premature birth: In some cases, the mother may develop a disturbing rise in blood pressure and this disease may also cause the second type of diabetes for the mother. 
  • Newborn problems such as increased bile in the blood, increased red blood cells, low platelets and a lack of calcium. 
  • Usually, no malformations happen to the fetus because high blood sugar occurs after the end of the organ formation process. 

Normal blood sugar levels during pregnancy: 

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed if two or more glycemic results appear higher than normal in the four blood samples (fasting, one hour after drinking the glucose solution, two hours after drinking the glucose solution, 3 hours after drinking the glucose solution). 
  1. Fasting: less than 95 mg / dL (5.3 mmol / L) 
  2. One hour after drinking glucose solution: less than 180 mg / dL (10 mmol / L) 
  3. Two hours after drinking glucose solution: less than 155 mg / dL (8.6 mmol / L) 
  4. After three hours of drinking glucose solution: less than 140 mg / dL (7.8 mmol / L) 

Therefore, we should prevent any complications for the mother and the fetus’ case during pregnancy through good control of the blood glucose level during the rest of the pregnancy period. 

 How to watch out against gestational diabetes? 

As the AmericanDiabetes Association says:” Nearly 10 percent of pregnancies in the U.S. are affected by gestational diabetes every year. So know that you’re not alone.”
So don’t be so afraid and focus on taking your precautions, including:
  • Home monitoring of blood sugar level after fasting, two hours after meals, and some analysis may be necessary before bedtime, the required level of maintenance is 95 mg/dl or less for the fasting person and 125 mg/dl or less two hours after meals. 
  • You must pay attention to your diet and what you eat during pregnancy. 
  • Avoid eating sugar-rich vegetables, fruits, and drinks. 
  • Divide your meals into small meals every two hours, so the calories do not exceed 1800-2200 per day. 
  • Avoid eating sweets and canned or very salty foods. 
  • Eat enough fiber daily, while drinking enough water. 
  • Watch your weight very carefully. 
  • Practice a sport suitable for your health conditions, such as walking and swimming, so that you do not gain extra weight. 
  • Stop bad habits such as smoking during pregnancy. 
  • Consult a doctor in some cases to prescribe you an appropriate drug that enables you to avoid the effects of this disease in the event of infection. 

What happens to gestational diabetes after childbirth? 

A female patient with gestational diabetes is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy, especially those who are obese.
Gestational diabetes often clears up after childbirth and will return in another pregnancy in the future.