Diabetes And Pregnancy

The question is, why do some women get diabetic while pregnant?

It’s not uncommon to see women, who were not diabetic before, to show high glucose levels after they get pregnant. Let’s know why this happens.

There’s a logic behind this. The reason is the role played by pregnancy hormones. These hormones tend to build up more sugar levels in the blood of the mother, in an attempt to provide more nutrition to the growing baby.

However, our body needs to maintain blood sugar within a specified range. So, a little more of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas of the mother, comes into picture.  It regulates blood sugar, keeping it under permissible limits in the blood.

If your pancreas is not able to secrete that extra insulin needed to accommodate excess sugars released in blood due to the pregnancy hormones, you may show high blood sugar levels.

Your doctor may call this Gestational diabetes, a state that needs treatment.

Are Women Having Gestational Diabetes at a Higher Risk of Developing Diabetes Later on?

Yes. Pregnancy is a kind of stress for the female body. If you’re diabetic in this stage, it’s a sign your body is not able to handle extra sugars released during phases of stress, infections or careless lifestyle.

You are prone to develop type 2 Diabetes later in life.

This just means, you need to take care. Discuss lifestyle and dietary recommendation with your doctor. These play a big role in preventing diabetes.

Does Gestational Diabetes Need Any Treatment?

Yes. Treat the condition well. This is important both for you and your baby.  If left untreated, complication in pregnancy may occur.

Complication

It’s recommended to control blood sugar during pregnancy to assure a healthy baby. Most diabetic mothers are able to deliver healthy babies at term, by observing special precautions given to them.

If left untreated, pregnancy may complicate, creating health problems both for the mother and the baby.

Fetal Complications

Excessive birth weight- The baby may be born very heavy, may be 9 pounds or even more. This is not healthy and even puts him at risk of developing diabetes later on in life.

Some congenital anomalies are attributed to diabetic state during pregnancy.

Some babies may have Hypoglycemia after birth. This is because excess maternal sugars in blood stimulate their pancreas to secrete excess insulin, which may lower down their blood glucose levels to dangerous levels at birth. This makes them prone to developing seizures after birth.

Preterm labor- The baby may arrive early, before full maturity. If the lungs of the new born are not fully developed to handle air, the baby may suffer from respiratory distress syndrome, where breathing becomes difficult. Because of this, his tissues do not receive adequate oxygen and may get damaged permanently.

Maternal Complications

High blood pressure and Preeclampsia

Mother is prone to developing high B.P. and a dangerous condition called preeclampsia

Type 2 Diabetes

If timely care is not taken, mother is prone to developing Type 2 Diabetes later on in life.

Treatment

Management of the condition aims at controlling the blood glucose levels and keeping in well within permissible range.

In most cases, this is best done by consuming a healthy diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables. She is asked to restrict to high calorie fatty food stuff, excess sugars, refined flour, sweet candies, artificial and processed food.

Light exercises, without weight bearing, may be recommended.

If still not controlled, a pregnancy safe anti diabetic pill may be started at the low dose, with constant monitoring of blood glucose levels.