Assessing Your Risk for Diabetes During Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes is  medical condition when the woman has increased levels of blood sugar in her blood during pregnancy.

The overall percentage of women presenting with this condition is increasing each year in the United States. Estimates say that 18 out of every 100 pregnancies would have this condition this year.

Explaining the Mechanism

When we take food, it is converted into glucose inside our body. Glucose molecules are thus available in blood to be used by body cells. The only way energy gets into our cells is through glucose.

Diabetes is a condition where cells becomes resistant to glucose and thus are unable to use it. Though glucose concentrations are very high in the blood, still the body cells are starving.

Diabetes affects each and every organ of the body, since all tissues and cells are affected.

What Makes You Prone to Diabetes While Pregnant?

  • Being overweight- If you are overweight, then there are 2-4 times higher chances you would develop this condition.
  • Smoking- Would-be mothers who smoke double their chance of having this condition. Smoking also makes them prone to develop hypertension both during and after pregnancy.
  • Chances of having gestational diabetes increases with maternal age. Women above 35 are more prone to it.
  • Overall lifestyle- If you are into sedentary type of works, you are an easier prey for this condition. The more physically active you are, the lesser your chances of having diabetes.
  • Stress- Pregnancy is a delicate phase and requires efforts by the whole family. The childbearing mom should be well rested and free from mental tensions. Stress, especially emotional and mental, is proven to adversely affect the hormones; so it may contribute to the development of hypertension and diabetes during pregnancy.

Possible Complications

Moms with gestational diabetes can develop high blood pressure during pregnancy more easily. They may develop preeclampsia or eclampsia.

The baby may become overweight, leading to difficult labor. There are chances that doctor may need to go for cesarean sections delivery.

After birth, insulin starts acting and baby’s blood sugar may fall. There is a risk of seizures, jaundice and polycythemia vera. Electrolytes may get disturbed and there may be low calcium and magnesium.

Experts say that in many cases, gestational diabetes may proceed even after pregnancy and the women may have to live with diabetes for life.

So, it is essential to take a note of these facts. All pregnancies need to be screened for gestational diabetes and appropriate precautions and treatments should be provided.