When you are around 24 weeks pregnant, your doctor will give you what is known as the Glucose Tolerance Test. The purpose of this test is to determine whether or not you have gestational diabetes. You will be asked to drink a highly concentrated sugar drink and then you will have blood drawn to determine the levels of sugar (glucose) found in your blood. If you are diagnosed with the condition of Gestational Diabetes, here are a few things you need to know:
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational Diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women who have not been diagnosed with diabetes previously. Diabetes results when the woman’s pancreas is unable to produce insulin or the correct amount of Insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is used to transport sugar to the woman’s bloodstream after it is broken down in the body. About 4% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes.
What Causes it?
In a woman with gestational diabetes, hormones which are essential for the development of the unborn baby, such as progesterone and estrogen, reduce the effectiveness of the insulin which the woman’s body produces. This generally occurs between weeks 20 and 28, thus the glucose tolerance test is administered to pregnant women during this time. Certain risk factors have been associated with the development of this condition:
- The mother is over 30
- The mother is obese
- Family history of diabetes
- Mother has previously given birth to a large baby (9lbs, 14oz or larger)
- Too much amniotic fluid
- The mother has experienced gestational diabetes with a previous pregnancy
- The mother has high blood pressure
What Effects Does Gestational Diabetes Have on a Baby?
Gestational Diabetes does not cause serious birth defects, as essential brain and body development have already been accomplished by the midpoint of pregnancy. However, poorly controlled or unnoticed gestational diabetes may have negative effects on the unborn baby. Since nutrients pass through the placenta to the baby, high levels of sugar will pass from mother to baby. This will cause the baby’s body to produce more insulin and store the excess sugar as fat. This will lead to high birth-weight babies, which heightens risks of injury during birth, as well as the development of obesity in childhood.
How is Gestational Diabetes Treated?
The primary treatment for the condition is diet alteration. If you are diagnosed with diabetes during your pregnancy, you will have to dramatically change the way you eat. You will need to eat healthy meals and snacks that will help keep your glucose (sugar) levels steady. Your treatment will also include exercise and, perhaps, daily blood checks and insulin injections.
Will the Condition Go Away?
After your baby is born, your body will most likely begin to process sugar effectively again. However, you have a 67% chance of experiencing the condition with subsequent pregnancies. Your risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes also goes up if you experience Gestational Diabetes. This is why it is important to take diabetes supplements like sugar balance reviews in order to naturally regulate your blood sugar. This supplement helps you in preventing the development of diabetes type 2. You can check on some reviews online for your reference.
The most important thing you can do to have a healthy pregnancy is to receive regular prenatal care. If you develop diabetes during pregnancy, it can be managed by a diet and exercise regimen. However, if you want to have a healthy pregnancy in spite of the condition, you first need to know that you have it. If you have been avoiding prenatal appointments, or have not been tested for Gestational Diabetes mid-way through your pregnancy, schedule your appointment immediately.