Gestational diabetes, also called gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), is a condition revealed during pregnancy, which is characterized by some degree of intolerance of the pregnant woman to glucose.
This type of diabetes is very similar to type 2 diabetes, with most patients having a deficiency of pre-pregnancy insulin receptors.
In most cases, this type of diabetes only develops at this stage in overweight women, and because of the interference of hormones in insulin receptors.
Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors
There are some risk factors that increase the possibility of gestational diabetes during pregnancy:
– Have a pre-diabetes condition;
– Being overweight before becoming pregnant;
– Excessive weight gain during pregnancy;
– Have amniotic fluid in an excessive amount;
– Aggravate with more than 25 years;
– Suffer from hypertension;
– Accuse an above-normal level of glucose in the urine;
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a health condition that is asymptomatic or has mild symptoms and does not pose a risk of death in pregnant women.
Generally, after giving birth and returning to a regular routine of eating and daily activity, blood glucose levels return to normal.
The following are the symptoms that can manifest in gestational diabetes:
– Increased urge to urinate;
– Nausea and vomiting;
– Increased susceptibility to infections;
– Increased appetite, but associated with weight loss;
– Increased willingness to drink water.
How To Diagnose Gestational Diabetes
Given that gestational diabetes usually begins at an intermediate stage of pregnancy, an oral glucose intolerance test is usually done for all pregnant women to check for the presence of gestational diabetes. This test is done between the 24th and 28th week of gestation.
If the pregnant woman has any of the risk factors listed above, then she should do this test sooner.
Treatment of Gestational Diabetes
The treatment of gestational diabetes basically consists of a healthy diet, combined with adequate physical exercise, in order to control blood glucose levels.
In more specific cases, where diet and exercise are not sufficient to control these levels, insulin can be given.
In a pregnancy in which gestational diabetes is diagnosed to the woman, the doctor’s supervision should be more frequent, in order to verify the glucose levels, and in order to guarantee the normal and healthy formation of the baby.