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Gestational Diabetes during Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes refers to the diabetes that is only found in pregnant women. It is also called gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and it happens to a woman during pregnancy who is otherwise healthy.

Glucose is the main source of energy and stomach digests food to produce glucose. Pancreas makes insulin, which helps the blood to get glucose from the food products and use it to convert it into energy. If somebody is suffering from diabetes, the amount of glucose released in the blood increases as the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas is reduced in the body. Gestational diabetes is a common form of diabetes, which can be seen in five percent of pregnancies in America every year.

Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes

The health care provider tests for gestational diabetes during the twenty-fourth or the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy. The woman is asked to stay on fast for four to eight hours before the blood test and the doctor examines the blood sugar level to confirm the presence of GDM. Later, a test is done after the woman drinks a sugar drink and the test results are compared.

Risk of Gestational Diabetes on the Unborn Baby

1. Macrosomia: Baby's body may grow more than normal and it is called macrosomia. As the baby grows in size the medical practioner may have to deliver the baby through caesarian section.

2. Hypoglycemia: The baby may suffer from low blood sugar level and to prevent it, the mother should start breast feeding the baby immediately, when the baby is born.

3. Jaundice: The baby may suffer from jaundice and she may have white color eyes. It is not a serious condition and it can be treated.

4. Respiratory Distress Syndrome: The baby may have trouble in respiration. The baby may need more oxygen as the blood sugar level increases in mother.

5. Malnutrition: The baby may have a reduced level of nutrition in the body and the condition can be treated only by giving the baby extra supplements of minerals.

Precautions for Gestational Diabetes

1. Pregnant women should regularly get examined to prevent gestational diabetes. The blood sugar level fluctuate everyday in pregnant women and to diagnose the condition, the woman may have to give tests many times in a day.

2. Eating healthy food and taking a controlled diet of carbohydrate prevents increased level of blood sugar in the body of a pregnant woman.

3. Exercise is very important to prevent gestational diabetes.

4. Weight gain is important for a pregnant woman but she should always keep a check on amount of weight gained during the nine months.

Do women suffering from gestational diabetes, suffer from diabetes after pregnancy?

Most of the pregnant women suffering from gestational diabetes may not have any symptoms after delivering the baby. The blood sugar level may get normal after the baby is born and the woman can get herself examined to find out if in future she is at a risk of getting diabetes or not.

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