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How to Identify If You Have Gestational Diabetes?
Dear mommies to be, I wish to share my personal experience with you all about a condition called as gestational diabetes which happens during the gestation or pregnancy. I fought bravely & came out with flying colors. When I first got to know about it, I was really worried but I trusted my doctors & dietician, who helped me, sail through my pregnancy with this condition.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes happens only during pregnancy when the body is unable to use all the insulin that it needs during pregnancy. The glucose levels goes up in the blood up to a high level without enough insulin. One needs to monitor and manage blood sugar levels daily and it can be easily done with the help of the advise from your doctor and following dietary restrictions. I had developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy & the moment I delivered my blood sugars were normal though I developed Type 2 diabetes after 3 years from then on. If you get gestational diabetes it does not make you a chronic diabetic after delivery but there are chances that you could be at a risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
OGTT- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
There are usually no specific symptoms to determine if you have gestational diabetes but only tests can confirm about this condition. During 24-28th week of pregnancy, the doctor would ask you to take the OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance test) to confirm if you have gestational diabetes. On fasting the doctor gives an amount, specified for the test, of sugar diluted in water and after an hour the blood samples are taken to check if the sugar levels are high or not. If the sugar levels are higher than the prescribed levels, the gestational diabetes is confirmed.
Causes of Gestational Diabetes
If you are overweight/obese before conceiving & have BMI of over 30
If you are more than 35 years old
If you have a history of diabetes running in the family
If you have high blood pressure
If you have high sugar levels in your blood
Excessive weight gain in the first trimester (first 3 months)
How can Gestational Diabetes Affect the Well-being of Your Baby?
Babies can put on a lot of weight on the upper part of the body due to high sugar levels. One of my relatives, whose gestational diabetes was not detected and as a result the baby grew really big and was weighing 4.4 kilograms at birth. There are chances that the baby may also get fractured bone or nerve damage so it is really very important to keep those sugar levels in control.
How to Control the Sugar Levels
The best way to do it is follow your doctor’s advice. Almost in all cases, Insulin injections are prescribed however the dosages may differ depending on the sugar levels in the body. It is also very important to follow the right kind of diet to keep the sugar levels tamed. Exercises recommended by the doctor should be done regularly. Walking is the best exercise but please do consult your doctor.
Gestational diabetes is like a scary monster but if taken precautions before planning the baby, it can be avoided & even if you get it during the pregnancy, a little discipline in your dietary habits & exercises will help you control the sugar levels along with the prescribed medication.