Saturday, August 30, 2014

What is Gestational Diabetes and How it is Caused

Most people are unaware of what is gestational diabetes and how is it caused. Gestational diabetes is a condition that is characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose during pregnancy. The affected mother may or may not have had diabetes earlier. The condition is also known as gestational diabetes mellitus. It occurs due to glucose intolerance during pregnancy and may be detected during a routine examination. 

What Cause Gestational Diabetes

gestational diabetes
The exact cause of gestational diabetes has not been identified as yet. But research indicates that the hormonal imbalance which occurs during pregnancy may be associated with the condition. The woman’s insulin resistance increases due to these hormonal imbalances. This leads to impairment of glucose intolerance. The hormones that are produced during pregnancy hamper the action of insulin and interfere with the entrance of glucose in the cells. Therefore the glucose stays in the blood, leading to elevated blood glucose levels. Gestational diabetes occurs in late pregnancy and also affects the baby. The excess blood glucose reaches the baby through the placenta, while the insulin does not pass through the placenta. The baby’s pancreas then produces extra insulin in order to eliminate the blood glucose. This leads to production of extra energy which is not required by the baby for its growth and development. This extra energy is stored as fat and could result in hypoglycemia or breathing problems. The symptoms of gestational diabetes include increased urination and excessive thirst. The symptoms may not be noticeable in all cases. In some cases, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, yeast infection, fatigue and bladder infection. Gestational diabetes could be effectively controlled through antibiotic drugs, exercise and dietary modifications. 

Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of developing juvenile diabetes. They are also more prone to childhood obesity. The mother may also be affected with type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy. Gestational diabetes may also be associated with chemical imbalances and growth problems. Treatment for this condition involves regular physical activity as this enables utilization of glucose in the blood. The exercises must only be done under medical supervision. Insulin injections may also be administered. The diet for gestational diabetes must include plenty of fruits and vegetables. The consumption of sugary and fatty foods must be restricted. Gestational diabetes prevention is possible by ensuring a healthy weight during pregnancy. Performing regular exercise also helps to keep blood glucose levels within the normal range, thereby helping to prevent gestational diabetes.